The Beloved Ford Fiesta Is Dead After Almost 50 Years In Production

Ford Fiesta

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.

RIP Fiesta

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:

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

Sportagetmd

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

Boutnetmd

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:

Both Nissan and Renault included six-year buyback clauses. Russia’s Vedomosti daily cited a source as saying that the Mercedes deal might include a similar clause.

A Mercedes spokesperson said the company’s 15 percent stake in Russian truckmaker Kamaz would not be affected by the intended transaction and should be transferred to Daimler Truck this year as planned.

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

Audi Tdmb

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.”

Cool.

The Flush

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

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81 Responses

  1. 1. Yes. Was a big fan in the late 90s then lost interest when it was just Schumacher walking away with the win every race.
    Came back briefly to witness Lewis winning his first championship, a moment that brought tears to my eyes.
    2. Yes. I started watching again in 2018 sporadically and following YouTube highlights. DTS reminded me a bit of what I was missing. I don’t really watch it anymore, but this year I am subscribed to F1 tv.
    3. Yes. Toto and Christian are two of the all time greatest F1 team bosses.

  2. Hot take (for this website at least): I won’t miss the Fiesta. Want a small fun driver’s car? Get a Miata. The backseat in a Fiesta is practically useless. It sits right in the valley between small, fun cars and cars big enough to be useful. They felt cheap, were built cheaply, but were not cheap enough to justify that like the Mirage is. 9/10 people (at least) would be better served by one of the aforementioned cars or, if they just want small inexpensive practicality, should just get the new Chevy Trax, Honda Fit, or something similar. The taller shape gives much more usable space. Also (subjective complaints time) the Fiesta was uninspiring and ugly. I honestly can’t believe Ford held onto it as long as they did.

  3. Speaking from what I see everyday, killing the fiesta is a really stupid decision. Here is the most popular model alongside the focus and is an icon in european car culture, the fiesta is a car that either you have owned at one moment in your life or your family and friends did. Not only that but they are affordable cars (both the fiesta and focus) for the masses, in a continent where hatchbacks are pretty much the norm, I don´t really see the Puma, Kuga and Tourneo being a viable solution here, they are going to lose a really big part of their costumer base. That being said, if they really are killing the model I hope it stays that way and does not come back as a crossover, that would be an insult to a car that was part of our lives and culture for half a century.

  4. Ford’s decision is pretty much insane – here in the EU, Focus and Mondeo are THE cars for leasing companies and company cars, as, at least quite recently, they were reasonably priced and basically are quite good cars. I don’t see companies switching to Kugas for their sales reps.

  5. I kind of watch F1. I record and watch the start and first few laps. Love the starts and first few turns. Skip ahead to the last few laps. Usually the leader at lap 5 is the winner. Oh, and someone gets all pissy and cries about something. Toto Wolff had a hit in the early eighties with “Rosanna.” Never watched Drive to Survive.

  6. For our honeymoon in Sept ’78, my Nederlands bride insisted we rent a Fiesta. I was US Army stationed in Steenwijk when we met. My ’67 Mini Countryman was “not suitable” (no AC). I wrung the wee out of that sucka. Took it all & asked for more!

  7. No, no & no…and I live in Austin area…but not against anything racing related…also Ford and the Fiesta suck (Go-kart w/ bowling balls for wheels) & all Kia’s should be lit on fire anyways (I don’t consider them cars- more like a dumpster fire of plastic junk)????????

  8. This “EV or bust!” movement coupled with the death of normal cars and the lingering supply chain challenges (likely for a couple more years) is a gut punch, eye poke, and kick in the balls to people wanting reasonably priced transportation. RIP cheap, cheerful Fiesta. You are too good for this new world.

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