The Ford Fiesta could be scrapped as early as next year, according to new reports on the future of the Blue Oval’s model range.
The perennial best-seller, which has sold more than 4.8 million units in the UK over a 46-year lifespan, is understood to be under threat as the brand moves from combustion engines to a fully electrified line-up. Ford has stated that its entire passenger car range will be fully electric by 2030 and its commercial line-up fully electric by 2035.
Ford has already confirmed that there is no space in its future line-up for the larger Focus or Mondeo and, according to Auto Express, the Fiesta could face the same fate as early as mid-2023, with an announcement “imminent” as focus turns to more profitable larger crossovers and SUVs. The Cologne plant where the Fiesta is currently built is undergoing a £1.5 billion overhaul to turn it into the brand’s European EV manufacturing hub.
Although Ford could go on producing petrol-powered Fiestas until 2029, the marque is targeting a swift move towards electric models and the rising popularity and better profitability of crossovers make this an unlikely prospect. While the Fiesta is Britain’s best-selling car ever, its popularity has slipped in the last two years and it has been out-sold this year by the Puma crossover. The brand’s first wave of EVs are all also larger crossover/SUV models.
Its first pure EV - the Mustang Mach-e - is a large family SUV and its second model, due in 2023 is also a family SUV, based on the Volkswagen Group’s flexible MEB electric vehicle platform. An all-electric version of the smaller Puma crossover is also scheduled for launch in 2024.
The Sun quoted a Ford source as saying: "Fiesta has been a beloved icon and a faithful friend for millions of drivers but tastes are changing. People want high-riding crossovers — and we play to win.” In a press statement, Ford said: “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.”
It is possible that the Fiesta name could return as an EV in future, although Ford has not commented on the idea. Ford is already using the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform as the basis for two of its new EVs and the same platform will underpin the compact Volkswagen ID.Life, Cupra UrbanRebel and related Skoda model, leaving room for Ford to develop its own smaller EV on the same architecture.
While car makers have been quick to launch EVs in recent years, the majority have been larger family-oriented models and many have been SUVs or crossovers as these have better profit margins as well as offering more impressive ranges thanks to their ability to accommodate larger batteries. Only a relatively small number of compact EVs are currently on sale, including the Fiat 500, Honda e and Mini Electric.
As well as selling four pure EV passenger cars by 2024, Ford plans to have five all-electric vans on the market. It has just launched the E-Transit, which will be joined next year by EV versions of the Transit Custom one-tonne van and Tourneo Custom multi-purpose vehicle. In 2024 EV versions of the smaller, Transit Courier and Tourneo Courier will also go on sale.