RIP, Ford Fiesta? Blue Oval Exec Says 2018 Model Isn't Coming to America
After months of speculation as to the fate of the Ford Fiesta in North America, as well as months of hazy non-answers from communications staff, Ford Motor Company’s B-segment program manager, Robert Stiller, has stated that the subcompact car segment in Dearborn is dead.
No more Ford Fiesta.
After going on sale in the U.S. in mid-2010 as a 2011 model, the Fiesta’s American seems destined to end this year. Buyers in Europe and overseas — always a reliable draw for itty-bitty cars — are guaranteed a seventh-generation model. Oh boy, do they ever receive a new model. The 2018 Fiesta bows not just as a three- or five-door hatch, but also in luxurious Vignale and soft-roading Active trims.
Over here? Hug your 1.0-liter EcoBoosts tightly and shed a tear, Fiesta fans. The little guy appears doomed for the chopping block. Can Ford interest you in a subcompact crossover?
According to Romanian automotive website 0-100.ro (via Autoevolution), Ford knows where the Fiesta’s real fans live. As such, there didn’t seem much use in shipping the revamped model to countries where sales are dropping fast.
Stiller told the Romanians, “the previous model was a global Ford product, and with the new generation, we are targeting only Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In North America, especially the U.S., China, and Latin America, the demand for such vehicles is declining, and we are reacting accordingly.”
We reached out to Ford for comment and received a response we’ve grown accustomed to hearing. “Fiesta continues to play an important role in our portfolio,” said Mike Levine, Ford’s North American product communications manager. “We’ll have more to say about Fiesta in markets outside of Europe at a later date.”
So, no official confirmation yet, even as the company’s website updates its models (except for one) to reflect 2018 specifications.
There’s no doubt as to the Fiesta’s dire sales situation. The model makes up less than 2 percent of Ford’s U.S. volume, and less than 1 percent of Canada’s. Its best sales year in the U.S., 2013, saw over 71,000 Fiesta sedans and hatchbacks sold, compared to 48,807 moved in 2016. North of the border, it’s even worse. The Fiesta peaked early in Canada, posting its best sales figures in 2011 before declining precipitously every year since. From over 13,000 sales in 2011, Fiesta demand in Canada fell to just over 3,000 in 2016. In 2017, first-half sales figures show just over 1,000 Fiestas sold.
Even the hot-hatch Fiesta ST isn’t enough to stimulate overall sales. Meanwhile, the subcompact segment decreases in market share year after year, muscled out by crossovers of every size and description. Is it any wonder why outlets like TTAC smelled the grim stench of death surrounding the pint-sized model?
Even overseas, the Fiesta’s standing isn’t safe. Stiller also said Ford plans to drop the slow-selling sedan bodystyle, focusing instead on a newly diverse hatch lineup.
Assuming the Ford exec was lucid at the time of his statements to the Romanian auto press, it looks like the 2018 EcoSport — a subcompact crossover hastily dragged to America from overseas markets — will become the country’s sole Blue Oval B-segment offering. Not surprisingly, the Ecosport shares the same platform as the Fiesta, as well as its 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder (in base trim). Those wanting brawny four-cylinder power have the option of a 2.0-liter engine powering all four wheels.
The EcoBoost arrives in an almost certainly Fiesta-less Ford lineup in early 2018.
[Image: Ford Motor Company]
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