By on August 27, 2010

We don’t just want it to be seen,” said Jeff Eggen, Ford’s car experiential marketing manager, speaking about the Fiesta’s appearance in “Diaries.” The idea is to “have a second element or a third element” rather than just a placement on a TV program, “where we can engage with the fans outside of the show with additional content

While AdAge raves over Ford’s “product placement plus” marketing scheme for the Fiesta, actual customers for the Mexican-built subcompact are starting to get testy. The Fiesta’s Facebook page is home to several customer complaints about slow delivery of Fiesta, and Ford has already sent out $50 Mastercard gift cards to waiting customers. But in the letter accompanying the gift cards, Ford blamed hurricanes for Fiesta delays… and it turns out there’s more to the story than that. The Freep reports that 6,000 Fiestas were delayed last week due what Ford’s Mark Fields calls “a part-quality issue.”

Fields reassures consumers that only 12 out of the 2,300 cars that were inspected were found to be lacking, and

We have addressed it, and vehicles are shipping from the plant. We don’t believe that, at this point, there are any vehicles in customers’ hands that have that issue

More importantly, he stresses that

The biggest delay was caused by Mother Nature

Ford’s received much attention for its marketing in the leadup to the Fiesta launch, and the good vibes are clearly here to stay in the advertising industry press. So we’ll be the one’s to say it: your marketing doesn’t mean squat if you can’t deliver cars to customers. Acts of nature suck and we’re certainly glad Ford delayed again rather than ship Fiestas with faulty parts, but the unsexy business of delivering to customers is just as important as building buzz. Without product (and not just the “vamped-out” contest prize model), the buzz has no purpose.

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62 Comments on “After Much Hype, Fiesta Launch Falters...”


  • avatar
    tced2

    I read elsewhere that the bad part was a seat adjustment lever.

  • avatar
    Syke

    OK, so the deliveries are running a bit slow. I’ve worked in product development, and bringing out something new usually has a few unexpected ‘gotchas’.

    And TTAC, once again, is trying to be the National Enquirer of auto publications – find something wrong, anything wrong, make it wrong, and if it’s just small, make it seem major. Above all, show that the car company is incompetent as all get out.

    • 0 avatar

      find something wrong, anything wrong, make it wrong, and if it’s just small, make it seem major.
      be constantly bombarded with hype, hear a story that directly relates to the hype (yet isn’t included in the hype), contrast the hype with the reality.
      There, I fixed it for you. You’re free to draw whatever conclusions you like from any of TTAC’s stories… in this case, my conclusion can be found in the final sentence of the post. Over-hyping and under-delivering is hardly unique to Ford in the industry, and all automakers should take the problem seriously… otherwise they’ll never learn. TTAC’s just trying to help be part of that process.
       

    • 0 avatar
      asapuntz

      With that headline, I was expecting to see some awful initial sales numbers. The antidote to marketing hype isn’t talking up the faults, esp the ones which are caught BEFORE delivery.

      I’m not saying this isn’t an appropriate issue to cover, but let’s not overdo the schadenfreude? Toyota can’t fix any faults without earning a top-spot in the news cycle, though TTAC seems to be laying off.

    • 0 avatar
      ciddyguy

      I, too thought this was about poor sales numbers by how the article was worded but in turn it’s about delays in getting product to market, due in part to outside forces, mother nature being just one.

      I WILL agree that hype can be very easily overdone and sets expectations very high, sometimes too high to at times be unrealistic and that CAN trip any automaker up if not dealt with right.

      That said, This is the much talked about hatchback from Ford that will be unlike ANYTHING Ford has sold here and so far, it looks to be a potential hit from my experience with it after a test drive.

      That being said, not being fully honest and saying, we’ve also noted a quality issue with a part and are rectifying it BEFORE it gets to dealers while blaming Mother Nature isn’t exactly the best way to handle this to the public that is clamoring for the car but at the same time, not getting them to dealers doesn’t help matters and Ford isn’t alone in this respect, it happens to ALL manufacturers, just some handle it better than others.

