June 29, 2022

r43dscartex

automotive

Ford drops 3-door Fiesta in electric car shift in Europe

Ford builds the Fiesta for European markets at its factory in Cologne, Germany. The automaker is investing $1 billion in a new EV manufacturing center at the plant as part of its plan to switch its European passenger vehicle lineup to full-electric cars only by 2030.

As well dropping the three-door variant, Ford will further streamline the Fiesta range to speed up production at the Cologne plant, after a series of stoppages because of parts shortages.

“We are restricting some Fiesta orders due to the volume of existing orders we have,” a company spokesperson said, while also confirming the end of the three-door model.

Sales of the Fiesta are plunging as customers shift to crossovers from small hatchbacks and Fiesta production is hit by production pauses amid the industry’s components shortages.

Fiesta sales in Europe fell to 7,608 in the first two months from 19,844 during the same period last year, according to Dataforce.

Production at the Cologne plant is currently halted for a scheduled two-week pause over Easter that is due to end on April 25.

Dealers in the UK have stopped taking orders for the cheapest Fiesta ST-2 performance variant, as well as for certain options such as the black contrast roof and the panoramic sunroof.

New EVs

Ford will start production of a midsize full-electric SUV at the Cologne factory this year. The crossover will use Volkswagen Group’s MEB electric platform that underpins the VW ID4. A second vehicle, which Ford has said will be a “sports crossover,” will also be built at Cologne starting in 2024. The vehicle will also use the MEB platform.

The five-door Fiesta is expected to continue to be built alongside Ford’s VW-based electric cars in Cologne. Ford has yet to comment on when the five-door Fiesta will go out of production.

The seventh-generation Fiesta was launched in 2016 and was given a facelift last year. The Fiesta was introduced in 1976 to give Ford a hatchback competitor to rival the Renault 5 and Fiat 127.

Ford said in March that it will launch seven full-electric vehicles in Europe including a battery-electric version of the Puma small crossover, its best-selling passenger car in the region.

The automaker is ending output of the EcoSport small SUV later this year at its factory in Craiova, Romania. This will allow Ford to tool up the plant for the Transit Courier small van, which is due to start production in Craiova alongside the Puma next year.

The van will be sold with a passenger version called the Tourneo Courier, Ford said in March, leading to speculation that the model could replace Fiesta as Ford’s entry-level small passenger car. The Courier will be sold with full-electric, diesel and gasoline options, Ford has said.