By on September 19, 2014


As one of Europe’s most popular vehicles, the Ford Fiesta’s sales is an interesting datapoint when it comes to looking at the strength of the overall European car market. So it’s interesting that despite a supposed rebound of Europe’s new car market, Ford is cutting Fiesta output at its plant in Cologne, Germany.

Just-Auto is reporting that Ford will cut output for 11 days, despite an overall EU market up 6 percent this year, though key markets like France, Italy and Germany were down slightly. Last year, the Fiesta was Europe’s best-selling small car, and according to Polk registration data, the top-selling subcompact in the world. The aforementioned countries are also key markets for the Fiesta (though the UK, its top market, is still going strong), so Ford won’t be taking this development lightly.

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20 Comments on “Ford Cutting European Fiesta Output On Weak Demand...”

  • avatar

    Darn my oral fixation.

    I just want to squeeze that for some OJ.

  • avatar

    Despite the recent upgrades, the Fiesta is an older design. Softening sales aren’t a surprise.

  • avatar

    Could it be that –if the Euro economy is improving– the usual Fiesta buyers are moving ‘upmarket’ to a Focus or a Mondeo? (assuming they be Ford loyalists…)

    • 0 avatar
      Johannes Dutch

      Probably fierce competition from the (newer) Renault Clio and Peugeot 208. And Renault has its Captur, a CUV fully based on the B-segment Clio. They sell like hot cakes.

      Don’t know about the new Mondeo, we’ll have to see. D-segment sedans and wagons = Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen. Goodbye to the rest, basically.

      • 0 avatar

        Agree, the French are eating away at Fiesta sales. Plus, also the French have hot new really compact crossovers out that could also be enticing traditional Fiesta buyers. Not to mention the emergence of things like Dacia Sandero and even some Hyundai, Skodas and other lower cost cars (VW up!) that have seen growing sales. In that light, I think the Fiesta is adjusting to what would possibly be a smaller compact market.

        Johannes, how about the new French midsizers? Making any dents? The Peugeots specifically with the THPs look like a bargain. As to full-size, one can only wish the Fusion/Mondeo luck. Sad that people would think only the Germans can make large cars.

        • 0 avatar
          Volt 230

          How about the fact that there are much better looking cars available in that segment

          • 0 avatar

            Could well be Volt, though that is not my perception. Being that in Brazil we have followed the fine European tradition in small cars, Brazilian and European tastes in cars are similar, but, of course, not identical. So, I don’t know what the Europeans think of the Fiesta, but Brazilians are all (for the most part) gaga on the Fiesta, especially on the mega mouth one.

        • 0 avatar
          Johannes Dutch

          Marcelo, do you mean the C-segment by midsizers ? The Renault Megane has done very well in the past years, especially the wagon. The Peugeot 308 is still pretty new, but I think it’s the best looking C-segment hatchback right now. As a matter a fact, all current Peugeot models look SO much better than the previous ones.

          The D-segment has become Teutonic territory, just like the E-segment years before. However, if I was in the market for a new D-segment sedan or wagon than it would certainly be a Peugeot 508 with the 2.0 hdi (diesel) engine. I prefer the characteristics of a state-of-the-art diesel to a gasoline engine. And PSA happens to build state-of-the-art diesels.

          The Peugeot 508 is the only non-German sedan that can make a bit of a dent, as you say, in the D-segment. Together with the Citroën DS5, although that’s clearly not a sedan, and the Volvo S60.

          All other brands in this class: wiped off the map.

          • 0 avatar

            Yeah, the C segment is looking competitive for Renault and Peugeot, though they don’t sell in the same numbers as the Focus and Golf, I’m sure. Quite a shame. I drove a new 308 recently and really liked it, spacious and looks good inside and out. The drive seemed very grown-up, too.

            The 508 looks very nice. I drove one with the 2.0, auto, and that was not good. Seems the engine and the transmission did not understand each other all that well. We don’t get it here with the THP 1.6 (IIRC), but that seems to really breathe life into the car. I like the style very much, too. So much so that if I were in the market for this kind of sedan, I’d take a very long hard look at one.

            Seems Peugeot is back, design-wise and even as you mention in engines. They do need to improve their largers gasoline offerings though and use newer autos. The manuals are fine.

  • avatar

    I look at that and wonder where the handle is so I can vacuum with it. Seems like small cars, if they don’t look like door stops, have to look like vacuum cleaners.

  • avatar

    Are they buying more crossovers too? Maybe they would like a nice automatic transmission if they ever tried one too…

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Stagnation and soon to be deflation is going to kill the Euro vehicle market.

    They will have to rely on exports. I bet they will be hoping for an FTA with the US very soon.

    The US will have the upper hand dealing with the EU.

    Like I’ve always stated he who controls the balance of trade controls the world.

    • 0 avatar

      With a softening Yen dragging other Asian currencies with it, and the ever increasing stratification of the US market, sales of anything but the most prestigious plates from Europe here, will be a hard slog. The US Fiesta is 60% Mexican for now, and the Asian market one is Thai made if I’m not wrong.

      Still many UK sourced major components, but I bet those will head for Mexico as well, if B segment demand in the US turns out to be reliably high.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I agree with you regarding the ‘Mexican’ situation.

        Mexico is becoming a major automotive manufacturer.

        I think as we move into the future you’ll see major vehicle assembly hubs globally. Mexico will be one of those hubs.

        Thailand is another.

        The EU must do something to liven up it’s economy. Growth is marginal at the moment and it appears it could go into a deflationary phase.

        Japan is still a very significant economy/market, but it is becoming overshadowed by the Chinese.

        Also, within the East, SE, and South Asian countries you have several medium sized economies. They also seem to be offsetting the Japanese economic woes.

        The Japanese have trouble moving. Since the 18th Century the Japanese industry has been very reliant of government assistance.

        It was probably more reliant than the EU, which really started after the Japanese in economic planning to the same levels.

        I really don’t know where the Japanese will end up. The Chinese and even the SE Asian countries are extremely competitive.

        I’m waiting for the Indians to remove the corruption and red tape hampering better growth. There has been a gradual increase of pressure being applied to the Indian’s by the international (OECD) community for India to come into the 21st Century.

  • avatar

    The market is telling Ford to change the styling (not the content)and lower the price.European economy is slow ,but cannot be blamed for their problems.

  • avatar

    All Ford is doing is managing its European inventory, keeping it line with sales. It’s better than risking the death spiral of overbuilding > discounts > lower transaction prices > lower profits > inadequate capital to develop new models > borrowing > excessive debt load > bankruptcy.

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