- The Fiesta sold 60,148 units in 2019, a number not surpassed since 2015.
- Despite continued interest, Ford is discontinuing the Fiesta in the U.S.
- Yet a sexy redesigned Fiesta is on sale in Europe and other markets.
Ford, hear us out on this one. You really had us excited for a minute. You kept yourselves afloat during the 2008 recession while your neighbors begged for help. You started giving Americans what they really wanted: good cars. The subcompact 2011 Fiesta was met with initial skepticism in America, but it turned out to be loved by many. Following this European export, the 2012 Focus, despite its transmission woes, was great looking, drove well, and provided a good value to entry-level buyers and enthusiasts alike. Then you really turned up the heat with ST variants of both, a wicked Raptor F-150, and gorgeous 2015 Mustang. By the time you gave us the forbidden fruit, the Focus RS, you had us completely wrapped around your fingers. But then, just like that, the honeymoon was over.
The announcement came in April of 2018: Ford would no longer sell passenger cars to the United States market. Other than the Mustang (Ford isn’t that stupid), everything we worked for went up in smoke. Nearly a decade of earning the trust of enthusiasts, brand loyalists, and general car shoppers alike was tossed away. Ford promised a continued dedication to the enthusiast spirit, but their latest offerings, the Edge ST and Explorer ST, really feel like they’re just going through the motions.
Nearly two years after Ford’s announcement, you’d think sales numbers would show that dropping passenger cars was the right call, right? Not in the case of the Fiesta. Ford has continued to produce the now-eight-year-old Fiesta and sell it in America, even though other markets have a hot new model. And yet, the Fiesta sold just over 60,000 units in 2019, more than 2016, 2017, and 2018. In fact, it was less than 11,000 units under its peak year of 2013. Sure, the Fiesta was never a sales leader, and the margins are likely small, but entry-level cars don’t serve that purpose. In many cases, they’re an introduction to the brand, building lifelong customers of more expensive vehicles. They also serve a niche of buyers who just enjoy small cars, whether for driving circumstances, pleasure, or efficiency.
Not only is the Fiesta still a strong seller in Ford’s portfolio, in 2019 it outsold every other subcompact car in the US aside from the Nissan Versa, which was the cheapest car on the market. That means that Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, and Chevrolet are all losing to Ford, and yet they still see worth in building and selling these cars to the American people.
The most frustrating part is that Ford is still making a Fiesta for other markets! By all reports, it remains an excellent product. Maybe Ford’s bean counters calculated that selling the Fiesta in the U.S. won’t make them enough money, but there’s more at play than raw figures. In axing the Fiesta, Ford is alienating 60,000 new car buyers a year. It looks like their garages will be filled with other brands from now on.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see a reversal in Ford’s decision anytime soon. But we tried to tell you, Ford. We fell in love with how you were in 2015, and we just want to go back. It doesn’t have to be this way, and 60,000 people just spoke with their pocketbooks. Please listen.