And it’s all because you keep buying crossovers.
Fiesta fans have recently had to cope with the gut-wrenching possibility that their favorite little Ford may soon be taking a trip to the mortician. Contrasting reports about the Fiesta’s imminent death and then the short-term extension on its lifespan serve to confirm nothing except for one thing: Ford is seriously on the fence about this one. Now, two separate reports emerging from the Detroit auto show indicate that even though the Fiesta’s death isn’t a confirmed fact, it sure seems to be the direction in which Ford is heading.
This week, Australia’s Motoring spoke with Ford’s Asia Pacific president Peter Fleet and learned that the Blue Oval has nothing to say about the Fiesta. That sort of obscurity never looks good, but it was backed up by a promise that Ford will focus much of its attention on trucks and SUVs for the time being. “I think it’s clear our business now in Australia is going to be anchored around the trucks, SUVs and performance vehicles,” said Fleet. In Australia, Fiesta sales are down 43% in 2017, meaning Ford has little incentive to keep the small sedan and hatchback alive if the trend continues. But what goes for Australia doesn’t always go for America.
Here, Ford still sold a steady 46,249 Fiestas last year, a decease of 2,558 units from 2016's numbers, but that’s still 24,824 sales less than the Fiesta’s most recent peak in 2013. That doesn't mean the Fiesta will be getting the axe just yet, but as Bloomberg recently noted, Ford is looking to follow FCA’s recent decision to axe sedans like the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart by killing off some of its own. While the Taurus is a good candidate for that list, Ford is already putting a squeeze on more mainstream vehicles like the Focus, which is seeing production moved from Michigan to China. With the Focus and Fusion at risk, the solid territory on which the Fiesta rests looks like it’s beginning to erode. We certainly hope that’s not how history plays out.