Just a few short months ago, it seemed impossible to escape the hype surrounding Ford’s new subcompact, the Fiesta. Ads were everywhere, ranging from websites through print media, and the automaker even launched wildly successful social media campaign. Initial demand for the car was high, but by last month sales had plummeted to just 3,473 units according to Autoevolution. That’s about half the amount of Nissan Versas sold in the same month, and nearly 700 less than the amount of Honda Fits that left dealer lots. Even the aging, Daewoo-built Chevy Aveo sold nearly as well in November as the Fiesta, losing the fourth place spot by just 211 units. For a car with that much marketing support behind it, those numbers are more than slightly disappointing. When was the last time you saw an ad for the Honda Fit or Nissan Versa?
It’s too early to tell if poor Fiesta sales are the result of discounting from competitors, year end malaise or a rejection of the car itself. The Honda Fit benefits from a longer time in market, as does the Nissan Versa, and sometimes consumers buy what they’re familiar with. For better or for worse, the Ford Fiesta is an unproven entity in the US, so buyers may simply be taking a “wait and see” approach before signing on the dotted line. I liked the Fiesta I drove quite a bit, even though it would benefit from more driver leg room and a bit more horsepower. Still, the price seemed fair for the amount of content, and you can’t argue with fuel economy that hits 40 MPG on the highway. What’s your take – is it the car, or just the timing?