Last of the U.K.'s most popular car brands to start production line in Germany today

July 10, 2023: On Friday, the Ford Fiesta is set to roll off the production line for one last time, marking the end of an era that witnessed the vehicle become a mainstay of millions of drivers worldwide.

The Fiesta has been marketed in over 50 countries, with regarding 22 million vehicles built since 1976, but will see the latest new one fabricated.

In a nod to its importance, the automotive giant will hold on to the final two Fiestas, placing them in its heritage vehicle fleets in the U.K. and Germany.

“At Ford in Europe, we are rapidly transitioning to an electric future,” a Ford representative said.

“As part of this change, production of the Fiesta in Cologne, Germany, will be discontinued on July 7, 2023, and a new era at the Cologne Electric Vehicle Center will begin,” they added.

In an announcement the previous year, Ford said production of the Fiesta, a smaller car with a distinctive design, would cease.

The firm is pursuing an electrification strategy and has previously said all of its passenger vehicle range in Europe “will be zero-emissions capable” by the middle of 2026. It’s targeting a fully electric line-up in Europe by 2030.

These moves come as European countries look to transition away from vehicles that use fossil fuels.

The U.K., for instance, wants to stop the sale of new diesel and gasoline cars and vans by 2030 and will require, from 2035, all new cars and vans to have zero tailpipe emissions.

The European Union, which the U.K. left on Jan. 31, 2020, is also looking to reduce emissions from road-based transportation.

“In Ford’s case, it would rather sell its higher margin Puma than small hatchbacks,” he added. “The Ford Focus will also disappear from European dealerships in 2025.”

Leggett argued that the rationalization of model lines reflected, in part, “the need for more investment in electrified models.” 

“The global semiconductors shortage that followed the pandemic also hastened the trend as manufacturers prioritized their higher margin models to leave factories,” he said.

“Small hatchbacks like the Fiesta come with notoriously slim margins,” he added. “As soon as volumes drop off, they can quickly look unsustainable.”

Leggett also touched upon the intensification of competition, noting that a “wave of Chinese E.V.s” was coming. “In short, there’s no real case for the investment to renew a model range like the Fiesta. Like the Focus, it’s had its day in the sun. It was a great car for Ford, though.” 

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