By on September 19, 2017

2018 Ford Fiesta ST three-door - Image: FordOver the last seven years, America, you didn’t buy many Ford Fiestas. Fewer than 430,000, in fact. For perspective, in the much smaller United Kingdom market, Ford sold over 500,000 Fiestas in just the last four years.

But the Fiesta’s lack of popularity — and its dramatic loss of popularity in America — is not a unique-to-Ford situation. U.S. sales of subcompact cars plunged by more than a fifth, year-over-year, during the first eight months of 2017. That tumble comes after U.S. sales of subcompact cars declined in 2015 and 2016, as well.

Nevertheless, it comes as no surprise that Ford, after exploring America’s affordable avenues for one generation of Fiesta, isn’t bringing the seventh-generation version to America. And now we have confirmation that there is absolutely no hope the next-gen Ford Fiesta ST will come stateside, either.

It was a pie-in-the-sky idea to begin with, based on Ford’s desire to parlay its highly regarded performance models into a broader reputation for building fun cars.

“It’s simply a matter of a lack of interest in the B-segment in America,” Leo Roeks tells CarBuzz. Roeks is Ford’s director of performance in Europe. “It doesn’t make sense, nor is it possible financially speaking, to import a single trim level, and a niche one at that.”2016 Ford Fiesta ST - Image: FordMaking matters worse, the next-gen Ford Fiesta ST is quite likely going to be even better than the departing model: more powerful, more comfortable, more efficient, arguably more attractive, more driving modes. TTAC was an unabashed fan of the 2014-2017 Fiesta ST, a rare car that Ford initially hoped to sell at a rate of roughly 10,000 per year in the U.S.. (Ford sells roughly 16,000 F-Series pickups per week in America.) In fact, you’ll find a Fiesta ST in our long-term reports, where cars are paid for with our own real money. Moreover, there’s another Fiesta long-termer that was paid for by TTAC’s former managing editor.

But that’ll be the end. As Ford’s Leo Roeks says, America’s lack of interest in the subcompact segment is obvious, and investing in that segment must be done purely on the basis of grabbing consumers at the earliest point. Some automakers believe that’s essential. But it’s a long-term approach deemed unnecessary by others.

The good news? According to Cars.com, there are still more than 1,000 new Ford Fiesta STs in stock at dealers across America. Get one while you still can.

No, seriously. Go get one.

[Image: Ford Europe]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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39 Comments on “Put Those Next-Gen Ford Fiesta ST Dreams to Bed, America – It’s Not Happening...”


  • avatar
    Sloomis

    Ford wants to sell higher-margin EcoSports so Fiesta had to go.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    ““It’s simply a matter of a lack of interest in the B-segment in America””

    Perhaps, but a working automatic transaxle works wonders at the same time.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      If you’re talking about the earlier models, I’d agree. But Ford’s dramatically improved the DCT in this car and the Focus in the last couple of years. It’s not really an issue anymore.

      (Unfortunately, they fixed the one truly deal-killing fault in these cars right as sales in these segments began to crater…)

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        People also pay most attention to coverage of cars when they’re new models. If you’re Ford, who regularly burns early adopters, by the time you’ve beta tested your garbage on your core customers, nobody is paying attention to reports that MyFord Touch doesn’t need to be rebooted every five miles anymore, or you’ve replaced your defective CVT with a conventional automatic, or your auto-tragic attempt at a dry clutch automatic isn’t turning your compacts into trailer-park yard art at a rate unmatched since the Hyundai Excel… That nobody is buying Fiestas and Focuses is good news for consumers. Having driven a number of them, I can’t believe what some people will put up with.

      • 0 avatar
        scott25

        @freed we have a 2017, and “fixed” isn’t the word I would use to describe the transmission. It’s still not pleasant.

    • 0 avatar
      gmichaelj

      What would be interesting is some explanation from Mr. Cain, or Ford, on how Ford justifies the Capital Investment to make a small car and exclude the US market.

      How does this fit within the ONE FORD concept?

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        One Ford does not in anyway mean that they will sell all of their vehicles in all of the countries they do business in. It just means that for any given segment or sub-segment they will only build one basic body but that doesn’t mean that it will not be tailored to the individual market.

        The real question would be why would they offer it in a country where it is not profitable.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        It fits about as well as justifying the capital investment to make an infinite ft-lb diesel dully, only to exclude the entire rest of the world…..

        From Ford, Euros buys Fiestas. Americans Buy dullys. So that’s what each respective market gets.

      • 0 avatar
        Magnusmaster

        One Ford is dead. South America and possibly China aren’t getting the new Fiesta, at least not yet. What a bummer.

  • avatar
    ACCvsBig10

    The only thing the fiesta st really competes with is the focus st and they both used to be similiarly priced a few years ago.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Problem with these ST cars is they’re a lot of money for a little car and they prices aren’t known to be particularly flexible. Maybe that strategy works in Europe, but not here.

    • 0 avatar
      TheEndlessEnigma

      I don’t know about that, I bought by 2016 FiestaST in March last year, fully loaded (minus Recaro seats) and paid $21200 for it (60000 mile extended warranty, tax/tag/title included).

      Pricing was extremely flexible.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I’ve seen Focus STs advertised for not much more than that…

        • 0 avatar
          TheEndlessEnigma

          The advertised price and the deal you’re going to work are very different things. My car showed, on cars.com, a price of $15,300 but that included every potential rebate that could possible be applied to the car (lease conquest, military, student, black russian midget hooker, factory rebate, one-armed puerto rican, etc).

