The End of an Era
Everyone of a certain age has memories of the Ford Fiesta, either as their first car, or their family car whilst growing up - even Top Gears’ Paddy McGuinness recalled recently on the show his fond memories of his Dad’s bright yellow Ford Fiesta, so it may come as quite a surprise that Ford are stopping production of the iconic Fiesta early in 2023. Here at Vehicle Contracts we have our own fond memories of the Ford Fiesta and feel like it's the end of an era.
The History of the Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta has been around in the UK since 1976 and is best known for its affordability and fuel efficiency. It has basked in its glory for many decades. Ford updated the Fiesta several times, each time making them a little bit bigger and more powerful engines. The Fiesta was created in a few guises, a luxury saloon car, and a spacious family hatchback. There was even a limited edition convertible for a while in the early 1980s, the Fiesta Fly.
The Fiesta has always pushed the limits and shown drivers that you can get more out of your car. Constantly moving with the times, it was created to initially fill a gap in the market for an affordable and economical car. The Fiesta Mk1 hit that mark and went from strength to strength.
Each update from Ford made the Fiesta just that bit more desirable. The bigger exterior and interior, the increased wheelbase, the larger engine, the 5 door Mk3 in 1989 and the cutting edge technology of airbags and ABS as standard in the Mk4 in 1996.
The eco-boost engine was introduced in 2009 and was created for the sole purpose of producing a more environmentally friendly car. The ECOnetic Fiesta was the first small car in the UK to feature this technology, creating a smaller but more powerful engine and producing fewer greenhouse gases. However, environmentally, that is where Ford stopped with the Fiesta, favouring other models they were manufacturing to showcase as electric vehicles.
Discontinuing a National Treasure
The Fiesta has been top of the UK chart for 12 years running between 2009 and 2020, but now after 4 and half decades Ford are deciding to shelve the Fiesta in order to concentrate on electric cars. Earlier this year they stopped the production of the 3 door Fiesta and also announced that they would stop making the S-Max and the Galaxy next year along with the Fiesta.
Some might say that is comes as no surprise that Ford are withdrawing the Fiesta, as currently it does not fit he companies mandate - to be fully electric by 2030. Ford appears to be pushing other models, like the Corsa who were in direct competition with the Fiesta and out ranked the Fiesta for the first time last year in sale, with a significant number of those coming from the electric Corsa, an area that the Fiesta just couldn’t compete with.
The Future’s Electric
Ford sees the future as being fully electric, having promised to make at least three new purely electric vehicles, and the Fiesta will be the last of the internal combustion engines to roll off production. Ford have big plans for their manufacturing site in Cologne, where they have plans to create a new mid-sized battery powered crossover.
It's clear to see that Ford aren’t giving up and are working really hard to ensure that the vehicles that they do produce have cutting edge technology. They acknowledge that today's customers not only want a nice looking and reliable car that is kind to the environment, they also want the interior of the car to have technology at their fingertips. Ford has hinted that their new in-car software will be updated with over the air updates, ensuring that the software and technology evolve with the car, meaning that a car's life span can be extended.
Can the Fiesta be replaced?
However, all that aside, it will be a sad day for many when the last Fiesta is rolled off the ramp next year. Fiesta fitted a niche, the first time young buyer or the second family car used for school runs and shopping trips. It will be interesting to see what takes its place, viable electric options are the Renault Zoe or the Fiat 500, all of which are small hatchbacks that are economical and environmentally friendly.
Old Fiestas may still be around for a while, the second hand market may be just the place to relive your old childhood memories and share that with your own children and family. The original Fiesta is not something that the younger generation will experience, the next generation is more environmentally conscious and more tech-savvy, wanting a lot more at their fingertips than a simple radio dial.