New Ford Fiesta-Based SUV Will Replace EcoSport, Could Be Called Puma

Earlier this year we brought you the first spy shots of a mystery new SUV for Europe.

All we knew at the time was that it was based on the latest Fiesta and would launch in European markets in 2020. We now have fresh details about the B-segment SUV, courtesy of a new report from Automotive News Europe that sheds more light on the project.

Citing French analyst firm Inovev, the report claims the small SUV will be built at Ford’s plant in Craiova, Romania and could be called Puma. Last year, Ford applied for a couple of trademarks for the Puma moniker in Australia and New Zealand. In Europe, Ford sold a Puma small coupe (also based on the Fiesta) between 1997 and 2002.

According to the same source, the new SUV is scheduled to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September as a replacement for the EcoSport. Since the EcoSport currently sold in European markets is built at the Craiova plant as well, these new pieces of the puzzle seem to fall into place.

Europe’s Puma will be a distinct model from the “baby Bronco” that will launch in the United States in the coming years. However, the rugged compact SUV could come to Europe later on as a Jeep Renegade rival. Ford has announced that higher-riding cars will be central to its restructuring plans in Europe as the company strives for consistent profitability in the region.

“Crossovers and SUVs are an area consumers are moving towards and we will continue to grow and develop that business,” Ford of Europe CEO Steve Armstrong said earlier this month when the company announced its latest restructuring plan for Europe. Ford will focus on SUVs and commercial vehicles in Europe and will quit the MPV segment.

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Photo credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for Carscoops

  • Loquacious Borborygmus
    • designer_dick

      The Puma wasn’t a commercial success, and, just like the Fiesta it was based on, the rustproofing was pretty shoddy for a late ’90s car. A friend had a 2001 Y-plate model as her daily driver for a few years, and it was a very nice little car until the floorpan started rusting through and it had to be scrapped.

      • Loquacious Borborygmus

        It didn’t do too badly for a small coupe. I agree about rust though.
        The interior disappointed after that exterior but what a great handling little car.

      • Shtekeris

        Yeah, great fun, but mine rusted to bits as well…

        • designer_dick

          It’s an inherent weakness of all the cars built on the Fiesta platform of that era, but it seems to be especially noticeable on the Puma and the Ka.

      • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

        Sounds like most 1990s Fords. Where any of them actually rustproofed? Everything from the Ka to the Mondeo were a total joke.

    • YUDHA BAGASKARA

      puma is quite overlooked. It won’t spark another disappointment if ford really named the upcoming suv a puma unlike mitsubishi’s eclipse cross

      • Loquacious Borborygmus

        I quite agree.
        A Puma however is a lithe big cat not a dumpy hatchback suv.

        • Paul

          Here kitty, kitty, kitty.

    • Paul

      The other?

      • Loquacious Borborygmus

        One of these things is not like the other

        • Paul

          I’m being a smart A** sorry to stir you up like that 😉

          • Loquacious Borborygmus

            Fill your boots. It bothers me not.😀

  • Merc1

    And give it a real engine please. The Ecosport is just a sad joke. A small pickup will also come from this, per the rumor mill so it *appears* that Ford knows what they’re doing.

    M

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    I really hope they take their time with this one.

    The current Ecosport was a terrible, awful vehicle. Easily one of the worst new products that Ford has released in the past 20 years. It was a vehicle for developing markets and everything about it felt like it was. Inexcusably awful.

    • designer_dick

      The EcoSport is the worst car Ford has offered in Europe since the dark, dark days of the miserable Mk III Fiesta and the almost unbelievably appalling Mk V Escort. Reviving the Puma name for the EcoSport’s replacement is a stroke of genius, as while the original Puma might not have been a resounding sales success, it is incredibly fondly remembered.

    • Dennis Scipio

      I haven’t driven the current EcoSport so I have no opinion not much to say on how it drives to make such as statement.

  • YUDHA BAGASKARA

    see? cars which were built in developing countries will never work in western europe

  • charlotteharry57

    Please stop asserting that everything Ford has under development is not for the US. This one (and the Courier) is most certainly destined for the US, since the EcoSport is a laugh. And a half.

  • Mr. EP9

    Thank goodness too. That replacement can’t come soon enough.

  • Finkployd

    Good, it already looks better than the Ecosport

  • Christian

    Just like the Eclipse Cross, takes a name from their sportscar…JEZZ

  • Paul

    This is on going. Reminding me of the late Paul Harvey. “Now we know the rest of the story” is what he always used to say.

  • Shtekeris

    Whaaa… as an ex owner of Puma, I disapprove this message.

  • Mr_Fanta_Pants

    Add Australia to the list.

  • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

    Ford Pooma.

  • ME

    I thought the sub-Bronco will be called the Puma in certain markets. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c5bfa26d9db2165da0d96ec59b98b8eff8bb69c5be0f6491c8581a3ff56a3e6c.png

  • MarketAndChurch

    Ford really needs this in the European market but it also needs this in the US to replace Fiesta and Focus sales. Plus, Ford needs an entry level model that starts below $16,000.

  • MarketAndChurch

    Ford really needs this in the European market but it also needs this in the US to replace Fiesta and Focus sales. Plus, Ford needs an entry level model that starts below $16,000.

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