Too good to survive? Ford’s Fiesta had no hope for electric age

2022 Ford Fiesta

For a long time that didn’t matter much, because sales volumes were so high that even a small profit on a very large number of cars made sense. But in 2019, the last full year of sales before Covid, Ford shifted about 365,000 Fiestas, which may sound like a lot, until you compare it to the 625,000 it sold ten years earlier. Today, the Fiesta makes so little money, Ford is generating more profit from licensing Lego. Literal.

What has the Fiesta done so wrong to explain such a disastrous drop in sales? Nothing. It remains the most beautiful car of its kind, and by far. All that has happened is that the industry it is in, such as the Focus, S-Max and Galaxy, has shrunk at an alarming rate as people buying new cars these days want to be seen in a cross-country vehicle. about SUV.

In addition, Ford has a very particular problem with the Fiesta, as it needs the Cologne plant where it will be built for the electric vehicles it will produce in a joint venture with Volkswagen. So what would you do if you were faced with canning a cheap old car whose technology is already doomed or an expensive new one powered by the fuel of the future?

But the truth is that Ford has also recently shut down production of the Fiesta, not only because there is little or no money in it, but also because the shortage of computer chips has caused Ford to decide to allocate its limited supply to cars. most profitable, and in that respect it differs little from other manufacturers in the world. So if you’re wondering where your basic spec Skoda has gone, when your wealthy neighbors got their brand new Bentley in a matter of weeks, that probably has more than a little to do with it.

Lego Ford rally car

Lego is more lucrative than the Fiesta with its wafer-thin profit margins

The sad truth is that Fiesta’s days were probably always numbered, even without the chip crisis, the factory dilemma, the shrinking sector and so on, because it is indeed difficult to see a place for a small, affordable car in the future. unless intended for purely urban or local use. Because as we all know, the sale of gasoline-powered cars is not far from being banned in many parts of the world, including ours, and not long after that, hybrids were banned. And as things stand, it’s just not possible to build even a small, universal car like a Fiesta with a decent electric range, let alone market it at a price that a new Fiesta- buyer can pay.

And even Fiestas aren’t cheap anymore, the range starts at £18,655, although that does buy you a model with a mild hybrid drive. But what about the electrical opposition? Well, there’s an electric Corsa, but Vauxhall wants over £31,000 for it, and although the claimed range is in 217 miles, if it’s cold or dark your journey will be hilly or on the motorway or a combination of the above, I bet your nerve won’t last much longer than 150 miles. A Fiat 500e is comparable: over £30,000 for sale, less than 200 miles of official (and therefore unrealistic) range. Or you can go nuts and spend twice as much as Ford wants for the Fiesta on a Honda e and do well to scrape more than 110 miles off a charge.