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While the new Ford Fiesta ST has been confirmed for our market, the core models of the next-generation light hatch are unlikely to come Down Under.
Speaking with media at the local launch of the Ford Performance sub-brand, Graeme Whickman, CEO of Ford Australia, cited stagnant private sales in that segment as the clear hurdle.
“When you take out fleet and hire, there’s very little movement in that segment,” he said.
“Reality is the market is changing, we’re seeing less passenger cars and more SUVs and pickups. Our decisions are a reflection of what’s happening in the market.”
It’s also likely the new model’s German production scheduled contributed to the baby hatchback’s demise, which would probably make the new-generation model more expensive to import than the current Thai-sourced version.
The news comes after the company’s local arm told CarAdvice last year the future of the Fiesta and Focus was uncertain – though we now know the new Focus, also built in Germany, will arrive in Australian showrooms late this year.
For those who love the look of the new Fiesta, the sole variant to be offered Down Under will be the ST hot hatch, complete with a 147kW/290Nm 1.5-litre turbo triple, when it arrives in the second quarter of 2019.
Pricing and specifications are yet to be confirmed, however, so stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest updates over the coming months.
Despite the nameplate dating back globally to 1976, the Ford Fiesta debuted in the Australian market in 2004 in the its fifth generation. The range was headlined by a sporty XR4 – a rebadged version of the Fiesta ST sold in Europe to make the naming inline with the Focus XR5 and Falcon XR models.
Where the fifth-gen Fiesta was hatchback only, the sixth-generation model that first arrived locally in 2009 added a sedan body style at the turn of the decade.
The 2013 facelift saw the introduction of the Aston Martin-style face of the model currently on sale (above) and the turbocharged ST hot hatch variant. It also spelled the end of the sedan variant, which was dropped due to slow sales.
Fast forward to 2016 and the seventh-generation Fiesta was revealed for Europe, though only the ST variant will make it Down Under.
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