Over the last seven years, America, you didn’t buy many Ford Fiestas. Fewer than 430,000, in fact. For perspective, in the much smaller United Kingdom market, Ford sold over 500,000 Fiestas in just the last four years.
But the Fiesta’s lack of popularity — and its dramatic loss of popularity in America — is not a unique-to-Ford situation. U.S. sales of subcompact cars plunged by more than a fifth, year-over-year, during the first eight months of 2017. That tumble comes after U.S. sales of subcompact cars declined in 2015 and 2016, as well.
Nevertheless, it comes as no surprise that Ford, after exploring America’s affordable avenues for one generation of Fiesta, isn’t bringing the seventh-generation version to America. And now we have confirmation that there is absolutely no hope the next-gen Ford Fiesta ST will come stateside, either.
It was a pie-in-the-sky idea to begin with, based on Ford’s desire to parlay its highly regarded performance models into a broader reputation for building fun cars.
“It’s simply a matter of a lack of interest in the B-segment in America,” Leo Roeks tells CarBuzz. Roeks is Ford’s director of performance in Europe. “It doesn’t make sense, nor is it possible financially speaking, to import a single trim level, and a niche one at that.”Making matters worse, the next-gen Ford Fiesta ST is quite likely going to be even better than the departing model: more powerful, more comfortable, more efficient, arguably more attractive, more driving modes. TTAC was an unabashed fan of the 2014-2017 Fiesta ST, a rare car that Ford initially hoped to sell at a rate of roughly 10,000 per year in the U.S.. (Ford sells roughly 16,000 F-Series pickups per week in America.) In fact, you’ll find a Fiesta ST in our long-term reports, where cars are paid for with our own real money. Moreover, there’s another Fiesta long-termer that was paid for by TTAC’s former managing editor.
But that’ll be the end. As Ford’s Leo Roeks says, America’s lack of interest in the subcompact segment is obvious, and investing in that segment must be done purely on the basis of grabbing consumers at the earliest point. Some automakers believe that’s essential. But it’s a long-term approach deemed unnecessary by others.
The good news? According to Cars.com, there are still more than 1,000 new Ford Fiesta STs in stock at dealers across America. Get one while you still can.
No, seriously. Go get one.
[Image: Ford Europe]