It started as a rumour but now it’s confirmed – the Ford Fiesta will be discontinued by June 2023, and the Blue Oval has shared a tear-jerking tribute to the car that many of us learnt to drive in, served as our first runabout, or which acted as the main family car’s dependable sidekick for trips about town.
The video, shared to Ford UK’s Instagram account tells the story of the humble Fiesta accompanied by images of it through its 46-year history, emphasising its reputation as a small, not particularly fancy but mighty supermini which took the UK car market by storm. The narration makes the poignant statement that the Fiesta has bowed out “not because it couldn’t, not because it wouldn’t, but because its job was done.”
It seems like every other week a car gets axed in recent times amid issues facing the industry, such as the semiconductor shortage and economic turmoil, but there are times when it just cuts much deeper.
In recent times, the Fiesta’s sales numbers have slumped and it’s been overtaken by the Vauxhall Corsa in the sales charts. In 2021 it didn’t appear in the top 10 chart, and despite a recent update to the model, it hasn’t charted this year, either. Supply chain issues and the resulting suspension on orders for the supermini have been cited as a major factor.
The Fiesta is one of those cars that’s always been a constant, so its absence on the UK market after over 45 years will leave a notable supermini-sized hole. Many of us had our first taste of independence in a Ford Fiesta, sitting with our mates in a Tesco car park acting like yobs or eating a McDonald’s from the driver’s seat.
The model has also served as the basis for some of the most fun hot hatches ever made: there was the Fiesta XR2, Fiesta RS Turbo and RS1800 - which were so hot some insurance companies refused to cover them - and of course, the current Fiesta ST. If the standard Fiesta was many a young driver’s first taste of freedom, the ST was responsible for democratising performance, offering many drivers their first taste of spine-tingling back-road blasts.
Ford will likely be discontinuing the Fiesta to focus on expanding its electric car portfolio in time for 2030. For now, the popularity of SUVs and crossovers means the Blue Oval will be keen to push its Puma and Kuga models, with the Puma to be offered as a fully-electric model by 2024. This sad news, however, means today is not so much a Fiesta as it is a funeral.
Thank you for everything, epic little car.