The Disappearance of the Ford Fiesta
When you're up, you're up. And when you're down, you're down. The Ford Fiesta enjoyed one heck of a ride as Britain's favourite car, topping the vehicle sales charts for 12 years in a row. But all good things must come to an end, and the Fiesta has, somewhat surprisingly, been discontinued. 😮 With that in mind, we look at the disappearance of the Ford Fiesta, including why and how it happened, as well as what comes next.
Is the Ford Fiesta no Longer Produced?
The month is October, the date is the 26th, and the day is Wednesday. That's when Ford announced the end of the Fiesta after 47 years of production over seven different generations. As of June 2023, the Fiesta will be removed from dealerships, and we'll say goodbye to one of Britain's favourite cars.
The Fiesta is Over
For years, the Fiesta topped the charts for new cars sold. Indeed, it was often considered the perfect starter car for first-time drivers. In 2015, figures produced by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that the Fiesta sold 133,000 new units, 41,000 more than its closest competitor, the Vauxhall Corsa. That's 45% more Ford Fiesta sales.
The good times are over, however. The following five years saw its margin of superiority end, with 2020 producing just 49,000 car registrations for the Fiesta. Then, in 2021, the Fiesta dropped out of the top ten sales charts altogether and hasn't returned.
What Happened to the Ford Fiesta?
So, what happened to the Ford Fiesta?
For starters, a global shortage of semi-conductor chips hit the entire car industry in 2021. That's a big deal because modern cars are stacked with chips, and what was left needed to be used sparingly, according to Ford spokesman John Gardiner.
He said, "We had to prioritise commercial vehicles, customer orders and newer products such as Puma and Kuga, and consequently sold less of our traditional models such as the Fiesta and Focus".
Profits Not Matching Sales
Despite the Fiesta selling like hotcakes, Ford's profit margin could have read better. Understandably, the automaker wanted to focus its efforts on sales that produce the best return.
The Fiesta didn't generate big profits, as it was often the vehicle of choice for first-time drivers or those looking for a second car in the household. In other words, it was popular with buyers on tighter budgets looking for a good cheap car deal.
The New Kid on the Block and an Old Foe
Over the years, mini SUVs have become the go-to car for many drivers. They offer the style of a larger SUV but are more compact and affordable. The Ford Puma, a mini-SUV, was released in early 2020 to rip-roaring success. In fact, it was so popular that it dented the sales of the Fiesta.
Beyond that – and perhaps more concerning for Ford – the Vauxhall Corsa continues to sell well. For years, the Corsa was the Fiesta's fiercest rival, and in 2021 it became the first non-Ford car to top the sales charts.
An Electric revolution
Electric cars continue to be in high demand from motorists, but unlike its competitors, there's no electric Fiesta on the market. Moreover, Ford cited its focus on electric cars as one of the reasons behind the decision to halt production of the Fiesta. Ford has committed to fully electrifying its models by 2026, and the Fiesta won't be part of the lineup.
Does the Ford Fiesta Have a Future?
For now, the answer is a resounding "no". It looks like the Fiesta hasn't evolved with the public, and it's time to say goodbye to a vehicle that's had one of the best runs in the business after its launch in 1976. Some 16 million sales later, the Ford Fiesta joins other heavyweights in the scrap yard (hello, BMW Z8).
Still, you never know what the future holds. Don't rule out Ford bringing the Fiesta back in the future, perhaps as a special edition. In the meantime, you can still pick up a Fiesta on the second-hand used car market. All is not lost if you want to get behind the wheel of this classic.
One of the best runs in the business has come to an end, but Ford fans needn't worry. With great cars like the Puma and the all-time classic Focus, plenty of options are still available. And if you're a new driver, the small car market is booming with a wide range of options available. So, say goodbye to the Fiesta and hello to the cars of the future. 👋 🚗