The Ford Fiesta, introduced in 1976, became one of the staples of the supermini class of cars, winning the hearts of millions with its compactness and stylish design. Over the years, it has changed seven generations and has become one of Ford’s best-selling models worldwide. With more than 22 million units sold worldwide, it has left behind a remarkable legacy.
Evolution and modernization.
In its early days, the Fiesta impressed with its nimble handling and lightweight construction. Despite the modest power, it was characterized by interesting driving qualities. The second generation introduced a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that improved efficiency and performance. Throughout its lifetime, the Fiesta maintained its practicality, versatility and affordability, which appealed to a wide range of consumers.
The Pandemic era presented automakers with a challenge: demand shifted toward larger vehicles such as crossovers, SUVs, and trucks. The Fiesta, being a compact car, could not compete in this environment. Ford had to prioritize more profitable models, which led to the decision to discontinue the Fiesta on July 7, 2023.
Ford’s Electric Future.
Ford’s decision to discontinue production of the Fiesta is part of a strategic shift to electric vehicles. The company’s plant in Cologne, Germany, which has been in operation since 1931, is being transformed into an all-electric production facility, reflecting Ford’s commitment to an environmentally friendly future.
The replacement: the Explorer EV electric SUV.
The Fiesta will be replaced by Ford’s new all-electric passenger car assembled in Europe, the Electric Explorer SUV EV. This SUV, produced at the Cologne Electric Vehicle Center, is the result of Ford’s collaboration with Volkswagen. It will utilize the MEB platform developed specifically for electric vehicles.
Powertrain and charging.
While specific powertrain details have yet to be revealed, Ford promises “responsive and advanced” rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants of the electric vehicles. The Explorer electric vehicle will be equipped with DC fast charging, allowing it to quickly charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in just 25 minutes.
The Explorer EV electric SUV will combine style and functionality, with bold design elements that reflect Ford’s American design heritage. It aims to strike the perfect balance between aesthetics and practicality in the midsize crossover segment.
Price and ambitious plans.
Ford plans to offer the electric Explorer SUV EV in Europe at a starting price below $49,150 in an effort to make electric vehicles more affordable. The SUV is just one of nine all-electric vehicles in Ford’s European lineup by 2024.
Honoring the Fiesta’s heritage.
As a sentimental gesture, Ford will preserve the last two remaining Fiesta vehicles for its historic fleet. One will be in Cologne, Germany, where the Fiesta was manufactured, while the other will take up residence in the UK park to pay homage to its cultural significance in Britain.
The Fiesta’s passing marks the end of an era, but also signals Ford’s commitment to an electrified future in which innovation and sustainability take center stage. What do you think of this transition? Share your comments below.
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