As Ford transitions to electric vehicles, it has confirmed that the Ford Fiesta will disappear in 2023.
Hot on the heels of rumours in the motoring press, Ford has now officially confirmed that production of the Ford Fiesta will come to an end in June 2023. Marking the end of a model that dates back to 1976, more than 22 million have been made and the car has been sold in over 50 countries.
Announcing the news, Ford said: “At Ford in Europe, we are accelerating our efforts to go all-in on electrification with our passenger vehicles being fully electric by 2030 – and all vehicles across our Ford portfolio by 2035. As we get ready to transition to an electric future we will discontinue Fiesta production in Cologne, Germany by end of June 2023.”
Developed under the code name of ‘Project Bobcat’, Ford began work on its new car at the beginning of the 1970s. The fuel crisis of 1973 made a small, efficient model even more important and with the name chosen personally by Henry Ford II the Mk 1 Fiesta was launched in 1976. The first car rolled off the production line in Saarlouis, Germany on 11 May that year and the car has been in continuous production ever since.
“I completely understand the need for Ford to concentrate on electric vehicles, but it’s still a shame that such an iconic model has to come to an end” says our own Mike Brewer. “I’ve always been a huge fan of the Fiesta, and have driven loads of them over the years.”
The highlight of the first generation was the XR2 which arrived in 1981, and introduced enthusiasts to the first Fiesta to crack 100mph. Buyers couldn’t get enough of the sporty new model, and it remains a hugely desirable classic today. And it appeared on Wheeler Dealers, of course, when Mike got his hands on one back in Series 11.
Although little more than a light refresh of the first generation, the Mk 2 arrived in 1983 – naturally, there was an XR2 – and in 1987 the Fiesta hit a new sales record in the UK with 158,000 examples sold that year.
A more extensively revised Mk 3 model was launched in 1989, followed a year later by the properly hot RS Turbo. The Fiesta would continue to evolve over the next twenty years, becoming ever-more capable, and the Mk 8 that we know today would arrive in 2012. Europe’s top-selling small car that year, with one purchased every two minutes on average, this generation would also spawn the desirable ST that continued the theme of performance-focused Fiestas.
The famous small car has continued to improve ever since, with buyers offered a range of innovative and efficient engines and levels of technology befitting of far more expensive models. But now, more than forty five years later, the end of Fiesta production is in sight.
“The Fiesta is brilliant small car, and I couldn’t wait to get one on the show,” adds Mike. “Obviously it had to be the legendary XR2, and Edd China and I did a cracking job of restoring it. I would have kept it for myself if I could!”
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