Ford Fiesta set to be axed

Auto Express understands an announcement is imminent on the Ford Fiesta's production run ending by the middle of 2023

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Rumours are circulating that the Ford Fiesta supermini will be axed from Ford’s line-up, with a briefing outlining the brand’s plans for the big-selling small hatchback scheduled for later this week.

Auto Express understands that select parties will be told of the Fiesta’s demise as well as plans that outline when the Blue Oval’s iconic supermini will go off sale – possibly by the middle of 2023 – as Ford’s march towards full electrification continues.

Auto Express contacted Ford for comment and was told: “We are accelerating our efforts to go all-in on electrification and therefore review our vehicle portfolio in line with our business strategy. We do not comment on speculation and will share more information in the coming months.”

However, while the combustion-engined Fiesta is likely to be phased out, it’s not yet known if the nameplate will die completely or if, in time, the Fiesta could potentially live on as an EV.

Ford is undergoing a huge transition towards a fully electric line-up and confirmed in March this year that its Puma compact SUV will be available as a fully-electric car by 2024. It’s understood that the Puma EV will share components – including elements of its platform – with the Transit Courier and Tourneo Courier electric vans in order to keep pricing affordable and will be built at the same factory as the commercial vehicles in Craiova, Romania.

Given the combustion-engined Puma shares its Global B Small Car platform with the Fiesta, an electric version of Ford’s supermini could potentially move to this new, more affordable platform too. It’s not known at this point if this is technically feasible or if a business decision has been made on this front.

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However, this would in theory help keep the cost of electrifying Ford’s small cars down, a problem many brands are tackling at the moment with models such as the future reborn Renault 5 EV and the Volkswagen Group’s ‘MEB Entry’ cars, the VW ID. Life, Cupra UrbanRebel and Skoda’s forthcoming model on this platform.

Previously speaking to Auto Express on the subject of an all-electric Fiesta, President Ford of Europe and Chief Transformation and Quality Officer Stuart Rowley said: “This will not be the end of the journey. We’ll only sell electric passenger cars by 2030. We look forward to developing future plans.”

Ford’s switch to electric mobility will see its Cologne plant – where the Fiesta is currently built – turned into an EV manufacturing hub that will produce Ford-badged models based on the Volkswagen Group MEB platform for electric cars following a tie-up between the two companies. The first Ford model using this tech is set to go into production next year.

The Fiesta is Britain’s best-selling car ever having shifted more than four million units over its 46-year lifespan so far. The car routinely topped the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders annual registration charts until it was recently overtaken by the Vauxhall Corsa.

The Fiesta didn’t feature in the 2021 top 10 chart and, year-to-date, despite a facelift in late 2021 the model doesn’t feature in the 2022 top 10 list either.

However, Ford’s Puma does rank in this year’s list up to the end of September, in third spot with 27,680 registrations, just 1,662 behind the Vauxhall Corsa in first.

Earlier this year Ford suspended orders for its updated Fiesta (along with the newly facelifted Focus and the Galaxy and S-Max MPVs) citing supply chain issues.

Although both the Fiesta and Focus are back on sale, with greater profit margins on its more popular SUV models such as the Puma and Kuga (the latter seventh in the registration chart year-to-date) it’s likely that Ford has prioritised production of these cars to boost profitability, underpinning a potential decision to axe the Fiesta and continue on with Puma sales as the entry point to the firm’s line-up, along with the EcoSport compact SUV.

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