By on February 15, 2017

2018 Ford Fiesta - Image: Ford Europe

It’s been nearly three months since Ford introduced the seventh-generation Fiesta B-segment hatchback. We’ve still not received any U.S.-market specifics for the 2018 Ford Fiesta.

At the time, you may recall TTAC’s Steph Willems saying, “Because this was a Ford of Europe event, we’re still waiting on U.S.-specific details.”

But December and January and half of February flew by, and Ford’s U.S. PR corps still has no information to provide regarding the new subcompact. In fact, on Valentine’s Day, the day for committing to a loved one, we asked Ford to confirm the new Fiesta for the United States.

Ford declined to do so.

Is the new Ford Fiesta DOA? 

It was not out of the ordinary to see Ford’s unwillingness to comment on the Fiesta’s U.S. specs at the seventh-gen Fiesta’s reveal last November. Even at North American events for North American-specific vehicles, it’s not unusual for automakers to simply unveil a car and say little about it. Comments from Ford to CarScoops in early December — “We were talking about the new Fiesta for Europe and MEA yesterday. We’ll have more to say about other markets at a later date.” — also weren’t entirely out of the ordinary, either.

But our suspicions grew when, on two occasions since the Fiesta’s debut, Ford’s media site delved into the kind of details for other products that Ford still hasn’t shared for the Fiesta.

Ford debuted the revamped 2018 F-150 in January and the all-new 2018 Expedition in February. Along with details for those two 2018 models, Ford’s U.S. media site also has details for the 2018 Ford EcoSport.

Ford Media Site Products - Image: media.ford.com screenshots

Pair these suspicions with persistent declines in U.S. Fiesta demand (sales in 2016 were down 31 percent from the 2013 peak) and a gradual shying away from subcompacts in general, the Fiesta’s grip on the U.S. market appears tenuous.

Mazda essentially replaced its subcompact, the Mazda 2, with a subcompact crossover, the CX-3. Could that be Ford’s intention with the EcoSport?

Prompted by TTAC to reveal Ford’s U.S. timeline for the new Fiesta, Ford’s Karl Henkel said last year’s Fiesta introduction was for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

“Customer demand for small vehicles continues to grow globally, and Fiesta is an important part of our portfolio,” Henkel told TTAC last week. “We’ll have more to say about other markets at a later date.”

That sounds familiar.

Forget the timeline then. Yesterday, we asked Ford to simply confirm that the new, seventh-generation Fiesta will make its way to the U.S. market.

Ford declined to do so, telling TTAC once again that, “We’ll have more to say about other markets at a later date.”

2018 Ford Fiesta Active - Image: Ford Europe

Could the Fiesta make its way to the United States solely in crossover-themed Fiesta Active guise?

Could Ford believe that fewer than 50,000 annual sales in a historically low-profit category simply aren’t enough to justify the effort when the Indian-built EcoSport can pick up some of the slack?

Or, with the new Fiesta likely to be imported from Thailand and not Mexico (if, in fact, it is imported) could Ford simply be delaying a decision until the automaker has a firmer grasp on the non-TPP regulatory environment?

The current Fiesta, down 24 percent in a category that slid just 3 percent in 2016, is certainly not the only Ford car to have suffered a sharp decline in U.S. sales last year. Focus volume was down 17 percent to a seven-year low as compact cars fell just 5 percent. (January 2017 Focus volume fell to a six-year January low.) As midsize car sales slid 11 percent, the Ford Fusion likewise tumbled 11 percent to a four-year low. Compared with its 2013 peak, Ford C-Max volume was 44-percent lower, down to 19,834 units and a four-year low. The Mustang and Taurus? They declined in 2016, as well.

Despite those downturns, the Ford Motor Company’s overall U.S. sales picture in 2016 was flat compared with 2015. Lincoln sales grew 10 percent, Ford’s SUVs rose 4 percent, and Ford van sales jumped 9 percent.

Ford F-Series pickup sales rose 5 percent to an 11-year high of 820,799 units; 126,753 more sales than all Ford and Lincoln cars combined.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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49 Comments on “Even On Valentine’s Day Ford Won’t Commit to the New Fiesta in America...”


  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    No Fiesta. Yes Ecosport.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    considering the lackluster sales in this segment and the lack of real competition, why spend more resources on a US Fiesta?

