October 31, 2017 at 9:46 AM
New and used Fords are always in demand, particularly the ever-popular Ford Fiesta, with its grand combination of style, reliability, and durability. This highly regarded little car has been around for a while and has a triumphant history.
The early 1970s were characterised by the OPEC oil embargo and consequent petrol crisis. In America, the flamboyant mile-long gas-guzzlers were suddenly out of style. People became more aware of fuel consumption; smaller, more economical cars that consumed less petrol were in demand. Ford accordingly developed "Project Bobcat" that contemplated the production of a small, front-wheel-drive car, along the lines of Europe's "Mini-sized" cars. The project, deemed risky and expensive, had been on the back-burner for years; it was the 1973 oil crisis that prodded it into production.
A brand-new car model, a completely new car size (smaller than the Ford Escort yet bigger than the "Mini"), and a new-built production plant in a completely new location: the project contemplated all this and was approved for production in late 1973. The new location was Valencia in Spain, and the name of the new model, "Fiesta", personally chosen by Henry Ford II himself in honour of the newborn Spanish connection, reflected the party-time spirit of the new nifty-sized car, and the memorable alliteration "Ford Fiesta" rolled easily off the tongue. The Launch The very first Ford Fiesta was presented at the 1976 Le Mans 24 Hours. It went on sale in the same year in Germany and France, but UK customers had to wait until 1977 for the right-hand-drive version. Export of the Fiesta to the USA featured models with more powerful engines, catalytic converters, and optional air conditioning.
Searching for a term to describe a small car that is more than a "Mini" (more space, more versatility, more style), journalists came up with "Supermini" as an informal categorisation. In 1977, the term was happily adopted by all, even newspapers such as The Times. By the mid-1980s, "Supermini" had replaced the more official "B-Segment". It was accepted by the Consumers' Association as an alternative to "small hatchback" (the hatchback design is typical of the Supermini) and was officially adopted by the European Commission.
In 1979, the millionth Fiesta was built for a global market, and the car's popularity was increasing worldwide. The first 100mph Fiesta was introduced in 1981; by 1982, Fiesta was firmly established as the best-selling car of its class in Britain and Germany. 1983 saw the launch of the new Ford, the Fiesta MK2: aerodynamic, longer, and more fuel-efficient. It was also the year of the first diesel version, with indirect injection engine. The following year welcomed the new improved XR MKII model. In 1987, 153,000 Fiestas were sold: the best sales year in the UK.
Innovations galore were annually included in new versions of this ever-popular vehicle. The numerous improvements of 1989, including anti-lock brakes, five doors, increased wheel-base, five-speed gearbox and ABS, set the pace for the next decade. The new Ford models in the nineties all included futuristic innovations, such as turbocharger, five-spoke alloy wheels, standard airbags, and various engine options, from 1.25-litre up to 1.8-litre diesel.
New Ford models keep pace with the new millennium with the enhancement/upgrading of many tried-and-true easy-driving and safety features, such as the EcoBoost engine system of 2016 that delivers 200hp, or this year's brand-new Fiesta MK8. Currently, new and used Ford models dominate the market and the Fiesta's record as a best seller gets reaffirmed year after year.