Iconic supermini reaches the end of the line with Ford after 46 years as buyer preferences shift decisively to SUVs
Ford of Europe tonight confirmed it would discontinue the Fiesta supermini 46 years after the model entered the market in 1976.
The announcement that Fiesta production and sales would end on the car’s home continent comes two months after Ford Australia axed the Fiesta on our shores.
The Fiesta was whittled down to a single ST variant in Australia in recent years
Locally, the Fiesta nameplate was introduced in 2004 and the model enjoyed an 18 year run in Ford’s Australian dealerships, though the range was whittled down to a single ST performance variant in recent years.
Ford of Europe built seven generations of Fiesta, culminating in the seventh-generation Mark VII that was revealed in late 2016.
The Fiesta was a product of Ford of Europe’s Cologne, Germany base in charge of key Europe-market products that also include the Focus, which remains on sale.
Europe received a broad range of Fiesta products, including the cladded Active trim
In Australia, the Fiesta competed in the once-bustling light car segment that has receded to just ten entrants. That field is now dominated by the Chinese-made price-leader MG MG3.
In 2021, Ford Australia sold 342 examples of the Fiesta in single-trim ST guise. Volkswagen sold 5125 Polo units in the same period, while MG managed an astonishing 13,774 MG3 sales.
Released in Australia in 2020, the seventh-generation Fiesta was sold in feisty 147kW ST format only, equipped exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission and five doors.
Latterly priced at $33,490 before on-road costs, the Fiesta ST competed primarily with the Hyundai i20 N ($35,990) and the automatic-only Volkswagen Polo GTI ($38,750), both of which survive.
Fond memories persist of the fifth- and sixth-generation (pictured) Fiesta models
The fifth-generation Fiesta was the most successful generation of the car in Australia. Revealed in August 2002, the car joined the Australian market in 2004 in a broad range of variants that took in the LX, Zetec and Ghia. Later, hotter XR4 trims joined the range.
Later, the sixth-generation model was released locally in 2009 in CL, LX and Zetec trims, plus the hyper-efficient Econetic diesel-manual at a time of high fuel prices during the global financial crisis.
The sixth-generation car introduced the ST flavour that would eventually become the sole remaining Fiesta model on sale locally.
The discontinuation of the Fiesta in Europe leaves the Puma small SUV as the Ford arm’s smallest vehicle. The Puma (from $30,340) is also the entry-level model in Ford Australia’s range.
Ford Fiesta, 1976–2022