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Fiesta US Launch

Thu, 08 Oct 2009 00:00:00 -0700

The US spec Ford Fiesta will launch at the L.A. Auto Show in December

For has announced that they will be unveiling the US version of the Ford Fiesta at the Los Angels Motors Show (or perhaps we should say the L.A. Auto Show) in December. And they already have more than 50,000 interested customers – a very good starting point.

Ford has been quite cute and web savvy in building interest around the Fiesta. They’ve had a bunch of people running around the US in Euro-Spec Fiestas for a while now (the Fiesta Movement), who have all been blogging, twittering, YouTubing and generally social-webbing for months about the Fiesta. And that profile has given Ford the opportunity to make a success of a compact, Euro-style car in the US for the first time ever.

But is Ford capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory? Could they ‘Americanise’ the Fiesta to such a degree that it loses appeal? It’s a distinct possibility. Ford has a history of playing with European cars for the US market and wrecking what’s on offer (Focus, anyone?). Downgrading of trim quality and ‘Amercanising’ of suspension are the usual options. The other option is to stick a boot on a hatchback – Americans don’t understand hatchbacks. Or so the theory goes.

But if Ford do go the usual route the Fiesta will probably flop. There is a new generation of car buyers in the US who want what the Euro-Fiesta offers – style, quality, fun and decent handling. And they are the buyers who have been turned-on by Ford’s Fiesta Movement campaign. If Ford try to make the Fiesta suitable for the American car buyer of old they will do themselves – and their customers – a huge disservice.

Let’s just hope that the Ford in the US delivers up a real Fiesta – for their sakes and the those of the American car-buying public.


By Cars UK