CarNewsCafe was at the new 2014 Ford Fiesta unveiling in Los Angeles. Here are some great numbers and a test drive.
Erich Merkle, Sales Analyst at Ford showed Ford’s impressive share growth on both coasts and particularly in California. Sales share this year grew 1% better than any other brands in the US and 2.5% since 2008 for Ford.
Small Car Segment Is Where It’s At. Ford strength comes from both US coastal sales. Traffic gridlock and higher gasoline prices on both sides of the country has boosted sales for the small car segment. The Fiesta total sales for Ford amount to 11% in Los Angeles alone. Considering the numbers since 2004, the small car segment increased to 14% nationwide overall. It dipped in 2008 with the recession, but picked up in 2010 to culminate this year with the Fiesta. The small car market share picked up earnestly in 2009, and today is 22% of Ford’s overall sales number, that’s 30% in California alone. Ford has sold 38,164 Fiestas this year, more than Honda’s Fit and Toyota’s Yaris combined, or if you wish Toyota and Scion in the B Segment.
2014 Fiesta B-roll
Ford Sale Projections. Ford estimates the 2013 numbers to hit 1.6 M in retail, 14% up for the vehicle industry. That’s double since 2009. California is the largest small car market in the country, with four times the rate of the industry in coastal west and east. All of this means a combined achievement of a balanced portfolio in the retail sales of subcompacts. Indeed, subcompact sales are up by 7% from 2012 to 2013. The Ford Fiesta snatches 35% of that market. California is also growing five times faster than the rest of the country, which is good news for the Fiesta. The Fiesta ST will be unveiled later this summer and the EcoBoost version, sometime later this year. All in all, Ford vehicles lead the highest competitive conquest in the hybrid segment.
Liz Elser, Marketing Manager for the Fiesta brand showed us how the Fiesta is taking in the number one spot for non hybrid competitive conquest vehicle in North America. What that means is that Ford’s entry-level cars are winning over a new clientele leaving behind their previous hybrids. The Fiesta is effectually now the number one subcompact car globally with 62% of its sales domestic, with a 64% competitive conquest in the Los Angeles area. Older Ford Fiestas are being traded in and up for the Focus, C-MAX, Fusion, etc. It is also the number one choice for first time buyer and millennials with its best in class highway fuel economy.
2014 Ford Fiesta Test Drive. We drove the 2014 Ford Fiesta in Los Angeles traffic and up windy canyons. Starting at $14,000 with a $159/mo lease, the newly redesigned car felt good overall. Its manual transmission was equally at ease in traffic as with a more energetic drive. The new interior highlights improved ergonomics. You can go here for more information on the Specs.
Why The Appeal for the Fiesta? The Ford Fiesta is winning over the Millennials for a few reasons. First, good MPG is the number one reason people chose a subcompact car. Second, the Millennials are having children and that means a need for space in cars. On another interesting note, the 41 MPG EcoBoost boasts more torque per MPG than what a Corvette does.
Connectivity. Connectivity is crucial for first time buyers and the new Ford MyTouch has been over indexed, its voice activated media beefed up, and its mobile app connectivity streamlined. The voice recognition has been simplified, and allows for easy cell phone pairing. Also a simplified infotainment allows you to select the main screen area instead of hunting hot corners. This is something we had a hard time with the C-MX Hybrid from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
The 2014 Ford Fiesta comes with HD radio, 8 speakers, satellite, and Bluetooth streaming. Parents will be happy with the MyKey 2014 smart technology that restricts younger drivers’ max speed, as well as audio levels. The system also blocks deactivation safety driving features and forces seat belt awareness.
In the meantime, Ford will hire 3,000 salaried employees this year to continue its product momentum and new growth. The Ford Fiesta has shown itself to be a great entry level car that ushers its clientele toward their bigger cars. We look forward to the ST and EcoBoost version until more people ask for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure electric versions.