      And while I don’t think Edward is being overly over handed here, I DO agree that if one builds the hype up to some grand proportions, you’d better deliver.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    If I were at Ford I would be thrilled to have the problem of demand exceeding early supply for a sub-compact product introduction. Honda would have loved to have that problem with the Insight :).

    Ford has done an exceptional job of building interest within the targeted demographic for a new small car. Toyota’s Scion division would trade places with Ford’s Fiesta product managers in a heartbeat if they had the chance.

    • 0 avatar
      benders

      If I had to replace my car in the near future, I’d look at getting a Fiesta. And as a 25 year old male making decent money, I’m probably right in the middle of the target demographic.

      Incidentally, my parents had an orange Fiesta when they first got married. Now they drive a Fit. They bought one of the early Fits but wanted a Sport model with a manual transmission. It took 7 months for Honda to build it.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I don’t think I’ve seen one on the road yet, although I did see them on display at an event at Ski Beach on Paradise Island quite a while ago. Then again, maybe they’re all over and I assume they are Aveos when I see them. Ford is right to correct problems before delivering cars, but they shouldn’t provide people with overly optimistic delivery dates.

  • avatar
    JMII

    What is going to happen when the Mazda 2 shows up. I saw a transporter with a load of them this AM on the way to work. Its the only Mazda that looks good with the huge front grill. But where is the two door, turbo version? You know the real Zoom-Zoom.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      With the Mazda2’s antiquated powertrain, it doesn’t compare all that favorably to the Fiesta. Handling is better, and that’s about it. Check back on the Mazda2 in about 2 years; it’s supposed to get a refresh/redesign and a brand new engine. Just like when the Fit was first sold in NA, the Mazda2 has been sold elsewhere for some time, and it only has a few years left in its product cycle.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Nothing Mazda does matters to any of the first tier players. Mazda is a bit player in the US.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Ed N. – You’re essentially saying that two wrongs make a right, therefore it’s OK for TTAC to take cheap pot shots.

    Wrong! If you really believe in doing real automotive journalism, the task at hand is to cut thru all the manufacturer BS and get to…yes, that’s right…The Truth! Snark more befitting Gawker doesn’t even come close.

    I checked out a Fiesta someone bought last week….nice!

  • avatar
    jj99

    The big problem with Fiesta is the same problem with all recent Ford products. The price is too high relative to the competition.

    Ford products are only as good as Hyundai/Kia, but they are priced the same as or higher than Toyota/Honda. However, Ford products do not match Toyota/Honda quality. Check Consumer Reports April 2010 edition. Toyota and Honda are unmatched in 5 to 10 year reliability. Ford is way behind.

    Fiesta could be a big seller if it was priced less than Toyota/Honda. Many people would be willing to purchase a car with less reliability as long as the price is lower. As long as Ford pretends it is as good as Toyota/Honda, it will not grow. GM has the same issue.

    • 0 avatar
      CarPerson

      To compare 10-year reliability, you have to have similar 10-year old cars.

      To compare 10-year old cars to newer cars, the cars must be substantially unchanged. Unlike Toyota and Honda, Ford has radically changed as a company and the products they sell in the last few years.

      With some license, about the only thing you can compare between similar vehicles is Ford initial quality and 1-year quality and reliability. Beyond that the comparisons fall apart.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      Many people, including myself, would argue that Hyundai/Kia are now on par with Toyota and Honda. Certainly Toyota’s quality stumbles (Camry reliability, Tundra rust issues, huge downgrade in materials quality with each redesign) and Honda’s product trip-ups (Crosstour, Insight, the entire Acura lineup) are helping with that impression.

      It’s also worth noting that the quality of a 2000 Ford Taurus is hardly indicative of the quality of a 2010 Taurus; the Fusion has outranked the Camry and Accord in reliability by some margin for nearly 5 years now; and every car in the Ford lineup apart from some trucks and a couple AWD models have been average or above in reliability according to CR, who is but one source among many.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      Hyundai is definitely up and coming – but which would I rather have as a daily driver a 6 year old Hyundai with 90,000 miles on the odometer – or – Honda of the same age or same mileage?