  • avatar

    Try an ST, it gives a different experience than “normal” Fiestas.

    • 0 avatar
      Corollaman

      I did drive a normal Fiesta and found it to be the most engaging small car I had ever driven, I found myself doing 70 without even noticing how fast I was going. Sign of a well engineered car

    • 0 avatar
      Raevox

      Our 2016 Fiesta SE is a fun and lively car, even with the DCT. And for the most part, it works well. My husband loves it.

      I just find it to be too small of a car for my liking. Especially when it comes to front leg room. The console just takes up too much real estate. And the center arm rest is too far back, yet the door arm rests are too far forward. So at 5’9 I can’t actually rest my arms comfortably. Yet my 5’7 husband, who also has short legs, finds it Just Right.

    • 0 avatar
      AdamVIP

      I had a 2011 Fiesta for a commuter back in the day and it was great. My only complaint was that I didn’t get the manual. I’ve thought a few times about picking an ST up as a new commuter but my commute is so short I haven’t seen the need yet.

  • avatar
    Caboose

    Now’s the time to grab a leftover Fiesta ST and Matt Farah the sh1t out of it.

  • avatar

    It has its charm, but it still is a penalty box. I can’t speak too much ill of the little thing because one saved my life – or at least mitigated serious injury – a few years ago, but the market is what it is. These are a tough sell new or used, especially when a Focus is virtually priced the same.

    That’s why I taped this to my screen whenever I get trigger-happy buying cars on Simulcast…

    https://s22.postimg.org/nj43wgm8x/0215171049.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      LOL Flybrian. I’m gonna share that pic with my daughter. She has a 2014 Fiesta S w/5-spd manual and no options. She loves it but might not when she tries to trade it off.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    I can see where the Ecosport will be much higher margin, get more sales because “crossover,” and is already ready for the US market. Win-win.

  • avatar
    NN

    Mark Fields is probably hoping Trump avoids impeachment long enough to repeal all CAFE standards so he no longer has to worry about being forced to sell subcompact cars with zero margins

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      Exactly. In the US market, this is a compliance car, period. Until there is clarity on future MPG targets, there is no reason for Ford to commit.

    • 0 avatar
      mtmmo

      “Mark Fields is probably hoping Trump avoids impeachment long enough to repeal all CAFE standards…”

      Ah yes another daily example of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      • 0 avatar
        TTCat

        Non Fiesta content:

        Indeed. Amazing how their much vaunted inclusiveness and tolerance evaporates when they don’t like the outcome of the very “democracy” they claim to venerate.

        Fiesta content:

        Not really sure the US needs yet another CUV variant of anything…

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Sorry, political disagreement is one thing. Watching this guy run with scissors is another.

          The only question becomes this: when will Republicans start to figure out exactly how toxic Trump is?

          Not long, I think.

          • 0 avatar
            TTCat

            Welcome to how many, many people viewed the previous 8 years – we survived your toxic clown, you’ll survive ours (in your view of course…)

        • 0 avatar

          Give me a break. In just 3 weeks Trump has revealed himself to be an incompetent nincompoop.

          • 0 avatar
            TTCat

            You are of course entitled to your opinion – but then again, anyone with 2 firing neurons had the previous bozo scoped out as an effete academic, spouting empty rhetoric, with a huge chip on his shoulder from the moment he first opened his mouth – and yet somehow we are all still here ostensibly talking about Fiestas…

            Down to 30-mile fetch: if you read carefully next time you will see that I made no statements whatsoever about “being happy with the current President”, nor did I accuse anyone of not having 2 firing neurons, I simply gave my estimation that is all it would take to recognize the ineptitude of the previous CINC. In point of fact, I am entirely undecided as to the merits of the current occupant of that title after so short a time, but admittedly I do find it worthy of hope that he pisses everybody off just about equally…

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            TTCat,
            I’m glad you’re happy with the current President. But after watching him behave as if Russia owns him, lie compulsively and transparently through tweets and representatives, get petulant about the popular vote count and sad inauguration attendance numbers, fire his fake-news believing national security advisor only 3 weeks in and *only after* his lying to Pence became a PR issue, and implementing a red meat immigration order that is likely harmful to national security, and watching his supporters either ignore it all or eat it up with a spoon, I’d rather you you just leave it at “entitled to your opinion” rather than accuse others of having <2 firing neurons. Thanks.

