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Ford farewells Fiesta light car

Production of Fiesta stopped early as Ford fast-tracks VW-based electric replacement

28 Oct 2022

FORD of Europe will stop building the five-door Fiesta light car in Cologne, Germany from the middle of next year – 12 months earlier than initially planned.


Since the first Ford Fiesta was born, more than 22 million examples of the iconic light car have been built for customers in more than 50 countries.


As soon as Fiesta production ends, the model will be replaced with a light, all-electric SUV based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, shared with VW Group EVs such as the VW ID.3, Cupra Born, Skoda Enyaq and Audi Q4 e-Tron.


Speaking to German publication Automobilwoche, a Ford of Europe source said that the planned switch in production will not affect staffing levels at the Cologne plant, instead saying there will be more jobs in Cologne when production of the new model begins than there are at the present time.


The Fiesta, which launched in Europe in 1976, has been one of Ford’s most popular models, but has seen a sales decline over recent years as buyers move into small SUVs like the Ford Puma.


Production of the three-door Fiesta was discontinued in mid-2022 amid falling sales.


Ford of Europe also confirmed that it will shutter production of the S-Max and Galaxy people movers in Valencia from April next year as it works to accelerate efforts toward the production of electrified models.


The Blue Oval plans to sell only electric passenger vehicles in Europe by the end of the decade and will discontinue internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in the EU entirely by 2035.


In preparation, the manufacturer is ramping up its investment in EV production at Cologne and has already announced a new battery assembly facility that will begin operating from 2024.


Further, the company will produce a second small SUV – also based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform – in Cologne from 2024.


Once switched to electric vehicle production, the Cologne facility is expected to produce 200,000 units annually.


The (WS series) fifth-generation Ford Fiesta was sold in Australia from 2004 in three- and five-door hatch body styles across LX, Zetec, Ghia and performance-oriented XR4 (from 2007) guises.


Most were fitted with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine while the sportier XR4 hatch gained a 110kW/190Nm Duratec 2.0-litre.


A sixth-generation Fiesta – initially produced in Europe and later in Thailand – was sold locally from 2008 and eventually sported a range of variants, including the prized ST hot hatch. The latter featured a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol four-cylinder producing 134kW/240Nm.


The seventh and final generation Fiesta was sold locally from 2017, but in ST trim only. The turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol model offered 147kW/320Nm but was discontinued in August 2022.


Ford Fiesta global timeline:


  • Generation I (1976 – 1983)

  • Generation II (1983 – 1989)

  • Generation III (1989 – 1997)

  • Generation IV (1995 – 2002)

  • Generation V (2002 – 2014)

  • Generation VI (2008 – 2019)

  • Generation VII (2017 – 2023)

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