      I don’t believe that Hyundai has bested Honda in mechanical design and build, yet. So, you still get what you pay for.

      Also, I don’t think that Ford or GM can win in the bottom feeder arena of Accent, Yaris and Rio strippers – which is the segment where the Ford Fiesta is competing, along with the Honda Fit. Honda and Ford are the only two in this sub-compact class that don’t use a 4 speed automatic.

      Ford has to pay attention to detail. If they can maintain a build quality that beats Toyota. Then resale values will strengthen to where a profitable niche exists for the Fiesta, between the Yaris and Fit.

      While too small of a category for my 6′ 2′ frame, the Fiesta from what I read beats the Accent, Yaris and Rio in driving dynamics. It’s still slow, but not as slow as the Mazda 2 will be with its 4 speed automatic.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Funny how some posters’ comments are as predictable as sunrise to a rooster. Z71Silvy, move over, you now have competition…

      Anyway, kudos to Ford for finally making what seems to be at the very least a class competitive product, perhaps class leading. I’ll never know because that class car is not for me. And even better for holding up production to repair known defects. In the old day they would say “fix it at the dealer level”…

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      CarPerson, Ford has no track record in providing long term reliability. Their only track record is in 36 month and under reliability. CR has all cars being good at the 36 month level. No logical person would trust Ford when they have never shown the ability to build a car with long term reliability ( > 5 years ).

      SV, you are wrong. CR says this in a recent report. This is a direct quote:

      “Of the 48 models with top reliability scores, 36 are Asian—Toyota accounts for 18; Honda, eight; Nissan, four; and Hyundai/Kia and Subaru, three each. With only a few exceptions, Japanese vehicles are consistently good.”

      Ford only had a couple make this list. A poor showing. This article goes on to say Ford has around 90 percent of its vehicles with an average or better. Building a “better than average” vehicle is quite an achievement for Ford, but Ford builds little that gets a “top reliability scores”. Ford is now just average. But, many paint the blogs in every magazine with misinformation claiming Ford is top in reliability. You must think we can’t see through this smoke screen.

      While I have no proof Ford marketing is behind this misinformation pump, what I see is every statement about Ford quality citing CR data is quickly plastered with misinformation. Don’t fall for this scam. Get CR and read it yourself.

    • 0 avatar
      ciddyguy

      For jimmyy…

      I would venture Ford CAN build good cars as evidenced by my Ford Ranger, built in 1992, as a 1992 MY truck, 2WD, 5spd manual, 4.0L V6, bought it in 2006 with 189K miles on the clock with a fresh clutch, front brakes and wheel bearings from good friends and in that time managed to rack it up to 228,887 or so miles on it and all she’s had in major repairitive work was the clutch cylinders, both the master and the slave. The master went out 6 months after I got it, the slave in 2009, outside of that, it’s been oil changes, shifter parts, exhaust and tires, now talk about reliability.

      True, this is but one example, but it CAN be done, even by Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      Ford accounts for 5 of those 48 top reliability scores, more than Nissan, Hyundai/Kia and Subaru. Last I checked Nissan and Subaru have been historically reliable brands and Hyundai/Kia are generally agreed to be quite good in that respect as well.

      So they’re not quite Toyota/Honda level of reliability yet, but my point is that Ford is improving, and Toyonda slipping – they’re still the best, but not by the margin they once enjoyed.

      Ford has proven their quality is competitive, now they just need to consistently have better-than-average or excellent ratings with every new model. The Fusion and Focus especially prove that they can.

      And personally, as long as CR rates a car average or above for reliability, it’s good enough for me – would I choose between a Yaris with an excellent reliability rating or a Fiesta if it had a merely average or very good score? Personally I’d still feel safe with the Fiesta, which is a far more desirable car as it is.

    • 0 avatar
      Norma

      SV,

      Ford has more top reliability scores than Nissan, Hyundai/Kia and Subaru? The last time I count,not including those discountinued, FMC has 30 diff. vehicles in its lineup, much more than Nissan, Hyundai/Kia, Subaru, Toyota or Honda. The Fusion, Milan and MKZ are essentially the same car with different skins, and do they account for three top reliabilities scores?
      Sigh, how low our expectation of the domestic 2 1/2 has sunk?

