[Ford Fiesta I]

Ford Fiesta I > History > Histories > "Federal Fiesta."

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Already while developing the Fiesta, Ford planned to sell the car in the States. Although it was initially planned to present the car at the same time as in Europe, it only reached the States in July (maybe August) 1977. As in Europe, the Fiesta could be bought in fout different trim levels: Basic, L (decor option group), S (sport) and Ghia. The engine however was a 1.6 l Kent, which from 1981 onwards was used in Europe for the XR 2 version as well. Due to growing sensibility for environmental concerns the engine had to fulfil certain specifications which made it deliver only 66 PS (49 kW), the European version later delivered 84 PS (62 kW).

Producing the car in the States was not considered, since estimated sales figures of 100.000 units per year did not justify it. Only if these figures could notacibly be exceeded, a production plant in the States could have been considered. But they weren't.

[Bild: US Fiesta] From the beginning the Fiesta is received well by the preß. It competes with the Chevette, the VW Rabbit and the Honda Civic. The non-availability of an automatic transmißion is thought to be a disadvantage. To adjust it to the American market, the Fiesta is fitted with round headlights and stronger bumpers with inset indicators. Additionally, the car is fitted with indicators on the fenders. In summer 1977 the list prices for the Fiesta are estimated at $ 3.450 for the basic and $ 4.200 for the Ghia version. In August 1979 the price is $ 4.198 (base model?). [Bild: US Fiesta]
© Dino Kammler
Already in 1979 Ford plans to sell the car only until 1981 in the States. From the on a new version of the Ford Pinto is to replace it. The Pinto is slightly larger than the Fiesta, and had been fitted with the 1.6 l Kent engine in the past.

The sales figures of the Fiesta in the States drop from the very beginning, a phenomenon which affects the whole motor industry, other brands and models much more than the Fiesta (in fact, the percentage of Fiesta sales increases compared with Ford's overall sales figures). Nontheleß, together with new regulations for gas consumption this situation leads to the decision to sell the Fiesta only until 1980. 1

Due to the comparatively strong engine, which had been used for racing in the past, and due to the small weight of the car, the Fiesta had ever since been used for racing.

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