Confirmed: Ford Fiesta to be axed in 2023

1 year, 7 months ago - 27 October 2022, autocar
Confirmed: Ford Fiesta to be axed in 2023
American car giant took decision over supermini's waning popularity; S-Max and Galaxy also culled

Ford has confirmed that it will axe the Fiesta from its line-up next year.

Production of the Ford Fiesta at its factory in Cologne, Germany, will stop by the end of June, bringing to an end 47 years and eight generations of the iconic supermini.

The American giant also confirmed that production of Ford S-Max and Ford Galaxy will come to an end in April. Both MPVs are currently produced at Ford's plant in Valencia, Spain.

Ford's statement, released this morning, read: "At Ford in Europe, we are accelerating our efforts to go all-in on electrification with our passenger vehicles being fully electric by 2030 – and all vehicles across our Ford portfolio by 2035.

"As we get ready to transition to an electric future, we will discontinue production of S-Max and Galaxy in Valencia, Spain, in April 2023 and discontinue Fiesta production in Cologne, Germany, by end of June 2023.

"We will introduce three new exciting electric passenger vehicles and four new electric commercial vehicles in Europe by 2024. We plan to sell more than 600,000 electric vehicles in the region by 2026, and the electric passenger vehicle production at the Cologne Electrification Centre will reach 1.2 million vehicles over a six-year timeframe."

The news comes as the supermini has struggled in British sales charts in recent years, with buyers flocking to the rival Vauxhall Corsa – the UK’s best-selling car in 2021 – and the Ford Puma crossover.

The Puma is the third-best-selling model in the UK so far this year, trailing only the Nissan Qashqai and the Corsa.

Meanwhile, the Fiesta doesn't feature in the top 10 to date, despite a recent facelift. 

This trend is mirrored in Europe: according to data from Jato Dynamics, Fiesta sales by the end of August were down 45% compared with 2021 levels, at 38,911 units.

Meanwhile, Puma sales were down 14% compared with the same point in 2021, at 90,893 units.

In August alone, the Puma placed 12th for European sales, with 9891 examples leaving showrooms. The Fiesta failed to place in the top 50, at just 2735 units.

It was speculated earlier this year that Ford earns more from Lego licensing deals than the hatchback.

This confirmation follows June’s news that production of the larger Ford Focus will come to an end in 2025, without a direct successor tipped for production.

It's instead expected to be replaced by an electric crossover – one of four new EVs due by 2024 – to sit between the Puma EV and the existing Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Arriving in 2023, this model may be based on the Volkswagen ID 4 and be built at Ford’s new state-of-the-art EV manufacturing centre in Cologne, Germany.

A similar model, expected to be a coupé-bodied sports SUV based on the Volkswagen ID 5, will follow the year after.

Ford of Europe boss Stuart Rowley said in March: “Let me assure you these products will absolutely look like Fords, drive like Fords and the experiences that we provide will give customers unique purchase and ownership experiences.

The company expects to sell some 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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