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      The RX and RX hybrid are listed as separate models, as are the Toyota Yaris and Scion xD, Hyundai Tuscon and Kia Sportage, and Infiniti M35 and M45. Even disregarding the soon-to-be-discontinued Mercurys, Ford/Lincoln (26 models total) has as many top reliability models as Nissan/Infiniti (25 models) and more than Hyundai/Kia (20 models).

      Toyota/Lexus/Scion has 34 models, counting hybrids separately as I (and Consumer Reports) did; Honda/Acura has 18, and Subaru has 6.

    • 0 avatar
      Norma

      Oh, I see. So you agree that Fusion, Milan, Fusion hybrid, Milan hybrid and MKZ are essentially one car.
      So, one, two, three, four, five(yeah, actually I’m not that good in counting), now the so called ‘five’ top reliability scores (out of a total of 48) from Ford as`claimed by you is essentially just ONE vehicle, right?

      LOL.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      I never said anything of the sort.

      The Fusion and Milan are the same car, yes. The MKZ, with a significantly revised exterior and totally different interior, as well as a different powertrain, can be counted as a separate car. I personally consider the Fusion Hybrid the same “model” as a regular Fusion, but for the purposes of this argument Consumer Reports doesn’t, so neither do I. Its mechanicals are significantly different to an I4 or V6 Fusion as well, so it’s useful for its reliability to be listed separately as CR does even if it’s still part of the Fusion lineup.

    • 0 avatar
      Norma

      Can you enlighten me as to how a MKZ is ‘mechanically’ different from a V6 Fusion or Milan?

      You can’t neglect to count the number of models from Mercury, pretending they don’t exist, while on the other hand, count two of them in your list of reliability scores from CR. It’s called cheating.

      If you count like Consumer Reports: Fusion FWD, Fusion AWD, Fusion hybrid, Milan FWD, Milan AWD, Milan hybrid, MKZ FWD and MKZ AWD, FMC would have a much higher model count. Can it be something like one hundred or more?

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      If you’d read my post more closely (or actually looked at the Consumer Reports list), you’d see I didn’t “cheat” at all. Ignoring Mercury gives Ford 4 top reliability picks: Fusion, Fusion Hybrid, MKZ, Mustang V6. With Mercury, Ford has 6: the four I just mentioned, plus the Milan and Milan Hybrid.

      The MKZ is just as mechanically differentiated from a Fusion as the Yaris is from the Scion xD, or the Tucson is from the Sportage, which CR also count as separate models.

    • 0 avatar
      Norma

      Let me refresh your memory, this is what you wrote in previous post:
      “Ford accounts for 5 of those 48 top reliability scores, more than Nissan, Hyundai/Kia…”
      Not FOUR, not SIX, as you subsequently claimed, but FIVE.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      Sorry, I was incorrect. In my initial post I had missed the MKZ on CR’s list, but it was there. Ford/Lincoln/Mercury accounts for six top reliability scores according to CR: Fusion, Fusion Hybrid, Milan, Milan Hybrid, MKZ, Mustang. 6 including Mercury, 4 without; but instead of taking my word for it you could actually look on the CR website.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I’m a Ford cheerleader simply because they’re the only domestically based car company that isn’t nursing massive government giveaways.

    But this shows their turnaround isn’t complete. Setting realistic, achievable expectations is part of marketing.

    I get that this is a premium small car, but jj99 has a point. Is this car as good as or better than the Honda Fit for the same money? Doubt it.

    • 0 avatar
      benders

      Honda had the same delivery problems 3 years ago with the Fit. My parents waited 7 months for their Fit to arrive in 2007.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      The Fiesta has a nicer interior, better mileage and better ride quality and NVH than the Fit for the same money. Pretty much the only thing the Fit offers over the Fiesta is more interior space and rear-seat flexibility, which admittedly will be a big point for some people. Both cars have their advantages and drawbacks; IMO I’d say they’re equally good cars, and which one is “better” is more a matter of taste (I personally prefer the Fiesta).

