1 It has to shi 120,000 units
THE FIESTA IS a massive deal. The old one wasn’t only Ford’s best selling car, it was the best selling car in the UK full stop, topping the charts every year from 2009 right up to 2016, by which time we’d already seen this car, its successor.
In 2016, despite being pensionable in dog years, the Fiesta still racked up 120,525 UK sales. Compare that with a piddly 77,110 for the second-place Vauxhall Corsa, and a mere 54,448 for the next supermini to make the top 10, the Volkswagen Polo, way down in seventh.
And if that ability to hold firm isn’t already impressive enough, get a load of this: in March of this year, with the Fiesta Mk7 already three feet down into its grave, sales across Europe actually improved by 12% over the same month the year before. Even allowing for discounting to clear stock, that’s some achievement. And from Ford’s point of view, the great news is that almost 70% of those recent sales were of high-specification, and therefore higher-margin, models. The Fiesta might look like a cheap car, but it’s also a profitable one.
All of which sounds like a very rosy picture, and one that has you wondering if Ford could have kept churning out the old car for a few more years.
But the truth is that in other markets the Fiesta has been falling desperately behind the ever improving and expanding competition. The seventh-generation car was designed as a global model, heading beyond Europe to other regions, including China, and also the US, which hadn’t seen a Fiesta since 1980. The US market for this style of car is smaller than the UK, but still important. And last year Fiesta sales in the States were down 24 per cent. The new one has to do something special to reverse that trend.