Ford Fiesta production to end today

1 year ago - 7 July 2023, autocar
Ford Fiesta production to end today
Last example of the UK's most popular supermini to roll off production line after 47 years

The final Ford Fiesta will roll off the production line today, Friday 7 July, following the company's decision late last year to axe the popular supermini.

It brings 47 years and eight generations of the Fiesta to an end.

The final two Fiestas will remain with Ford. One will join the firm’s international heritage fleet, based at the Cologne, Germany, plant where the model was produced, and the other is bound for the UK heritage fleet.

The Fiesta was axed because the brand “needed the space in the factory” to produce the upcoming Ford Explorer electric SUV, Martin Sander, general manager of Ford Model E Europe, told Autocar in December 2022.

“We decided to build our first high-volume electric vehicle here in Cologne,” said Sander. “There comes the point where we need the space for construction, because we are turning the Fiesta plant into a fully battery-electric plant. This is why we had to make a decision that we have to stop Fiesta production.”

The Cologne EV centre – Ford’s first carbon-neutral factory – officially opened on 12 June.

The Fiesta regularly featured in the UK’s annual list of top 10 best-selling cars since its 1976 launch and held the top spot between 2009 and 2020 – the longest ever run of consecutive years on top.

In 2021, however, the Fiesta fell out of the top 10 altogether as the Covid-19 pandemic hit supply chains. Many manufacturers were forced to divert their stock of parts away from less profitable small cars and towards more bountiful crossovers and SUVs. When Ford paused Fiesta orders in June 2022, it cited the shortage of semiconductors as having created a six-month backlog for the supermini.

The Puma crossover has effectively replaced the Fiesta in the Blue Oval’s line-up and has itself found success: it was the brand’s best-seller in the UK in 2021, and the nation’s fourth best-seller in 2022.

That is not to say that the Fiesta declined in popularity, because it has regularly featured in the UK’s top 10 best-sellers throughout the first five months of 2023, and remains the top choice for the used car market.

The Fiesta is one of several long-running Ford models to have been axed as the brand gears up for full-scale electrification: the final S-Max and Galaxy MPVs rolled off the line in April 2023, and production of the Focus hatchback is set to end in 2025.

The company expects to sell 600,000 EVs annually by 2026 under its Ford Model E division, which operates separately from its ICE car and commercial vehicle divisions (Ford Blue and Ford Pro, respectively).

Ford previously stated that it will sell only EVs in Europe from 2030.

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