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      Ford has to best Toyota in design and hopefully build quality to stay competitive. Toyota has seem to taken the “Let them eat cake,” approach with the Yaris and the Corolla.

      I find the current interior build quality of Toyota’s smallest entries to be appalling. Once your are inside the car, a friggin Hyundai Accent or Kia Rio seem up market relative to a Yaris.

      Ford is wise to offer a six speed automatic, a better interior and driving dynamics even though though the Fiesta plays in a relatively small market niche here in English speaking North America.

      The launch to watch will be the new Ford Focus, which will play to a much larger market segment. I hope the idea that Ford offers you a nicer car than Toyota catches on and the new global giant – which is Toyota – doesn’t catch their mistake in de-contenting until it is too late. Has anyone seen the new 2011 Hyundai Elantra?

      With Hyundai raising the stakes. Ford can’t survive on “Let them eat cake” designs and build. They have build world class cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Norma

      Bender,

      Your parents have to wait for a few months for their Fit because they want the Sport model with M/T. Furthermore, Fit(s) are produced in Japan which lengthens the supply chain. Contrast that to Ford, the Fiesta didn’t appear until weeks after dealers promised customers (remember Ford CEO once promised the Ford Fiesta is going to be available in “early” 2010?); the supply problem is wide-spread (not just M/T models); Fiesta is produced in a totally-revamped plant in Mexico (which produces just one model) and currently supplies only N. America.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Norma –

      The Mexico plant also supplies certain South American countries.

      Also, this delay is for the second wave of cars, plenty had already been shipped. Many dealers have them available on lots, they are just waiting for more inventory.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    I’m a huge TTAC fan for the TTAC way of saying what no one else is able to (because they are paid off).

    but this headline indicates some problem with sales etc. while the real issue hardly is an issue (demand bigger than supply….. oh, poor Ford) with an all new vehicle.

    The same is true to the previous “news” with the hydrogen explosion. That is completely unrelated to who uses that hydrogen. but somehow GM got thrown into the headline. this would have affected any other brand that has hydrogen cars, the space ship , and welders.

    Please skip the “USA Today” journalism with headlines trying to sell the newspaper to the simple-minded.

    for this news the headline could have been “Fiesta sales slow due to production runup issues and high demand cannot be met”. this should have been supported by some actual sales numbers, or number of people who ordered Fiestas.

    right now I only know 6000 were delayed. but how relevant is that without knowing the sales numbers.If they already sold a million, 6,000 is not much. I know it is not a million…

    • 0 avatar
      Norma

      “right now I only know 6000 were delayed. but how relevant is that without knowing the sales numbers.If they already sold a million, 6,000 is not much.”

      Haha. Ha-ha.
      Wake-up, wake-up.
      The WHOLE Ford brand YTD sales to July just broke one million (which includes almost 300k F-series trucks). Fiesta YTD sales is just over 4k. Sigh.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Automobile companies seem to be unable to successfully launch a popular car anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      I’m going to make a big guess that in the future fortunes won’t be made by singular models but spread across many modest selling models. My guess is that this be natural with some choices (just wait until the Chinese cars begin to sell in the USA).

      Besides all the eggs in one basket approach just seems too risky. make a fair profit on many models and spend those profits wisely.

  • avatar
    Ken Elias

    The real point is that Ford decided not to ship the cars and fix the problem at the factory. Years ago, Ford might have shipped the car with the fix coming at the dealership (assuming it’s not a safety issue)…allowing dealers to sell cars with a known defect and then bringing the customers in later (when it broke) or in a (silent?) recall to fix. Bravo to Ford for fixing it before shipping it!

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I agree. The public launch delays of late are a sign that automakers are starting to care a lot more about quality and reliability from day one. After a year of ownership a customer will likely forget about a delay when they purchased the car, but they will likely remember if they kept having to bring it back in for repairs.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    I saw my first Fiesta on the road this week. Let’s just say it doesn’t scream “want” in puke green sedan trim. I felt sorry for the guy driving it.

