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Ford comes back to the small car party with Fiesta

Instead of looking to bigger cars, Ford is going smaller to help spur new car sales growth in North America.

Instead of looking to bigger cars, Ford is going smaller to help spur new car sales growth in North America.


The 2011 subcompact Ford Fiesta is due here next summer after enjoying tremendous success in both Europe and China.


The North American version of the Fiesta is making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show Dec. 2-13.


Based on a platform designed by Mazda (and to be used on the Mazda2 being launched here next year as well), the Fiesta will come in two body styles — a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback. In Europe, only the hatchback is currently offered.


It is the seventh generation of the popular Fiesta line that has been one of the best-selling small cars in Europe for more than three decades. It is coming back to North America after a short stint here in the late ’70s.


To say that the Fiesta is an important car for Ford is an understatement.


As Mark Fields, president Ford Americas puts it, “small cars are our largest opportunity for growth.”


And considering that small cars make up more than a quarter of the entire automotive market, this is a huge segment that Ford has been neglecting for far too many years, concentrating instead on pickups and SUVs.


And considering that small cars make up more than a quarter of the entire automotive market, this is a huge segment that Ford has been neglecting for far too many years, concentrating instead on pickups and SUVs.


Ford now realizes that customers no longer buy small cars based on necessity alone. That may have been the case in the past, particularly south of the border, but in Canada, buyers had been gravitating to small cars in much greater numbers, well before the fuel and credit crises arose.
If sales of the Fiesta in North America mirror those across the pond, Ford has a winner on its hands.

 
 
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