Ford is in the process of rolling out a new Fiesta, replacing the B-segment supermini that had been around for nearly a decade. We were the first to report that Ford might not offer the new Fiesta in the North American market a few months back and now there is a second report saying the same thing.
Speaking with the Romanian site 0-100, Fiesta program manager Robert Stiller indicated that the new hatchback could be kept out of the US.
“The previous model was a global Ford product, and with the new generation we are targeting only Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” said Stiller. “In North America, especially in the US, China and Latin America, the demand for such cars is declining, and we are reacting accordingly.” That would ostensibly include the firecracker Fiesta ST hot hatch as well, we’re sorry to say.
While the move may come as a surprise, the reasoning shouldn’t. Ford sold fewer than 50,000 Fiestas in America last year, compared to the 70,000 it has sold in recent years. Part of that could come down to the Fiesta’s age, but any way you look at it, the numbers pale in comparison to the next-size-up Focus, of which Ford sells some 200,000 in the US each year.
While rival GM offers the tiny Chevy Spark and Sonic hatchbacks, FCA has largely withdrawn from the small-car segments, discontinuing the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 while offering only the Fiat 500. The rest of the market is made up mostly of imports like the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent, and Kia Rio. Not every foreign automaker competes in the low-margin segment, however: both Mazda2 and Volkswagen Polo keep away from the US market, where automakers have responded to demand by focusing more on crossovers than on little hatchbacks.
Whether the reports of the Fiesta’s departure from American shores ultimately prove correct, the likelihood is that the somewhat ungainly Fiesta sedan won’t resurface in this generation.