  • avatar
    cardeveloper

    We received one of the first fiesta’s delivered in MI. LOVE IT! Sync V3 is being a PITA, not sure if it’s a systemic issue, or a programming issue. One tiny little piece of dirt in the paint (minor roof panel) the dealer is going to take care of. Biggest pisser, the side graphics were misapplied by the dealer. Not sure why they are having the dealer apply those, but it’s done, and they are also going to fix that too.

    Car is actually a joy to drive, MPG is not quite what we’d hope, but I’m pretty hard on the 5 spd trans :) Not sure I’d want to take a long XC trip, but for local stuff, it’s fun.

    • 0 avatar
      backspacer

      Thanks, cardeveloper. That was actually a lot of information in very few words! I’m thinking a Focus hatch is much better for my needs, and your post confirms it.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      What’s the problem you are having with Sync? I’m pretty well versed on it, I might be able to help.

      The graphics are a dealer installed option because there is a lot of variety in what you can get, and they are the type of option that could turn someone away from an otherwise perfectly optioned car. Having them dealer installed gives greater flexibility – the factory builds the cars with the main options, and if you want graphics, you can pick out the car you like at the dealer and have the graphics you like applied.

  • avatar

    Hurricanes my bum.

    And it’s not a seat lever either. A mission critical component is manufactured in Brazil and then sent to Mexico for assembly. This “part” is what’s had some problems. Delays are because teams from Brazil have been in US testing the cars. Considering scope of launch, defects were few. But existed. The all clear has been given. Expect delays to be minimal now. Production is back in force.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      And what, pray tell, is this unnamed (if not the seat lever) “mission-critical” piece?

    • 0 avatar

      Sorry Robert.Walter. Do not want to get my source in trouble. Let’s just say the internet is your friend and I’m sure a little research will reveal exactly what part of the New Fiesta is manufactured in Brazil. Also, congrats to Ford for delaying delivery. Very few cars were affected (2 in an universe of 16 000 IIRC), but could have killed the car if more wide spread.

      Anyway, as my Dad used to say, if you’re buying a car in the first 2 years after launch, you’re looking for trouble. Maybe, in 2010, this can be reduced to a year, but trouble does happen.

    • 0 avatar
      Stingray

      My bad, if the component has a letter from an alphabet different than ours… it would have been an EPIC FAIL.

      Good thing they delayed the launch.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      So, we are talking “Sigma” Brazilian made engines…that could have been a disaster…

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Bear in mind that the original US market Focus was greatly damaged by a string of quality problems and recalls during it’s first year or two on the market. Consequently, the car sold great out of the gate and then fell on hard times. Ford seems to have learned that lesson.

    Also, scarcity of a popular new product can, perversely, make the product even more popular! It certainly makes the product more profitable. The mfg. is likely to ship the relatively scarce early units as highly optioned, more profitable cars and the dealers are able to get MSRP or more for them.

    The real product intro problem is when the market is flooded with almost right vehicles.

    GM’s launch availability of the Malibu was slow-slow-slow, and yet it keeps building volume even after having been on the market for some time now. Ford’s Fusion likewise built momentum slowly over time, though in that case it was more of a marketing issue than a production issue.

    The Fiesta is going to do just fine.

    • 0 avatar

      John,

      The domestics have been criticized for slow launches and long lead times, but getting it right is more important than getting it out the door.

      Looking back over automotive history, if there’s one thing that has hurt new cars, it’s been poor quality with early production models. That’s hurt a lot of otherwise promising cars, like the ’53 Studebaker coupe, the GM X cars, and a host of others.

