The Fiesta is dead, Kia’s recalling older Sportages, Mercedes quits Russia, and Sauber teams up with Audi (Saubi?). All this and more on today’s issue of The Morning Dump.
Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.
For nearly half a century, Ford has had a Fiesta in its European lineup (and sometimes in its American one, too). They’ve sold 22 million of the little subcompacts, from the very first Ghia-designed model to the bigger and more modern car. And now it’s dead.
Given how global Ford has become with its products, it makes a sort of sense after Ford ditched the Fiesta from its lineup and announced the end of sedans. As a Ford spokesperson noted on Twitter:
Puma and Kuga remain very much part of the family for years to come. We also have our Tourneo range of affordable people carriers.
— Jay Ward (@Jward35) October 26, 2022
It also seems like the Focus, in some form, will be around a little longer (it has a crossover variant).
There’s clearly a tease at the end of the video for something small that plugs into the wall. Assuming that Ford still owns the Festiva branding it could easily be the Ford FestEVa right? Or maybe the Ford E-esta? It could also just be an all-EV Kuga. Open to any guesses.
This is a right bummer. The Fiesta, as our own Adrian Clarke pointed out, is every British kid’s first car. They’re great, small, affordable transportation. Or, they were.
Kias Are So Hot Right Now
If you have a 2008-2009 Kia Sportage you should park it outside and away from buildings according to this Reuters report, for no other reason than the Sportage might burst into flames.
Kia said the recall fix is currently under development that will address the risk of a fire originating from around the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) that could occur while parked or driving. Kia has identified eight vehicle fires and 15 localized melting/damage incidents since 2017 in the Sportage sport utility vehicles that had previously had the 2016 recall repairs completed.
They key phrase there is “had the 2016 recall repairs completed.”
It’s a re-recall. For the same problem. Ace work, team!
Mercedes Is Loud-Quitting Russia
I have never been to Russia, but if every movie about post-Soviet Russia is to be believed then rich Russians love themselves some Mercedes-Benz products. Specifically, S-Classes and G-Wagens are often driven by people Jason Bourne needs to kill or arrest.
So it’s a bummer for Russians that Mercedes is joining Renault (and just about everyone else) in deciding to GTFO of Russia. Automotive News reports in its article “Mercedes quitting Russian market, selling shares to local investor” that it’s not entirely clear if the sale to a local dealer network will include a six-year buyback clause like most of the other deals have:
What would cause Mercedes and other automakers to jump? If you’ve not been paying attention, Russia invaded Ukraine for no real reason, likely committed war crimes, and illegally annexed a bunch of that country.
In addition to not being able to get parts to build cars because of sanctions, Russia has mobilized possibly half a million men, so it’s not even clear who is around to run the factories.
Sauber Becomes Audi Sauber
While we wait to see what happens with Porsche and F1 and, of course, giddily await all the ways that Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff will get tortured by Ginger Spice’s husband on the next season of “Drive to Survive” on Netflix, we can at least fill in some details on what Audi is going to do.
Entering as an engine-supplier, Audi announced today that it’ll replace Ferrari/Alfa Romeo as the powerplant for the Swiss team Sauber’s cars. Here’s what Audi said:
Development of the power unit, which consists of an electric motor, battery, control systems and a combustion engine, is already in full swing at the facility of the specially founded Audi Formula Racing GmbH in Neuburg an der Donau.
More than 120 employees are already working on the project. “Sauber is a first-class partner for the use of the Audi Power Unit,” says Adam Baker, managing director of the company. “We are looking forward to working with an experienced team that has helped shape many eras of Formula 1 history. Together, we want to write the next chapter starting in 2026.”
I’m curious about our audience here, so a little bit of a survey:
- Do you watch Formula 1?
- Did you watch Formula 1 more after “Drive to Survive”?
- Do you know who Toto Wolff is?
Image credits: Ford, Kia, The Bourne Supremacy, Audi