          • 0 avatar
            TTCat

            @carguy622: You are of course entitled to your opinion – but then again, it is also easy to assert that anyone with 2 firing neurons had the previous bozo scoped out as an effete academic, spouting empty rhetoric, with a huge chip on his shoulder from the moment he first opened his mouth – and yet somehow we are all still here ostensibly talking about Fiestas…

            30-mile fetch: Sorry “fetch”, but you don’t get to put words in my mouth, if you read carefully you will see that I made no statements whatsoever about “being happy with the current President”, nor did I accuse anyone of not having 2 firing neurons, I simply gave my estimation that is all that is required to recognize the ineptitude of the previous CINC. In point of fact, I am entirely undecided as to the merits of the current holder of the title after so short a time, but admittedly I do find it worthy of hope that he upsets everybody just about equally…

  • avatar
    brettc

    Try downloading a PDF brochure for a 2017 C-Max. It doesn’t exist on Ford’s site. I requested one by mail probably over a month ago and have received nothing. Ford would love to sell you a truck, but small cars…not so much.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Fun car!

    That windshield is so close to the driver’s head that you could moosh your face into it and entertain kids who roll by in SUVs!

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    If you don’t actively advertise a product why would you expect to actively sell a product? When was the last time you saw any kind of ad campaign for the Fiesta? The Focus? They aren’t there. Sounds like another example of Ford having a good competitive product they are killing through neglect and simply ignoring it. Remember what Ford did, or didn’t do, to the original Taurus?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The market wants what it wants. Remember all the ads for the new Chrysler 200? How’d that turn out?

      Like I said below a Focus is extremely close in price while delivering significantly better value. Only B-segment rides people want are crossovers. It’s a no brainer for the US market, Ford is making the right move not investing into the next generation of the Fiesta for the US.

      • 0 avatar
        TheEndlessEnigma

        So you’re trying to compare Chrysler’s effectiveness with Ford’s? That certainly is not being terribly fair to Ford. And, no, I do not remember ads for the Chrysler 200, so they were terribly effective apparently.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I remember the 200 ads pretty clearly.

          “Imported from Detroit.”

          You can advertise the p*ss out of a marginal product and still have it bomb.

          Fact is, the compact segment is shrinking, and both the Fiesta and Focus are older products. Makes sense they’d not overspend on advertising.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          No, I’m comparing one undesirable product with another one. Marketing can’t convince people to buy a car they’ve already lost interest in. Ford would do better to deploy that capital towards products in growing segments that will yield a return. This is good business 101.

          Keep in mind I’m not calling the Fiesta or 200 bad cars. When I’m due to replace my current car a used 15+ 200C is on my shopping list. But like I said the market wants what it wants. Dumping on Ford for taking resources from cars people don’t want to deploy to cars they do is infantile and ridiculous.

  • avatar
    nguyenvuminh

    I would think the dealers and Ford as a company agree with this approach. The market is turning its back on this type of car so neither parties want to push it on the US market.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I feel like a Focus is maybe $1-2K more than a same trim Fiesta. That $20-40/month gets you substantially more car. Plus the B-segment is getting overrun by more profitable crossovers. I don’t blame Ford at all, this is smart business.

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    When the next gas price shock hits, and it will, Ford will be caught flat footed. They are also, potentially, abandoning a starter car, something that can bring a new car consumer into their brand.

    Personally I have always been a fan of the small car. If, when it comes time to replace my Fiesta ST, Ford doesn’t have the car I want (Fiesta ST, Focus ST or whatever small hot car) I will have to go looking elsewhere – and they have competition who do and will continue to have those cars available.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I’m sure the Focus ST will still be available. The C-segment is doing fine, because for most people it’s right sized and brimming with value. A non-ST Fiesta is just not a good value for most Americans when you have a much nicer Focus just across the showroom. I would wager that with the Fiesta’s worse resale lease rates are equal or in the Focus’ favor too.

