Flybrian

Next-gen Fiesta coming to US in late-'08

49 posts in this topic

Next-gen Ford Fiesta subcompact set for U.S. in 2009
Vehicle to mirror European model
By Paul Horrell | Link to Original Article @ Motor Trend
Posted Image


Ford's next-generation Fiesta subcompact, due in late 2008 for Europe, is set to go on sale in America a year later and will arrive essentially unchanged from the European model, according to Ford officials.

The U.S. Fiesta project was confirmed by Ford prior to March's Geneva Motor Show. The struggling automaker's desperate need for a fuel-efficient subcompact (B-segment in Europe) clearly factored into the decision to bring the vehicle stateside.

The new Fiesta will feature a design flavored with Ford of Europe's Kinetic themes. Since Alan Mulally became Ford CEO, the ever-swinging 'world cars' pendulum has moved back toward selling some cars globally, rather than keeping the blue-oval model ranges separate in the U.S. and Europe.

Ford of Europe design chief Martin Smith explains. 'It used to be clear. I went to Detroit and gave a presentation about [the European design language] Kinetic Design. Peter Horbury [the U.S. design chief] gave one about Red, White and Bold [the U.S. language]. They were completely different.' But Smith says the demarcation is breaking down. Cars with one design theme will be sold in the other market.

The new Fiesta will look almost exactly the same in the U.S. as it will in Europe. It was signed off on before the decision was made to sell it here. Minor engineering changes, including a slightly longer nose, will be necessary to federalize the U.S. model, but it will be 'a kinetic-design car, absolutely,' says Smith.

So forget about Ford's sheer surfaces and rectangular three-bar chrome grille. Instead, the Fiesta will have a trapezoidal grille below the licence plate and pointy headlamps that run back to the front wheel arches. The vehicle will also feature pronounced wheel arches front and rear, an undercut crease beneath a strong side shoulder, a side-window graphic that kicks up strongly at the rear, and rounded rear glass.

Under the skin, the next-gen Fiesta uses the same vehicle architecture first seen on the new Mazda2, which was unveiled at Geneva and is scheduled mainly for the Japanese and European markets.

The package's main aim is light weight with strength, so as to be crash-safe yet return excellent fuel economy and decent performance from its 1.6-liter engine (likely the U.S.-spec block). So it uses a lot of high-strength steel in its structure. It will also be lighter than Ford's current Fiesta (pictured above), bucking industry trends.

While the Fiesta project was clearly directed from the top, one European executive told us not all the developments at Ford being done in response to Mulally requests are so certain. 'No-one wants to tell Mulally he's asking a stupid question,' he said. 'And people have interpreted lots of his "Why can't we...?" questions as assignments.' Our source believes once the dust settles there will be fewer new programs under Mulally than commentators - and indeed many insiders - currently believe.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the representation of the car looks very good. I hope this pans out and does well for Ford here.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ford builds very good cars Elsewhere. It is about time Detroit starts bringing those vehicles here - and stop watering them down!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With gas prices what they are (and where they're going) and populations shifting towards urban areas, I dont see how this is useless. And I haven't heard anybody call the Mini a deathtrap. It'll find a niche and have decent sales. Probably wont be the bottom feeder the Fiesta and Aspire were back in the day.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A subcompact car from Ford that doesn't look dumpy! Good to see progress within the company management...this can only help them.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A small car that doesn't like a box!? Holy crap!

It's pretty nice!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually Satty, when the old Fiesta was imported here, it was not a bottom feeder, it was known as a premium, fun-to-drive small car. It is true, the Festiva and Aspire were junk.

