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The Ford Fiesta has proven to be a very successful small car wherever it's sold in the world. Ford has sold 12 million Fiestas over the vehicle's lifetime and the new-for-2009 model has moved half a million units already this year in Europe and Asia. It's a smash hit in spite of the fact that the Fiesta is not for sale in the U.S., a.k.a. the world's biggest car market. That all changes in the spring of 2010 as the Fiesta finally makes its way stateside.

Ford appears to be focusing its efforts in the U.S. small car market at exactly the right time, as consideration for B-Segment vehicles is at an all-time high and the trend appears to be upwardly mobile. And while Ford would love for us to believe that it was clairvoyant when deciding to bring the Fiesta to the U.S., it just isn't true. In fact, the Fiesta wasn't originally designed for the U.S. market, but the shock of $4 per gallon gas and a new-found interest in eco-friendly transportation led the Blue Oval to rethink its strategy. Ford didn't start readying the Fiesta for the U.S. market until many bits and bolts of hardware were already settled, so Team Blue had to go back to the drawing board to make its small car ready for Americans. The result is a U.S.-spec Fiesta that has only 60% of its parts in common with the Euro Fiesta. Will Americans be missing out? Follow the jump for everything you need to know about the Fiesta.

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