      • 0 avatar
        TheEndlessEnigma

        Fiesta ST and Focus ST are very different cars, completely different parts of the hot-hatch market.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          I know, but you said the Focus ST is one of the cars you want. Fiesta ST won’t make sense as a standalone model in the next gen; no way will they sell enough of them to make a profit AND cover the cost of federalization, unless they designed the next platform to a universal standard.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            *shrug* the FiST is basically a “parts bin” car. apart from the branded/badged “ST” appearance parts, the mechanicals are all stuff which was on hand. The engine obviously from the Escape/Kuga and Fusion/Mondeo, the 6 speed transaxle from the Kuga/Mondeo, etc. The FoST and RS are here mostly because Europe was in charge of the development and since the Focus is already federalized the costs of certifying the ST/RS would have to have been pretty low.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      You know, I always read this but two things:

      1. Over the last 50ish years fuel prices have been more or less stable with a couple notable spikes. This excludes short term things like refinery shutdowns and broken pipelines.

      2. People still purchased big cars and trucks when fuel was 4 bucks a gallon. The US is not Europe and will cut other things to pay for fuel in order to drive what they like.

      Yes, during the last spike there were more small cars sold, but the big trucks and other vehicles still dominated, though I will grant you that we saw a move away from large BOF SUV’s though much of that has to do with larger and better unibody car based offerings hitting the street.

      If anything I think we are better suited for a spike. My full sized truck has averaged mid 20’s since I got it. The rig I owned prior to that was around 16. Technology has improved. Yes small cars and hybrids can get phenomenal fuel economy. But the rising tide has lifted all boats and larger vehicles are no longer powered by single digit mpg v8’s.

      So 4-5 dollar a gallon gas failed to substantially shift our buying habits. How high would fuel need to go to do so? In addition to tech the last spike brought fracking mainstream. Bottom line, based on history and the state of the industry I would not be betting on a spike that was harsh or long term enough to move customers to cars like the Fiesta. Given the cost of federalizing a vehicle and the buying during the last spike this doesn’t seem unreasonable.

  • avatar
    omer333

    No!!!! I was hoping to trade in my Accord for a Fiesta ST next year when the lease is up!!!!

  • avatar
    V8biturbo

    The previous Ecosport (not sold in USA or any competitive market since it was crappy) and the current Ecosport (not as crappy as the first gen, but crappy anyway) is based on the current Fiesta.
    There is no way that Ford could replace the current Fiesta with the Ecosport. We are talking to replace one aging car with it´s equaly aged brother. Both, the Fiesta and the Ecosport lacks of space and trunk space, the new Fiesta is bigger to solve this issue, so the new Eco should be bigger and roomier too.
    And a Fiesta New Fiesta necessarily means New Ecosport. Remember the “One Ford” plan?
    Also, the Eco is showing its age against the new competitors like Honda HRV, Renault Captur, Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008, Renegade and many others. Launching a 2017 model based in a 2010 platform is risky, people won´t take much time to discover the trick.

    I believe Ford´s real problem is that they need to invest in the Mexican plant, so they need to wait and see Mr. Trump´s decisions iro Mexican cars. Ford had not a good experience trying to move to Mexico the Focus, so, they´ll think twice before announcing an investment south of the borther. But there´s no way an Eco could be used to replace a new gen Fiesta.

  • avatar
    darex

    I thought the B-Max was meant to be the Fiesta-based “crossover”?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I tried to lease a Fiesta ST the same time Bark got his, with the good lease deals available. The local Ford dealer tried to f*** me over basically, oh everyone wants these, a hot car, we can’t give that deal.

    Ya, really, then why is it in May of 2015 you still have 2014 models sitting on the lot?

    No wonder they are still there. Anyway the fever for a fun manual shifting small car was dead and I opted for nothing.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      Some dealer’s greed ensured you didn’t get the car you really wanted. So, they failed to move product and made no money. Sounds like they made it clear they aren’t about serving the public, but rather about getting rich as fast as they can. And, they made no money by not selling a car that could have sold. Sad state of the car sales biz. OK, a correction: I said sale where you said lease. But still it meant moving a car as opposed to it continuing to sit around.

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    So much for the one world by Ford touted. No it will always be different cars in different countries

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      One Ford only applies to cars sold in multiple markets. Every market has its own flavor, and the US flavor doesn’t like subcompacts (unless they’re crossovers)


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