I guess the problem is that American and European people still have different ideas on what a small car should be. From what I can tell, Europeans expect just as much technology, features and quality in their small cars as they do in their bigger ones. So far, Americans haven't awakened to that idear, except where Mini and Rabbit are concerned, maybe. It's that old mentality where manufacturers dictated to customers that, if they wanted certain features, they needed to move up to a more expensive, larger car. Maybe it's time that a Cobalt, Malibu and Impala, for example, were more separated by size and price, and less about luxury features. Have 3 trim levels of each model, and have the trim levels equipped as identically as possible up through the model range. Perhaps that will allow customers to feel more comfortable buying the smallest car that meets their needs, while giving them the luxuries they want.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually Satty, when the old Fiesta was imported here, it was not a bottom feeder, it was known as a premium, fun-to-drive small car. It is true, the Festiva and Aspire were junk.

I guess the problem is that American and European people still have different ideas on what a small car should be. From what I can tell, Europeans expect just as much technology, features and quality in their small cars as they do in their bigger ones. So far, Americans haven't awakened to that idear, except where Mini and Rabbit are concerned, maybe. It's that old mentality where manufacturers dictated to customers that, if they wanted certain features, they needed to move up to a more expensive, larger car. Maybe it's time that a Cobalt, Malibu and Impala, for example, were more separated by size and price, and less about luxury features. Have 3 trim levels of each model, and have the trim levels equipped as identically as possible up through the model range. Perhaps that will allow customers to feel more comfortable buying the smallest car that meets their needs, while giving them the luxuries they want.

That is well said, BLU. Size should not differentiate the amount of luxuries in a vehicle, but that is why Mr. Lutz says that small car production is not profitable in US. Economy of scale does not work here. The price of making a small car from design to production, is almost same as making a pickup truck. The point is that price for a truck can be justified to be more, but for small cars more is expected from less. In order to recover that price, we need volume for small cars, which is unfortunately not a lot in the US. People still perceive small cars will get smashed by Tahoe, or Expedition.

Edited by smallchevy
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been thinking recently, I know trouble isn't it. And since I will be about $170k in the hole w/ student loans when I graduate in 2.5 years and will likely try to buy a house around the same so a RWD high power coupe or sedan likely wouldn't be the best purchase so a small subcompact could be in my near future. A Ford Fiesta or Saturn Corsa could be here in at just the right time and will likely be the on the menu.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a small car, that's very nice. I like it.

Ford of Europe design chief Martin Smith explains. 'It used to be clear. I went to Detroit and gave a presentation about [the European design language] Kinetic Design. Peter Horbury [the U.S. design chief] gave one about Red, White and Bold [the U.S. language]. They were completely different.' But Smith says the demarcation is breaking down. Cars with one design theme will be sold in the other market.

...

So forget about Ford's sheer surfaces and rectangular three-bar chrome grille. Instead, the Fiesta will have a trapezoidal grille below the licence plate and pointy headlamps that run back to the front wheel arches. The vehicle will also feature pronounced wheel arches front and rear, an undercut crease beneath a strong side shoulder, a side-window graphic that kicks up strongly at the rear, and rounded rear glass.

Nice. Now lets see all Fords pick up the Kinetic design language. It's much better than Horbury's "Red, White, and Bold," which amounts to a pile of bull$h! as far as automotive design goes.

While the Fiesta project was clearly directed from the top, one European executive told us not all the developments at Ford being done in response to Mulally requests are so certain. 'No-one wants to tell Mulally he's asking a stupid question,' he said. 'And people have interpreted lots of his "Why can't we...?" questions as assignments.' Our source believes once the dust settles there will be fewer new programs under Mulally than commentators - and indeed many insiders - currently believe.

If this is true, some truly bold American company should walk in and slap down some cash to buy Ford. Then make a note to fire everyone in Ford's top brass, including Mulally and that mullethead Fields.

Edited by YellowJacket894
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually Satty, when the old Fiesta was imported here, it was not a bottom feeder, it was known as a premium, fun-to-drive small car. It is true, the Festiva and Aspire were junk.

