Home Finance End of an era as last Fiesta rolls off production line

End of an era as last Fiesta rolls off production line

by CoinNews

Ford Fiestas pictured at a facility in Cologne, Germany, on Feb. 14, 2023.

Alex Kraus | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The last Ford Fiesta is set to roll off the production line Friday, marking the end of an era that saw the vehicle become a mainstay of millions of drivers around the world.

The Fiesta has been sold in more than 50 countries, with over 22 million vehicles produced since 1976, but Friday will see the last new one manufactured.

In a nod to its importance, the automotive giant will hold on to the final two Fiestas, placing them in its heritage vehicle fleets in the U.K. and Germany.

“At Ford in Europe, we are rapidly transitioning to an electric future,” a Ford spokesperson said in a statement.

“As part of this transition, production of the Fiesta in Cologne, Germany will be discontinued on 7 July 2023, and a new era at the Cologne Electric Vehicle Center will begin,” they added.

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In an announcement last year, Ford said production of the Fiesta — a smaller car with a distinctive design — would cease.

The firm is pursuing an electrification strategy, and has previously said all of its passenger vehicle range in Europe “will be zero-emissions capable” by the middle of 2026. It’s targeting a fully electric line-up in Europe by 2030.

These moves come as countries in Europe look to transition away from vehicles that use fossil fuels.

The U.K., for instance, wants to stop the sale of new diesel and gasoline cars and vans by 2030 and will require, from 2035, all new cars and vans to have zero tailpipe emissions.

The European Union, which the U.K. left on Jan. 31, 2020, is also looking to reduce emissions from road based transportation.

The Ford Fiesta has gone through a number of design changes over the years.

National Motor Museum/Heritage Images | Hulton Archive | Getty Images

In comment sent to CNBC via email, David Leggett, automotive analyst at GlobalData, said there had been “a market shift in Europe towards compact SUVs.”

“In Ford’s case it would rather sell its higher margin Puma than small hatchbacks,” he added. “The Ford Focus will also disappear from European dealerships in 2025.”

Leggett argued that the rationalization of model lines reflected, in part, “the need for more investment in electrified models.”  

“The global semiconductors shortage that followed the pandemic also hastened the trend as manufacturers prioritised their higher margin models to leave factories,” he said.

“Small hatchbacks like the Fiesta come with notoriously slim margins,” he added. “As soon as volumes drop-off, they can quickly look unsustainable.”

Leggett also touched upon the intensification of competition, noting that a “wave of Chinese EVs” were on the way. “In short, there’s no real case for the investment to renew a model range like the Fiesta. Like the Focus, it’s had its day in the sun. It was a great car for Ford, though.”  

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