Ford is ending production of the Fiesta in Europe to make room for electric cars. The automaker’s compact four-door vehicle will be the last combustion engine vehicle to roll off its Cologne, Germany plant, and it’ll instead begin production of a Ford-VW all-electric crossover by next Summer (via Automotive News). Ford plans to invest $2 billion to build new electric vehicles — 1.2 million of them — over the next six years.
Ford Europe’s GM of passenger vehicles, Martin Sander, posted a solemn legacy video on Twitter celebrating the compact car and teasing four-passenger EVs as the ones taking the helm. One is certain to be an all-electric version of the Ford Puma crossover, of which the current combustion version outsold the Focus and Fiesta in Europe earlier this year — though it is now seeing its own sales slump.
Fans of the vehicle responded to Sander by pointing out that the subcompact category is one of the most successful cars in the region and that EVs are heavy and expensive in comparison to small, efficient, and affordable gas cars. Unfortunately, high demand and low inventory of EVs are constantly pushing ownership out of reach. They’re also marred by the fact that manufacturers are pushing behemoths like Escalades instead of gas money-saving compacts like the discontinued Toyota Yaris and Chevy Sonic.
Ford’s EV plans in Europe also include the Mustang Mach-E, which has gained popularity in the US and is building at least two electric crossovers on VW’s MEB electric vehicle platform.
In the US, Ford announced discontinuation of its Fiesta and Fusion sedans in 2018. Fast forward to today, the only Ford car you can get in the US now is the Mustang. In Europe, compact gas vehicles like the Fiesta were still successful but have suddenly seen heavy drops in sales as market demands shift towards electric and more utilitarian crossover vehicles.
The Fiesta first launched in Europe in 1976 as a “supermini” sub-compact car and had lived for seven generations of redesigns. It was also sold in the US until it was discontinued in 2019. It also became a popular rally sport car and had a consumer sport ST trim model as well.
Last year, Ford committed a $29 billion investment in the electrification of its lineup. It set a goal to only offer battery electric and plug-in hybrid passenger vehicles in Europe by 2026 and eventually exclusively build EVs by 2030. The timings are set to match aggressive legislation from various European countries looking to end combustion vehicles as early as 2025 in Norway’s case.