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 Home » Ford Fiesta News » Still Going Strong, Ford Fiesta Turns 30

Still Going Strong, Ford Fiesta Turns 30

August 24, 2006 -- For the last 30 years, Ford Fiesta has proved that good things come in small packages. Although today's Fiesta is different in many ways from the original Fiesta that went on sale in 1976, it shares many of the fundamental attributes for which Fiesta has always stood.

"Fiesta's birthday gives us the opportunity to celebrate three decades of change," said John Fleming, President and CEO of Ford of Europe. "Fiesta represented change when it came on the automotive scene, and while it has moved with the times and fashions over the years, it has remained steadfast in its dedication to providing economical, practical and dependable transportation for people of all ages. That mission is just as relevant today as it was in 1976."

Introduced earlier in its anniversary year, the latest generation Ford Fiesta has a fresh new face that communicates likeability and fun and a bright new interior filled with colour. Its optional capabilities, like plugging an MP3 player into its audio system or Bluetooth voice control, would have been the stuff of science fiction three decades earlier.

Today's Fiesta has grown in size from the original model, reflecting trends in customer wants for more roominess and greater luggage capacity, traits in which Fiesta led at the time of its original introduction.

Sales of Ford's popular small car have increased year on year for the past five years. Annual car sales in 2005 of 358,931 units made it Fiesta's best sales year since 1998. Sales of the Fiesta between January and June 2006 were 205,200 units, up 10 percent versus the first half of 2005. More than 12 million Fiestas have been delivered into customers' hands in Fiesta's colourful 30-year history.

Starting in the early 1970s, Fiesta became a personal mission of Ford's Chairman, Henry Ford II. He was personally involved in every step of the long process that led to the grand opening of a new automotive assembly plant in Valencia with the attendance of the newly crowned King of Spain, Juan Carlos.

Fiesta didn’t get its name until 1974, when Ford whittled down a list of 50 potential names to five: Bravo, Fiesta, Amigo, Strada and Pony. The final choice went to Henry Ford II. Production started in Valencia, Spain, in May 1976.

Today, the Ford Cologne Assembly Plan works around the clock in three shifts to product 1,800 units of Ford Fiesta, Fiesta ST, Ford Fiesta Van and the Ford Fusion in a fully flexible manufacturing environment. In 2005, Ford’s Cologne works produced 403,349 units, among them 98,300 Fusion models.

Fiesta and Ford Fusion are exported from Cologne into more than 50 countries, including example to Angola, Australia, Brunei, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa. The farthest flung Fiesta export market is the Pacific island Tahiti.

Ford’s original vision for the Ford Fiesta was to create a small car for the world, just like the Model T had been at the beginning of the 20th century. In many ways, Fiesta has achieved that goal, touching faraway markets but remaining firmly footed as a leader in the important European small-car segment.

Today, as the momentum builds for the latest and enhanced Fiesta -- sales up 10 percent on 2005 so far and aiming for its best sales year in seven years -- this iconic model is looking ahead to the old saying "life begins at 40."

Source: Ford Motor Company

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Still Going Strong, Ford Fiesta Turns 30
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