Four decades later, the ever so popular supermini is UK's best-selling car of all time, generating a whopping 4,339,149 sales since 1976.
Ford is celebrating four decades since the original Fiesta Mk1 hit the assembly line of the company’s then new Valencia factory in Spain with a convoy consisting of an assortment of Fiestas. A total of 40 cars from all generations gathered for the fiesta which took the shape of a Dagenham to Brighton cavalcade, bringing together a wide variety of models. Some examples worth mentioning include an Mk1 Van, an Mk2 Popular, and a more recent Mk6 WRC rally car.
The Fiesta is a small car that has been generating some huge sales number, with European deliveries estimated to hit the 18-million mark by the end of 2016. It’s the best-selling car of all time in the not-so-United Kingdom where no less than 4,339,149 units have been acquired over the last forty years. If you’re still not impressed by the Fiesta’s sales performances in UK, Ford mentions that more than one in every 20 cars sold in the country was a Fiesta over these last four decades.
In order to maintain these sales numbers up high and maybe even hit new levels, Ford is planning to replace the current Fiesta which has been around since 2008. The next-gen is programmed to see the light of production day sometime next year and will be significantly different than the current model. Not only will it grow in size, but Ford also has plans to move it upmarket by increasing refinement and overall quality, hopefully without jacking up the price too much.
We spotted the revamped supermini performing preliminary testing at the beginning of June and we also tried to image what was hiding underneath the camouflage. It won’t be an all-new car since reports are indicating the 2017 Fiesta will use a modified version of the current chassis rather than making the switch to brand new underpinnings. This move will allow Ford to spend substantially less on R&D and most likely the money saved will be put to good use to make the car plushier by installing more soft-touch plastics, extra sound insulation, and additional technology such as SYNC3.
Look for a premiere of the new Fiesta in March 2017 at the Geneva Motor Show. If that won’t happen, it probably means Ford will wait until September for Frankfurt.
Gallery: Ford Fiesta marks 40 years of production with convoy of classics
1976-2016: FORD FIESTA CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF PRODUCTION
- Ford celebrates 40 years since the first Ford Fiesta rolled off the production line in Valencia, Spain
- Fiesta is the UK’s best-selling car of all time with sales of over four million
- In celebrating, Ford gathered 40 Fiestas from the last four decades for a Dagenham to Brighton cavalcade.
- The 40 Fiestas covered seven generations of Fiesta including the 1976 MkI, MkI-III XR2, MkII Popular and MkI Van
BRENTWOOD, Essex, July 18th, 2016 – When Ford launched the Fiesta, 40 years ago in 1976; few could have predicted the phenomenal success story that was going to unfold over the coming decades.
In the 40 years from 1976-2016, Ford sold 4,339,149 Fiestas in the UK alone, with European Fiesta sales set to surpass 18 million before the end of this year. Over these four decades, more than one in every 20 cars sold in the UK was a Ford Fiesta!
In 2014, the Ford Fiesta became the UK’s best-selling car of all time, overtaking the Ford Escort. It is not only the best-selling car in the UK this year; it has been the UK’s most popular car every month for the last seven years.
To celebrate this success, and the range of vehicles produced over the years, 40 of the nation’s favourite Fiestas travelled in convoy from the Ford Engine Plant in Dagenham to Brighton Race Course for the Kelsey Media organised, 2016 Ford Summer Festival – A celebration of all Ford models.
The Dagenham to Brighton drive was open to all Ford vehicles; each receiving a unique numbered plaque. Around 200 Fords took part with models ranging from Cortinas to Rangers, and to mark the occasion, numbers 1-40 were allocated to Fiestas from the past four decades.
The Ford Fiesta MkI began production in the all-new Valencia factory in 1976 and sales in the UK commenced in 1977. Production versions of the Ford Fiesta MkI took part in the Dagenham to Brighton drive on Saturday. Ford of Britain chairman and managing director, Andy Barratt, said, “The opportunity to have these wonderful heritage vehicles lined up next to our latest Fiestas, such as the ST200, is very rare and was fully appreciated by the Ford fans that made the 69-mile journey down to the festival.”
Also on display at Dagenham was a MkIV 1.4 Fiesta Ghia; the 10 millionth Ford vehicle produced at Dagenham as well as the MkVI World Rally Championship car. The Fiesta MkI owners club were also involved in the drive, bringing with thema variety of sport Fiesta models as well as a MkII Fiesta Popular and a MkI Fiesta Van. (Quote: Owners Club)
The chronological evolution of Fiesta was evident, from the early MkI to the latest MkVII, and the changes significant, both visually and technologically. External design changes have been accompanied by new technologies, safety features and increased levels of equipment, many of which are now standard on the latest Fiesta, including air-conditioning, electric windows, Easy Fuel, electrically-operated and heated door mirrors and power-assisted steering. Today’s Fiesta, with a range of class-leading powertrains - including the multi-award winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, can be ordered with heated seats, cruise control and integrated navigation system which can even include a rear-view camera.
