Ford to Bring Fiesta Hatch to North America

Purveyors of the subcompact hatch, rejoice: the attractive new Ford Fiesta, slated for a 2010 North American launch, will arrive in a hatchback form.

Based off the Verve hatchback concept shown at the 2007 Frankfurt motor show, the production Fiesta was launched for the European markets at the 2008 Geneva motor show in both three- and five-door hatch. The production car carries most of the successful Verve design language into production without any change.

North America was promised a version of Ford's new global subcompact, but company officials were undecided if the market warranted a hatchback. Another Verve concept - a four-door sedan - was shown at the 2008 Detroit auto show (reportedly designed to appeal to North American tastes), and initial announcements of a Fiesta arriving stateside only referenced the sedan.

That said, Ford placed the Verve hatchback alongside the sedan at American auto shows, and gauged the reaction.

"Customers responded very positively after seeing both the sedan and hatchback versions of the Verve small car concept," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of American operations. "We know the market is headed toward more small cars and crossovers. With our product and manufacturing flexibility, we will be able to offer both models and add production capacity."

Although this may come as good news for North American buyers interested in the size - and the look - of the Fiesta, the launch timing hasn't been pulled forward. Europeans may be enjoying their cars by the end of this year, but Fiestas bound for North America - all slated to be built in Mexico City, Mexico - won't arrive in showrooms until 2010.

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