Small fun cars are disappearing at an alarming rate.
American car buyers love SUVs and pickup trucks so much that some automakers have stopped selling them entirely. Ford made the move to announce that the Ford Mustang would be its last car in the U.S., but in Europe, The Blue Oval sells a variety of small vehicles, including the Ford Fiesta hatchback. Though discontinued here, the car remains on sale across the pond, though Ford is slashing the car's model line by nixing the three-door hatch and streamlining trim levels.
Ford sold the Fiesta in the U.S. until a couple of years ago when it announced that it would stop sales of most cars. Slimming the Fiesta line in Europe helps Ford clear its order backlog and prepare for the shift to electrification, which will include commercial vehicles.
A Ford spokesperson told Automotive News that the automaker restricts orders for the car while it works through supply chain issues. The Fiesta isn't exactly selling like hotcakes on the continent, either, with just 7,608 units sold in the first two months compared to almost 20,000 the year before.
The Fiesta isn't dead completely - yet. Ford will continue making and selling the car in Europe as a five-door hatch, and the performance-oriented ST variant will make the shift as well. Production will begin this summer at Ford's Cologne, Germany, manufacturing facility.
Ford may let the Fiesta hang around for a while, but its days are numbered. The Blue Oval pledged to sell only electric vehicles in Europe by 2030, so the Fiesta's got a few years left at best. The Cologne plant is getting a significant investment to get ready for that shift, to the tune of $1 billion. Upgrades will enable the factory to begin producing electric vehicles in 2023.
Though it's a gigantic company, Ford isn't making the transition to EVs alone. The automaker partnered with Volkswagen to share technologies and designs, and the first of Ford's electric SUVs will ride on VW's MEB electric platform - the same one that the ID.4 uses. A sporty crossover is due in 2024 from the Cologne facility, which will also use the MEB platform. Ford hasn't confirmed a stop date for Fiesta production, so all three could roll off the assembly lines simultaneously until Ford pulls the plug on the hatchback.