July 7 will mark the conclusion of a 47-year journey for the beloved Ford Fiesta. After 8 iconic generations, Ford has made the tough decision to cease production of one of Europe’s most adored superminis. This move, though saddening for Fiesta enthusiasts, is part of Ford’s strategic shift towards a greener, more electric future.
Since its introduction in 1976, the Fiesta has become a household name in the automotive world. In the UK, for an impressive eleven consecutive years, between 2009 and 2020, the Fiesta ruled the roost, topping the UK’s annual list of best-selling cars. It proved that small can indeed be mighty, as its compact size did not impede its popularity. The Fiesta has been synonymous with reliability, economy, and a dash of fun, making it an enduring favorite in the new and used car markets alike.
In spite of its success, the Fiesta has seen its last days on the production line. The reason, Ford explains, is a necessary sacrifice to pave the way for their first high-volume electric vehicle, the Ford Explorer electric SUV. As explained by Martin Sander, General Manager of Ford Model E Europe, the Fiesta plant in Cologne, Germany, will undergo a complete transformation to become a fully battery-electric plant. Ford is not just reinventing its vehicle lineup, but also reinventing how it manufactures its vehicles, as it strives toward carbon neutrality.
The decision to halt Fiesta production was not an easy one. The Fiesta had faced some challenges in recent times, particularly as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted global supply chains. A semiconductor shortage in 2022 led to a six-month backlog, forcing Ford to pause Fiesta orders temporarily. Simultaneously, the automotive industry, along with consumer tastes, began to lean more heavily towards crossovers and SUVs, further cementing the decision to retire the Fiesta.