Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Worldwide Fiesta for Ford

Fiesta is the global name for Ford's new fuel efficient small car, which begins production in Europe this year and will be launched worldwide by the the end of the decade.

The car is new, from what Ford is calling its "new global development process", but the name is not. There's been some version of a Ford Fiesta somewhere in the world for more than 30 years.

The Fiesta was offered in the US from 1978 to 1970, and another version of the small car with the same name is a best-seller now in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.

"The new Ford Fiesta captures every aspect of what's defined Ford as a small-car leader in Europe and builds on it in terms of driving dynamics and design," said Mark Fields, president of the Americas, Ford Motor Company, who predicts it will set a new standard in the small car segment.

Over the years, more than 12 million vehicles named Fiesta have been sold, making this one of the world's most popular vehicles. So the all-new design is carrying a lot of expectations in its small trunk.

Starting in the early 1970s, the Fiesta project became a personal mission of Ford's chairman, Henry Ford II, fueled by the 1973 gas crisis, when the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries -- OPEC -- cut off shipments to the United States. It caused long lines at the gas pumps and gas prices nearly doubled -- from 39 cents a gallon to 55 cents a gallon.

Henry Ford II also chose the name Fiesta, to reflect the car's new manufacturing plant in Spain. The 21st century Fiesta also is being manufactured in Spain, and in Germany, too.

The Ford Motor Company has about 100 factories and 250,000 employees worldwide.

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