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Ford Fiesta Mk8 Won’t Arrive In The U.S. As Subcompact Sales Plunge, ST Included

by Mircea Panait, 16 September 2017

The latest Ford Vehicle Guide for the U.S. market explicitly specifies the Fiesta soldiers on in this part of the world as is. In Europe, however, the Blue Oval treats its customers with the all-new Fiesta, which ushers in a three-cylinder turbo engine for the ST variant. While it was rumored the new FiST would arrive in North America for the 2019 model year, that ain’t gonna happen.

Over the past few years, the subcompact segment has taken a nosedive in the United States as more and more companies decided to focus on bigger vehicles. In the Ford Motor Company’s case, the only exception to the rule is the EcoSport, which is a subcompact crossover built in India that wants the piece of the sales pie the Fiesta is gradually losing. Unfortunately, the thing is that the Ford Fiesta Mk7’s days are numbered in this part of the world.

We’ve been hearing this ominous line for quite some time now, but the confirmation is finally in from Leo Roeks. Talking to Car Buzz at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the director of Ford Performance of Europe said:

“It’s simply a matter of a lack of interest in the B-segment in America. It doesn’t make sense, nor is it possible financially speaking, to import a single trim level, and a niche one at that.” Of course, Roeks refers to the ST.

What America is losing with this decision isn’t just a three-cylinder turbo that outperforms the old 1.6-liter EcoBoost in the U.S.-spec Fiesta ST. As demand for crossovers and SUVs keeps on growing in North America, the lower segments will suffer because sedans and hatchbacks simply cannot hold a candle to the practicality and desirability of high-riding utility vehicles.

The biggest tragedy, however, is that the all-new FiST appears to be an even more exciting machine than the previous generation. Despite the trademark throbbing of the turbocharged three-banger, just about everything else pits the newcomer as the new sweetheart of the small hot hatchback segment.

On the flipside, U.S. enthusiasts of the genre can still grab the outgoing Fiesta ST from dealership lots. And for what it’s worth, the tried-and-tested model still is just as fun to drive as it was on the day it set foot on American soil.
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