Rolling off the assembly line at Ford‘s plan in Cologne, Germany yesterday was the six millionths Fiesta model – a Vision Blue Sport edition intended for a German customer. Show above next to an original Fiesta, this seventh-generation model celebrates 31 years of production in Cologne, with Fiestas dating back to 1976 in Europe.
In total, more than 13 million Fiestas have been sold, with other manufacturing plants in Europe (located in Valencia, Spain; Ford’s Dagenham plant in the United Kingdom, and the Saarlouis plant in Germany between 1976 and 1980) making up roughly the other half of all models produced.
It took Ford 10 years to sell the first one million Fiesta models, but the current model has already sold 750,000 units in just 18 months.
Ford has just begun Fiesta production in Nanjing, China and Rayong, Thailand, with the first model set to roll out of the Ford Cuautitlàn Plant in Mexico (destined for the North American market) in the next few weeks.
According to recent statistics, the Fiesta is poised to break into the Top 10 best selling cars of all time, with the Chevrolet Impala currently in 10th place with 14 million units sold. Ford already has three of the Top 10 spots, with the Model T, F Series and Escort.
The current Fiesta is set to go on sale in North America this summer, powered by a 120-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder. Ford rates the car’s fuel economy at 29/38-mpg (city/hwy) for the manual, and 30/40-mpg for the six-speed automatic. Pricing starts at $13,320 for the sedan and $15,120 for the hatch. See our review of the new Fiesta by following the link below:
Official release after the jump:
SIX MILLION FIESTAS ALREADY BUILT BY FORD IN COLOGNE
Six million Fiestas built by Ford in Cologne: Two generations of Fiesta meet in front of Cologne’s Cathedral in Germany – The first generation Fiesta, built in 1976, and a current model Fiesta.
COLOGNE, May 4, 2010 – The Ford Fiesta, Europe’s top-selling car in the first quarter of 2010*, set another record today at the Ford Niehl Assembly Plant in Cologne, Germany.
The 6 millionth German-built Fiesta, a three-door Vision Blue Sport edition, with a 1.6 litre Ti -VCT engine (120 PS), destined for a German customer, rolled off the production line today – 31 years after the first one was produced here in October 1979. To date, seven generations of the Ford Fiesta have been built in Cologne in 1989 and the Niehl facility became “lead plant” for Fiesta production in Europe.
Since Fiesta production began in Europe in 1976, the ever-popular car has sold over 13 million units in total and has been built in four Ford European manufacturing plants, including Cologne. The first car was built in Valencia, Spain in 1976, where – as with Niehl – the latest-generation Ford Fiesta continues to be built. From 1976 until 2002, the Fiesta was also built at Ford’s Dagenham plant in the United Kingdom, and at the Saarlouis plant in Germany between 1976 and 1980.
Over the years, thanks to increased production efficiency, more Fiestas have been built faster and to even higher quality levels at Niehl. Ford continues to be considered by industry experts to be one of the most efficient carmakers in Europe.
It took ten years to reach the first million units production milestone of the Fiesta; the second millionth Fiesta rolled off the assembly line in less than half the time; the time between the fifth and sixth millionth Fiestas was just over three years.
Around 4,300 employees are currently producing 1,885 Ford Fiesta and Ford Fusion models daily in a flexible three-shift-system at the Niehl site. In 2009, the plant manufactured 406,200 cars in total – 350,500 Fiestas and 55,700 Fusions. About 80 per cent of the plant’s total vehicle production is exported.
“The Fiesta’s success speaks for itself. Its innovative design combined with state-of-the-art technology continues to be a great hit with customers,” said Ken Macfarlane, vice president, manufacturing, Ford of Europe. “To achieve six million units of production is a great milestone for Niehl, and one that everyone at the plant should be justly proud of achieving. This is not just a success for Ford, but also for Cologne, North Rhine Westphalia and Germany.”
Niehl production of the latest-generation Fiesta started in August 2008. Only 18 months after its debut, more than 750,000 customers have purchased the new Fiesta around the world, with more than 670,000 cars being sold in Europe.
The Niehl Assembly Plant also played a key role in an initiative to introduce the new Fiesta to consumers in North America. Under its “Fiesta Movement” programme, Ford selected 100 customers to drive the new Fiesta and then relate their experiences through social networking sites such as Facebook, FlickR and YouTube. A fleet of 100 five-door Fiestas for the programme was built at the German plant and exported to North America in March 2009.
The Fiesta will begin to arrive in dealer showrooms in North America during the second quarter of 2010.
Ford also will launch its global Fiesta in key Asian Pacific markets during 2010. Aside from Niehl and Valencia in Europe, the Fiesta also is built in Nanjing, China and Rayong, Thailand. The Ford Cuautitlàn Plant in Mexico will celebrate its first production Fiesta model in the coming weeks.