2009 Ford Fiesta

This fall, Ford of Europe is launching an all-new version of its popular Fiesta, a model that Ford has sold for the past 32 years. Available in both 2-door hatchback and 4-door hatchback body styles, the new Fiesta competes in what is known in most global automotive markets as the "B" segment. In America, we call cars of this size "subcompacts." Previously, Ford brought the Fiesta to America only once, in the very late 1970s, and only for a few years, but this time, the Fiesta was designed and engineered expressly to meet the needs of all of Ford's global automotive markets, including North America.

The Fiesta, then, is the first evidence of the automaker's new "One Ford" philosophy, wherein it is leveraging its worldwide resources to build a portfolio of cars that can, with minor variations, be sold anywhere that Ford sells cars. Therefore, the Fiesta is a very big deal to the Ford Motor Company.

The Fiesta could be a very big deal for American consumers, too, when it arrives here in two years as a 2011 model, because it is likely to be the first truly world-class subcompact car to come out of Detroit. Finally, here is an answer to the Honda Fit, the Toyota Yaris, and the Nissan Versa: a small car that promises to look good, drive well, and reward, rather than punish, its owners.

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