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Ford Fiesta is the UK’s best-selling car of all time

Wed, 23 Jul 2014

The Ford Fiesta – 1976-2014 – is now the UK’s best-selling car ever

It’s fourteen years since the Ford Escort ended its 32 year run in Ford’s UK showrooms and, in the process, became the most popular car in the UK. But that ‘best-selling car of all time’ mantle has now passed to the Ford Fiesta. Ford has announced that total sales of the Ford Fiesta in the 37 years since it was revealed have now hit 4,115,000, with the Fiesta being the top-selling car in the supermini segment for 27 of those years and, as car buyers started downsizing (and the Fiesta got bigger), it has become the best selling car in the UK bar none since 2009.

It’s an impressive achievement by Ford, and although the Fiesta really is a cracking little car a lot of its success is still down to the perception that Ford is somehow ‘British’, even though they no longer make a single car in the UK.

What’s also interesting is just how far the Fiesta has come in its life.

The first Fiesta came with a 950cc four-cylinder petrol engine which managed to deliver a rather small 45bhp and could, if you were gentle, manage 37.7mpg. It also took something over 17 seconds to get to 60mph and its top speed – if you had enough room – was a bit over 80mph.

By contrast, the latest Ford Fiesta with the 1.0 litre 3-cylinder 100 PS EcoBoost engine can get to 62mph in around 11 seconds, get up to 112mph and, if you’re careful, deliver around 65mpg.

It’s also no longer the cheap and cheerful entry-level Fiestas that roll out of Ford’s showrooms, its the better-equipped versions buyers want with technology and equipment buyers of the 1976 Fiesta couldn’t have dreamed of.

Ford’s Fiesta sales in the UK are predominantly higher-spec models – Zetec, Zetec S, Titanium, Titanium X and ST – with just 10 per cent of buyers opting for lower trim. Which must be good for Ford’s bottom line too.

But what’s also happened is that the Fiesta has got cheaper in real terms, certainly at the entry-point.

The entry-level Fiesta cost £1865 in 1976 which is the equivalent of £11,671 today (the current entry-level Fiesta costs £995), and the Fiesta Ghia £2,657, the equivalent of £16,700 today – almost exactly the same price as the very well equipped Fiesta Titanium X 1.0T EcoBoost 100.

The Fiesta is now King of the UK car sales, and shows no sign of relinquishing that crown any time soon.

By Cars UK