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March 11, 2009

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Ford Drives Global Fiesta Rollout With China Launch as Sales Continue Rising in Other Markets

Ford Fiesta

  • China is the world's first market to launch the four-door Fiesta sedan, in addition to the five-door hatchback

  • Ford Fiesta is built at Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Company's state-of-the-art Nanjing manufacturing facility

  • Customers have purchased more than 110,000 new Ford Fiestas since the global debut last autumn

  • Fiesta, the second-best selling vehicle across Europe's 19 markets in January, is the first in a series of small, fuel efficient cars developed through Ford's global product development process

  • The Fiesta will go on sale in Ford's ASEAN markets, as well as in North America, in early 2010

SANYA, China - Ford Motor Company continued to build on its global small car strategy, and the momentum surrounding the worldwide rollout of the new Ford Fiesta, with its official China market launch on the southern resort island of Hainan.

China is the world's first market to introduce the four-door Fiesta sedan. The sedan and the five-door Fiesta hatchback are both built at the state-of-the-art Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Company manufacturing facility in Nanjing.

Pre-sale demand for the car in China has surpassed expectations, with several thousand Chinese consumers placing orders ahead of the official launch.

More than 1.2 million people have visited the Fiesta music webpage at www.qq.com, a popular Chinese web portal. The Fiesta pre-launch roadshow video has been viewed more than 6.8 million times on www.Youku.com, China's version of YouTube.

So far, customers have purchased more than 110,000 new Fiestas on the three continents where the car is on sale, including preliminary estimates from February results. "The new Fiesta is proving that if you make a great car, it will connect with customers around the world," said Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president for Marketing and Communications. "This car is raising the bar for what people can expect from Ford's new line of dynamic, global products."

Designed and developed in Europe for sale across Ford's global markets, the new Fiesta is the first in a series of fuel efficient new small cars developed through Ford's global product development process. The Fiesta was Ford's second best-selling vehicle in Europe's main 19 markets in 2008. It became the top-selling Ford European vehicle in January 2009 - the same month it climbed to the number two spot for all cars in Europe, behind the Volkswagen Golf. The China market variant has been customized and tailor-made to suit Chinese consumer tastes and requirements. Production of the new Fiesta for China began at the Nanjing plant on January 15.

Indeed, the new Fiesta sedan was initially designed specifically with Chinese consumers in mind. Its stylish and dynamic flair combines with all the traditional Ford small car strengths to create a confident, contemporary introduction to the next chapter of the Fiesta story.

Worldwide media have shown their positive appraisal of the new Fiesta by granting it several high-profile awards since its introduction. The new Fiesta has been recognized as the "Most Successful Design of 2008" by Fortune China, "Best Car" by Business Week, and awarded "Car of the Year" by What Car? magazine in the UK.

In addition to the Fiesta built at the Nanjing plant for the China market, Ford and Mazda's joint-venture facility, Auto Alliance Thailand will begin producing the new Fiesta next year.

In Europe, the new Fiesta is produced at Ford's plant in Cologne, Germany, as well as the plant in Valencia, Spain for European markets.

Fiestas built in Cologne are also on sale now in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. In January, Ford's assembly facility in Valencia, Spain became the second European plant to start production of the new Fiesta.

Ford's plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico, will build the new Fiesta for the United States and other North American markets. Construction of the integrated stamping facility and retooling of the assembly plant is underway.

In North America, the new small car will be offered in two models: a sporty hatchback and a sedan, beginning in early in 2010.

In advance of the Fiesta's launch in the U.S., thousands of consumers across the country will have an opportunity to drive the Ford Fiesta. In a program called "Fiesta Movement," Ford will select up to 100 enthusiasts to drive the Fiesta and relate their experiences through social media sites, such as Facebook, providing Ford North America with early consumer feedback.

Photos: Ford

(Mar 5, 2009)

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