March 26, 2009 - The arrival today on U.S. shores of 100 new Ford Fiestas marks an important step in the rollout of the first of Ford Motor Company's new generation of global small cars.
The European-built Fiestas arrived today at seaports in Baltimore and Oxnard, Calif., and will be loaned for six months to 100 young trendsetters chosen from more than 3,300 applicants as part of the "Fiesta Movement." Those picked to drive the European Fiesta will share their experiences online through social media sites such as Facebook, Flickr and YouTube to build buzz and anticipation for the vehicle's North American launch early next year.
The Fiesta already is a hit in Europe and Asia, where it went on sale last year and earlier this year, respectively. The new Fiesta already is the second-best selling vehicle of any make across Ford's 19 major European markets, and is headed for its best month yet in Europe in March. Early response from buyers in China and other Asia-Pacific markets already is outstripping company expectations.
"In the midst of the toughest economy many of us have ever seen, the Fiesta is becoming a legitimate global success story," said Jim Farley, Ford Group Vice President of Marketing and Communications. "The Fiesta Movement is all about introducing a new kind of small car to a new generation of buyers."
The 100 five-door Fiestas coming to the U.S. were built at Ford's Cologne Assembly Plant in Europe. For many U.S. customers, it will be their first chance to see and read about the small car that is one of three finalists for the World Car of the Year award that will be announced next month at the New York International Auto Show.
"We're really excited to be able to get our U.S. customers behind the wheel and experience this car," said Sam De La Garza, small car marketing manager. "It's all part of a plan to build excitement about the new Fiesta with the next generation of Ford customers."
Designed and developed as Ford's first global car, the Fiesta takes the nameplate's three-decade heritage to a new level with its eye-catching kinetic design, widely acclaimed driving dynamics and unexpected refinement.
Before coming to the U.S., special permission was granted by the EPA and the European-spec vehicles were modified for American drivers.
The language in the vehicles' instrument panel message center was changed from German to English and the speedometers were changed from kilometers to miles per hour. The voice piping from the Bluetooth-enabled vehicle, however, retains its British accent. All the Fiesta Movement vehicles feature keyless entry with push-button start, EasyFuel™ Capless Fuel-Filler System, 16" or 17" wheels, and many other features typically found on larger or premium vehicles.