  • avatar
    otsegony

    I’ve been driving our new 5spd Fiesta for about a month now and I am very pleased with it. It gets great gas mileage, about 35mpg around town and much better on the highway, handles great and is comfortable for long trips. It also has very high safety ratings from the Euro NCAP and U.S. IIHS agencies which, having teenagers in the house, was important to me. When I was shopping for the car the only other model that I seriously considered was the Honda Fit. I have had excellent experiences with Honda’s reliabilty through the years, so it was a tough choice. What sold me on the Fiesta (sight unseen mind you) was the very good reliability of more recent Ford products in my family and a good relationship with a local dealer.
    As I tend to drive cars into the ground, my big question is will the car hold up over the long haul and make it to at least 150 – 200k? Only time will tell…

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    You all know that in North America the subcompact class is small market niche. Accents, Fiestas, Fits, Rios and Yaris only usually sell really well when the price of gasoline approaches 4 bucks. Then they are in short supply with waiting lists!

  • avatar

    Has anyone actually seen one of these on the road yet? In the time it’s been available I’ve only seen one. The roads are full of Fits here.

    • 0 avatar
      ciddyguy

      I have, and I’ve even test driven one, but that’s here in Seattle. Later that weekend, I was in my hometown of Tacoma w/ my best friend when we spotted the bright green hatchback on the road.

      the dealer had several at the time I was test driving, as were a couple of other dealers near where I live so they ARE getting out there and ARE slowly showing up on the streets but the numbers are still few enough that spotting them on a regular basis isn’t there yet.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    So the car is delayed a little bit, people are antsy for getting one, this is nothing new, nor is Ford the only manufacturer to be in this pickle, but I DO agree that if you are going to hype the crap out of the car, you gotta owe up to it and make good on that hype as best you can, but marketing being what it is, does not always communicate with the rest of the company to ensure it’s not over hyping and as I said to an earlier poster, Ford’s not total honesty here isn’t helping things for they are, understandably fearing any potential negative may cause harm to the car’s popularity, being it’s been hyped and is a “premium” small hatch in a segment that many American’s still consider too small, but I will wager that as gas prices stay at $3 a gallon or more and that we see mileage figures with a combined cycle in the low to mid 30’s min from these cars become the norm, people will reconsider them as possibilities.

    All that being said, this post could’ve been much less alarmist in its title and had it more reflect the issue at hand as I thought it was more about the car NOT selling when people look at it, but quite the opposite.

    I do think that in the end, the Fiesta and its newer ilks will do just fine here in NA as people see what they are capable of doing.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Wow…so after many years of over hype…the car is already having quality lapses…and just the other day, the misleading IIHS results stated that they only apply to cars built AFTER July 2010 (not to mention that the Honda Fit was the first mini car to score that well in their tests).

    All this proves is that the more things change, the more they stay the same…and Ford is the same exact company that we saw 10-15 years ago.

    My question is……if Ford is going cheap on things like door handles and seat levers…what else did they cheap-out on that we can’t see…

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      ” …. Ford is the same exact company that we saw 10-15 years ago.”

      That statement is simply ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      The Fiesta actually scores higher than the Fit in the IIHS:

      http://www.iihs.org/ratings/summary.aspx?class=90

      The Fit has an Acceptable rollover score, the Fiesta a Good rating. The Fiesta is also the ONLY subcompact to have an IIHS “Top Pick” score.

      12 seat latch defects out of 2,300 cars inspected, a 0.5% occurrence rate, is hardly a significant quality lapse, more like a very minor hiccup. I say good on Ford for actually delaying so many cars to make sure everything’s 100% good to go instead of just shoving the problem onto the dealer or customer like they probably would have done 10-15 years ago. If they’re going to be that anal about such a rarely-occuring, minor part problem, it makes me feel even better about the quality of the new Fiesta.

  • avatar
    SV

    I agree with some earlier commenters that the title of this article is a bit deceptive. The Fiesta has seen alot of delays, yes, but it doesn’t seem to be hurting demand much. 4,377 Fiestas have already been sold in July, a rather good number for only being on the market for 2 months and having all those shipping delays. Once Ford gets the factory-to-dealer process running smoothly and inventories get to a healthy level, I think 6,000/month sales numbers (pretty much the standard for this class and something like Ford’s goal for this car) will be easy to achieve.

