In March 2010, Ford was Europe’s most popular automotive brand, and that’s largely due to the hot Fiesta.
The Fiesta’s incredible success in Europe isn’t necessarily a great indicator of how well the subcompact will perform in the U.S. market, but it is interesting to note that the subcompact entry far outsold the Focus, the second-best seller at Ford.
Ford has maintained its 9.4-percent market share in Europe for the first quarter of 2010, a great complement to its U.S. marketshare in the first quarter, which rose 2.5 points to 16.5 percent. The automaker cautions that unless governments extend the long-running scrappage programs (i.e. “Cash for Clunkers”), it will be difficult to sell as many vehicles during the rest of the year.
“Ford has had a great March and first quarter sales performance, but we can expect some further challenges in the months ahead as more scrappage schemes are phased out,” said Dr. Wolfgang Schneider, Ford of Europe’s Vice President for Legal, Governmental and Environmental Affairs.
The redesigned Fiesta is responsible for a good portion of Ford’s sales momentum in Europe. The car had its best sales volume and share since 1996.
“Fiesta continues to be an outstanding performer for us with 140,400 sold in Europe during the first three months of the year, and close to 70,000 sold in March alone,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president of sales, Ford of Europe. “Globally, we’ve now sold over 750,000 Fiestas since the latest generation model was launched almost 18 months ago.”
Should European governments not renew any Cash for Clunkers-style consumer incentives, it will be interesting to see how European sales charts are shaken up. In the meantime, U.S. buyers will have to wait until this summer to get their hands on a Fiesta, and until early 2011 for the new Focus.