Why the heck won't consumers buy a hot hatch anymore?
"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." We think the Dread Pirate Roberts' famous line from The Princess Bride is fitting here. Life is pain, and someone is selling something. Just not the Ford Focus ST or Fiesta ST. That's because Ford's war on the hot hatch continues, with both models getting the ax down under in Australia.
We already lost these two affordable hot hatches back in 2018, when Ford killed every car in its lineup save for the Mustang here in America. The two models, both the Focus and the Fiesta hatch were just updated for 2022, making this sting just a bit more now.
"Both the Focus ST and Fiesta ST have been segment-defining hot hatches for Ford Australia and have put smiles on the faces of enthusiasts across the country, and we want to thank those fans for their passion," said Andrew Birkic, President and CEO of Ford Australia.
We should also note that the Focus ST X is going as well. Think of this like Ford's Autobahn trim for the VW GTI. It was the most luxe Focus ST trim, with adaptive dampers, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, and a panoramic sunroof. How can such a decision causing so much agony, be rational? Ford says it's simple.
The company is killing the fun, sporty, and affordable lineup because it wants to focus "on areas of growing customer demand such as SUVs, commercial vehicles and electrification." We would not be surprised if slow sales played a role as well. Historically, that is one of the reasons these types of fun, affordable hatches die off.
"But with semi-conductor-related supply shortages and our focus on emerging areas of growth, we've made the difficult decision to call time on these iconic hot hatches in Australia. We look forward to sharing more about the next era of our performance vehicle line-up soon," continued Birkic.
However, if you're an Aussie reading this and you're upset, Ford Australia will give 40 buyers the chance to ride off into the sunset with one. It says a limited 40-car run has been secured and is on the way to Aussie land now. It's not clear if the Fiesta ST will get the same send-off, but Ford says that current owners can expect continuing maintenance support and spare parts for their antiquated hot-hatch.