  • avatar
    MrBeer

    My daughter ordered a Ford Fiesta on April, 14, 2010 from a dealership in NJ.  She is very disappointed and is ready to rescind her order and move to a Honda.  She feels that Ford has let her down.  Below is a letter she received from the dealership, about the whereabouts of her Fiesta.  It looks like it had been built by May 31, 2010 and has been sitting on the dock in Mexico ever-since.

    Hi Richard,

    I do understand your frustrations with the Fiestas.  Keep in mind that any dealer inquires in the East Market come to me so for every unit you ask about, I get at least 10 others also asking for theirs.  I know every customer is very important to you and to Ford Motor Company.  We never like to lose any deal.  We are working to get all the Fiestas delivered to the dealers as quickly as possible.  We will be putting something together and handing it out to all the zone managers to help explain the process we are facing with regards to Fiesta.  I am sure Sharon will cover this with you once she gets it.  In the mean time, here is a brief explanation of how the Fiestas get to the dealership.  Hopefully this gives you an idea of how to plan when you should expect them.

    Once a unit is produced and released from the plant (ramp 5J in vehicle visibility) it’s shipped by rail to the port (ramp 7V).  Since the port can’t hold all the units they also have a storage lot (ramp 5E) they use.  From the port, the Fiestas are loaded on a boat and shipped to the port in Baltimore for the Northeast US.  It takes a week for the ship to get from the port in Mexico to Baltimore.  One issue we face is a boat ships out of Mexico every 2 weeks so a unit that hits the port in Mexico could sit for 2 weeks before it finally moves out.  Vehicle Visibility won’t update until the boat arrives in Baltimore.  Once they get to Baltimore, all the units need to pass through customs.  This shipment took 5 days to get approved for entry into the US.  We are working on getting this handled quicker in the future.

    With regards to the units for you at the port now.  All the Fiestas are cleared through customs and are in the possession of the transporters.  We have been told that every unit OK to ship out of Baltimore will be delivered within a week.  You should have all 6 of these units by next Wednesday if not sooner.

    3FADP4FJ9BM108241

    Available for Pick-Up – K1413       (Aps  North  Terminal  Inc )

    3FADP4FJ3BM111023

    Available for Pick-Up – M1436       (Aps  North  Terminal  Inc )

    3FADP4CJ1BM109453

    Available for Pick-Up – M1135       (Aps  North  Terminal  Inc )

    3FADP4CJ7BM113118

    Received – B16         (Bavarian  Motor  Transport  Llc )

    3FADP4FJ4BM113119

    Received – B02         (Bavarian  Motor  Transport  Llc )

    3FADP4FJ7BM118556

    Received – N35         (Bavarian  Motor  Transport  Llc )

    3FADP4AJ6BM118555

    Received – K1636       (Bavarian  Motor  Transport  Llc )

    With regards to 3F-BMxxxxx for Gxxxxx, this unit is currently at the port in Mexico.  The next ship is due to arrive in Baltimore around 8/16/10.  I will try and find out if this one is on it.  If so, it will again take a few days to clear customs and have it delivered to you.  I will ask it be prioritized, but I would hate to promise a date we can’t make.  If the Fiesta is on the next boat, I would give it an ETA of 8/29/10.  That is a day to unload the ship, 5 days to get through customs, and a week to deliver.  Obviously, if we can get it there sooner we will, but I don’t want to over promise something.

    Your order for Gxxxxx has been delayed because it was built before the OK to buy was received.  All units built before we receive the OK to buy are held for checks to make sure there are no issues with the production before being shipped out.  We received the OK to buy on 6/7/10 but your retail order was build on 5/31/10.  All 6 of the inbound units were built after the OK to buy was issued.  This is why we do not like to schedule retail orders with the first several weeks of production.  I understand dealers ask to get them pulled right away but there is a reason we do not do this.  For some reason, this unit was requested to be prioritized before we were OK to buy.

    I hope this clears a few things up.  I know all the information is not exactly what you want to hear but hopefully it explains why we are where we are.  I hope that you are able to work with the customer and save the deal.

    David Sumera
    Sales and Inventory Specialist


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