- Engine production begins at Valencia
- Fiesta name chosen personally by Henry Ford II for its alliteration with Ford, its spirit and its celebration of Ford’s new connection with Spain
- Production of new Fiesta begins in Valencia, Spain in May. Fiesta initially available in 1.0-litre and 1.1-litre Ghia versions
- UK sales of the Fiesta begin
- Export of Fiesta models for the US market begins
- Millionth Fiesta built for worldwide sales.
- Ford introduces the new Fiesta XR2 with a 1.6-litre engine, stiffer suspension, unique perforated alloy wheels and styling treatments, including available auxiliary driving lamps. The first 100mph Fiesta
- Fiesta is best-selling car in its class in Britain and Germany for six years running
- Aerodynamic new Fiesta MkII introduced. This new model was longer and more fuel efficient, available in 1.0-litre and 1.1-litre
- 1.3-litre model launched with a fifth gear
- Fiesta 1.6-litre diesel introduced. This overhead-cam, indirect injection engine would become a mainstay of the Ford line-up for more than a decade
- XR2 MkII version of new Fiesta introduced with 1.6-litre, single-overhead-cam engine and 5-speed gearbox, plus low-profile tyres, improved suspension and brakes
- Best sales year in Britain with 153,000 Fiestas sold
- Fiesta MkIII launched with anti-lock brakes and lean-burn engines, in 1.0-litre and 1.1-litre versions. New Fiesta featured a longer and wider body shape and an increased wheelbase. It was available for the first time as a five-door model,
- Fiesta is first small car with ABS
- Fiesta MkIII adds 1.4-litre – the first Ford engine to meet pending European emissions standards due to take effect in 1996 – and 1.6-litre engine options
- Fiesta XR2i joins the range later in the year with new 1.6-litre twin cam engine and 5-speed gearbox as the range’s hot hatch.
- Introduction of Fiesta RS Turbo at Turin Motor Show. Using the XR2i engine with an intercooled Garrett turbocharger, the Fiesta RS Turbo was 1.6 seconds quicker than XR2i to 100km/h (62mph)
- Fiesta RS 1800 introduced. Powered by a 16-valve 1.8-litre engine with improved hot hatch handling, plus five-spoke alloy wheels and a body-colour spoiler
- Introduction of 1.8-litre, 16-valve Zetec engine
- Driver airbag becomes standard
- Introduction of the new Fiesta MkIV with all-new rounded, aerodynamic shape and oval grille. Available with 1.25-litre, 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre engines, plus a 1.8-litre diesel. Dual airbags standard
- All-new Fiesta MkV introduced at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show
- Production begins in Cologne and Valencia of the new Ford Fiesta
- All-new Ford Fiesta MkV launched initially in the five-door version with a new line-up of engines, including the new Duratec 1.3-litre and the 1.6-litre 16-valve Duratec petrol engines
- Fiesta three-door model and the range’s 1.4-litre Duratec petrol engine and new 1.4-litre Duratorq TDCi common rail diesel engine
- Durashift EST automatic shifting manual transmission introduced
- 2.0-litre 150PS Fiesta ST launched as the first production offering of Ford Team RS. It was the most powerful Fiesta ever at the time.
- Fiesta launched with voice activation and Bluetooth
- All-new Fiesta MkVI unveiled at Geneva Motor Show
- MkVI Fiesta goes into production in Cologne, Germany, Valencia, Spain and Nanjing, China, with new 1.6-litre Duratec Ti-VCT petrol and sub-100g/km 1.6-litre Duratec diesel engines
- Fiesta’s 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi engine sees power increase to 95PS and three petrol engine options benefit from CO2 emission reductions
- Introduction of the Fiesta MkVII, the first Fiesta to come with the three cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. Launched with Ford’s MyKey technology that would become a mainstay in many future Ford vehicles
- Fiesta ST launched with a 1.6-litre EcoBoost turbo engine that produces 182PS - Awarded Top Gear Car of the Year
- Fiesta Red/Black editions unveiled with 140PS 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. More power-per-litre than a Bugatti Veyron
- Powershift launched
- Fiesta becomes best-selling vehicle ever in the UK, surpassing the 4,105,961 registrations achieved by the Ford Escort
- Best year for Fiesta sales since 1996 – selling more than 133,000.
- Fiesta ST200 launched with a specially developed 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine that delivers 200PS - fastest-ever production Fiesta
- Fiesta becomes best-selling car in the UK every month for seven years in a row
- Fiesta ST wins more than 10 key awards since launch in 2013, including What Car? ‘Best Hot Hatch’ for three years in a row