I guess the problem is that American and European people still have different ideas on what a small car should be. From what I can tell, Europeans expect just as much technology, features and quality in their small cars as they do in their bigger ones. So far, Americans haven't awakened to that idear, except where Mini and Rabbit are concerned, maybe. It's that old mentality where manufacturers dictated to customers that, if they wanted certain features, they needed to move up to a more expensive, larger car. Maybe it's time that a Cobalt, Malibu and Impala, for example, were more separated by size and price, and less about luxury features. Have 3 trim levels of each model, and have the trim levels equipped as identically as possible up through the model range. Perhaps that will allow customers to feel more comfortable buying the smallest car that meets their needs, while giving them the luxuries they want.

USA still = bigger is better in the minds of most and we are a follower nation.

Small cars, well appointed or not, will always have limited appeal here in the US...primarily focused upon fuel mileage or ability to park in a small city lot. Far too often, however you want amore space, better safety, etc. Paranoid moms do want their children in cars that will be mutilated by a semi or a Suburban. There will be a growing market for luxury compacts, but that well only be accepted from the Volvo C30's, minis, etc...low volume cars. Ford already learned with the Contour, that you can only charge so much for a small car in the US, no matter how good it is. Next Focus, Fiesta, I don't care how great they are...you won't be able to charge more than for a Fusion, and you sure won't get more than what folks pay for Mazda 3's, etc.

Hell, Ford even met big resistance on price with the Focus when it debuted in 2000.

But if the lux versions are rebadged as Mercury's, hey, no biggie.......:)

Edited by regfootball
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent news!

I think it'll do well and although I love the Red, White & Bold design language I don't think EVERY Ford needs to look exctly the same (Which is what they're trying to do with the current line out of desperation for sales.)

Red, White & Bold on Fusion, Edge and Flex = Awesome!

Red, White & Bold on Taurus, Taurus X and Focus = Not that awesome anymore.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the problem is that American and European people still have different ideas on what a small car should be. From what I can tell, Europeans expect just as much technology, features and quality in their small cars as they do in their bigger ones. So far, Americans haven't awakened to that idear, except where Mini and Rabbit are concerned, maybe. It's that old mentality where manufacturers dictated to customers that, if they wanted certain features, they needed to move up to a more expensive, larger car. Maybe it's time that a Cobalt, Malibu and Impala, for example, were more separated by size and price, and less about luxury features. Have 3 trim levels of each model, and have the trim levels equipped as identically as possible up through the model range. Perhaps that will allow customers to feel more comfortable buying the smallest car that meets their needs, while giving them the luxuries they want.

:withstupid:
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Europeans are forced into smaller cars because of their woefully inadequate urban infrastructure and the regressive displacement taxes most nations have. In addition, most foreign-designed small cars simply do not cut it for American driving. The average American drives a longer distance for a longer period of time with greater frequency than any other driver in the world, therefore having a larger car for the simple comfort of it makes more sense.

Drive 100 miles each way to work and back in a Focus or Corolla then repeat it in an Impala or LeSabre a few days later. Tell me when you felt more comfortable. And all the GPS, bi-xenon headlamps, and alcantra leather won't make your back hurt - or mechanicals wear out - any less.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the problem is that American and European people still have different ideas on what a small car should be. From what I can tell, Europeans expect just as much technology, features and quality in their small cars as they do in their bigger ones.

We have a winner! We do expect content on small cars while to most Americans 'small' = 'cheap transportation'. Space plays an important part in that too: a Hummer H3 won't fit some European cities' older, narrower streets. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sooooo cute. I just want to park the car in my Daughter's tupperware of HotWheels.

The last gen. Fiesta was such an UGLY car, KIA based too IIRC.

Then there was the Aspire. Not much better.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sooooo cute. I just want to park the car in my Daughter's tupperware of HotWheels.

The last gen. Fiesta was such an UGLY car, KIA based too IIRC.

Then there was the Aspire. Not much better.

...sure you're not confusing the Fiesta with the Festiva?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...sure you're not confusing the Fiesta with the Festiva?

The Festiva was a Kia/Mazda design. The current Fiesta is on a platform shared with the Mazda 2, IIRC. The Fiesta is in it's 4th generation in Europe, I think...the first generation in the '70s was sold in the US.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

Loading...