    • 0 avatar
      NG5

      I bought a Fiesta ST so I thought about this a while ago. While Focus ST discounts brought it close in price, the Focus was a very big car and I didn’t want to pay daily for driving more car than I needed. And cars like the GTI and BRZ were a bit more expensive and didn’t provide me with the same sense of all-the-time fun as the Fiesta did when I drove them. Plus, in the Fiesta ST, 87 octane fuel is recommended and the car is pretty efficient around town. And since I street park every day, having a smaller car than my previous car is a major improvement to my parking life.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        the Focus was a very big car…

        Your reasons are your reasons but to paraphrase Paul Hogan:

        “That’s not a big car, Mate. This is a big car.”

        https://tinyurl.com/y8dxsf2d

      • 0 avatar
        brenschluss

        87 octane is OK; 91+/93 is recommended if you don’t want your engine timing perpetually retarded.

        • 0 avatar
          NG5

          “We recommend regular unleaded gasoline with a pump (R+M)/2 octane rating of 87. Some fuel stations offer fuels posted as regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating below 87, particularly in high altitude areas. We do not recommend fuels with an octane rating below 87.
          For vehicles with EcoBoost engines, to provide improved performance, we recommend premium fuel for severe duty usage such as trailer tow.”

          So saith the manual that shipped with it anyway. I have run tanks of 91 and 93 without noting much difference in MPG or around town performance. I will spend the .50 cents per gallon if I’m going to romp on the car for a while, but not if I’m puttering around doing errands.

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            From the supplementary ST-only manual:

            Horsepower 197 hp @ 6350 RPM on 93 octane
            Torque 202 lb-ft @ 4200 RPM on 93 octane

            Required fuel. Minimum 87 octane

            87 is fine, but it will pull timing. I did not find the difference subtle, and only use 93 in the car.

        • 0 avatar
          NG5

          Not sure why I can’t reply to your other reply, but fair enough on using 93 all the time. I brought it up in the context of being able to use 87 fuel as another potential cost advantage of the car.

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            Absolutely true. Don’t get me wrong it’s not like it’s not a fun car with a tank of 87, I’m just a pedant.

        • 0 avatar
          NG5

          Haha, well I appreciate the reminder that I am probably shortchanging myself on power if I don’t use 93. I’m definitely going to put 93 in on the next tank and really push to see if I can feel the difference. I’ve been in mostly cooler weather without anything else in the car at all. I’m not an engineer so I wouldn’t know if some conditions make it pull timing on 87 more than others – or maybe I am just not that perceptive of it. And on the times I’ve really planned to drive harder for an extended time I have used 93 anyway.

          In the past I’ve taken the rear spare and jack out, and even pulled the rear seatbacks out since it is quick to do, and that amount of weight felt like it made a big difference in terms of acceleration. That’s a under 100 lbs., I figure given the full sized spare and what I’ve seen others say about similar things, so again, I could be imagining it.

          Yet it’s been a fun car even when I filled it full of stuff and hung a bike rack on the back to move, so what can I say.

      • 0 avatar
        Higheriq

        I agree – when I bought my 15 fiesta ST a couple of years ago, I had concluded that the Focus was WAY larger than what I wanted. And after pricing both, the Focus was ~$4000 more.

    • 0 avatar
      axon890

      Are you in Canada? I’ve owned both a Focus And Fiesta ST. Didn’t pay anything close to MSRP for either from different dealers in Texas.

  • avatar
    bobmaxed

    There are very few bigger cars that I would prefer over my FiST at Any Price!

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    It would be better for Ford if they just expanded the Sport lineup in North America. Especially an Escape Sport.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      That would make sense, either with the 2.0 tuned to FoST levels for a mild Sport or a detuned 2.3 ecoboost making around 300hp, I imagine if it fits into the RS it should fit into an Escape. Maybe next generation.

      That’s really the only high volume model that doesn’t have a Sport trim at this point anyway.

  • avatar

    I have just under 44,000 miles on my 2015 with trouble free use. It is more fun & performance per $ spent than anything else on the road.

  • avatar
    TwoBelugas

    I would be more inclined to get one if the roads here were maintained with the gas taxes the state collects. But since the state, counties and municipalities insist on diverting the money to subsidize buses and bicycles, I opted to daily drive something that doesn’t get swallowed by serious potholes that dot the roads.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    Yeah, well, America. You get the F 150s, we get the Fiestas. That’s just the way it is.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    But it’s funny that the dealer order guides DO list a 2018 Fiesta and ST, but they are carryovers of the 2017 models.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Perhaps if they hadn’t put in that crappy DCT that everyone complains about, they could have sold tons more. It’s troublesome and unpleasant to drive.

  • avatar
    brenschluss

    What I’ve read, and what rings true in ownership, is that Ford didn’t have a strict benchmark for this revision of this car. It is effectively a buck-wild economy car with great seats, and I was only convinced to buy it by others having fun.

    But, it operates with a purity of purpose that belies its roots, and implies its details were tuned by a small number of people with an earnest goal, and I think they ended up making a really cool thing.

    If definitions matter, it’s not a sports car, in my opinion simply because it will flip over too easily (it doesn’t take much tire to find this out.) But as a tool to get the bread and milk where size matters, it’s the tops.

  • avatar
    AKADriver

    Once again I’m reminded that as far as cars are concerned, I’m either not a real person or just not an American. I don’t exist, my dollars might as well not exist.

  • avatar
    barryfaetheus

    Well, I figure this can only help the value of my 2014 FiST. Plan to hang onto it for a few years, keep it clean, and I expect there will be some demand.

  • avatar
    rolando

    Have Lincoln import is as a “BFX” or something! See if the buyers will pay for higher import costs?!?

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