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Fiesta Revival: Ford Confirms Name of Global Small Car

We reported on the Verve hatchback and sedan concepts that Ford showed at the Frankfurt and Detroit auto shows during the 2007-08 show season, and now we bring the news that Ford has confirmed the production name: Fiesta! The official reveal of the European three- and five-door hatchback versions is in Geneva in March. When the U.S. sees the car in 2010, it will be in sedan form much like the Detroit 2008 Verve concept.


Ford is evaluating offering the hatchback in the States as well. Hatchbacks have been gaining in popularity in the States, but this market so far still buys far more sedans than any other car shape. The hatchback would be a nice addition to the U.S. Fiesta range, but the sedan is a must.
Fiesta is a cutesy name, but Ford already owns it. It has equity all over the world, and little, if any, negative baggage in the States. Yeah, there was once a Fiesta sold here, but who really remembers it? For the U.S. market, a bad choice would have been reviving Aspire or Festiva names. The success of this product in the States will depend on the product itself, not whether it’s named Verve or Fiesta.

Fiesta U.S. Redux
From 1978 to about 1980, Ford imported the German-built Fiesta to the States, but Ford has offered the small car in global markets since 1976. Though only a minor footnote in the history of Ford’s U.S. offerings, it has been successful for many generations in international markets.
With concerns over fuel economy and stricter CAFÉ around the corner, the time is right for adding a small car to the U.S. range. Ford needs this product to be successful in the States, in increasing the brand’s overall sales but more importantly as a money maker rather than a loss leader.
The latest Fiesta should benefit from better timing, as well as being a better car. Many U.S. buyers are beginning to consider small, fuel-efficient entries for their inherent benefits rather than only on price. Fiesta could be a fun drive instead of a penalty box.


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