Ford to drop Fiesta, bring forward EV launch

Ford to drop Fiesta, bring forward EV launch

Automotive News Europe — 2022-10-26

Automotive Industry

Ford will stop building the Fiesta small car in Cologne, Germany, by next summer, a year earlier than planned. At the same time as Fiesta output stops, production of Ford's new Volkswagen-based all-electric crossover will begin, also a year earlier than planned.

"The electric car will be built in Cologne from summer 2023," a company source familiar with the plan told Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche.

The crossover will use VW Group's MEB electric platform that underpins the VW ID4, among other models from the group.

The production switch will not affect staffing levels and there will be more jobs in Cologne at the end of the ramp-up of the new model than there are at present, the source said.

The Fiesta, which launched in Europe in 1976, has been one of the automaker's most popular models but sales have been declining as buyers switch from hatchbacks to crossovers such as the Ford Puma.

Fiesta sales in Europe fell to 39,395 through August from 72,302 in the first eight months, according to figures from Dataforce. The Puma is now the automaker's best-selling passenger car in the region, with 91,604 units sold through August.

Ford ended production of the three-door Fiesta in the summer amid falling sales.

Ford on Wednesday confirmed it will end production of the Fiesta in Cologne by the end of next June.

The automaker also said that production of Ford S-Max and Ford Galaxy mininvans in Valencia, Spain, will end in April 2023.

Ford said it is accelerating its electrification efforts. The company plans for all its passenger vehicles in Europe to be fully electric by 2030 and all its vehicles by 2035.

The automaker is investing to build electric cars at the Cologne plant, including a new battery assembly facility scheduled to start operations in 2024. A second EV, which Ford has said will be a "sports crossover," will be built at Cologne starting in 2024. The vehicle is also expected to be based on the MEB platform.

The Cologne plant is forecast to build about 200,000 EVs a year.

Ford plans to launch seven full-electric vehicles in Europe including a battery-electric version of the Puma small crossover that will be built in Craiova, Romania.