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Ford Fiesta becomes Best-Selling UK Car of All Time

  • Ford Fiesta ranks as the UK’s best-selling vehicle ever in the UK, exceeding 4,115,00 sales since 1976
  • Fiesta now overtakes the Ford Escort, the previous record holder, with 4,105,961 registrations
  • Ford celebrates Fiesta’s sales success at the Commonwealth Games starting today, where it is official vehicle sponsor

bRENTWOOD, Essex, 23 July 2014 – The Ford Fiesta became the UK’s best-selling vehicle nameplate of all time this month when total sales topped 4,115,000.

First launched in 1976, the Fiesta has led the small car segment in the UK for 27 of the 37 years and has been Britain’s best-selling car since 2009 when it overtook the Ford Focus.

This month it surpassed the historic record of the Ford Escort which sold 4,105,961 in the 32 years it was on sale in the UK from 1968 through to 2000.

Ford has added its cherished “FMC1” registration to a Fiesta destined for Scotland for the Commonwealth Games to mark the UK favourite’s landmark achievement. Netball competitor Sasha Corbin, one of Ford’s athlete ambassadors, chose a Ford Fiesta for the Games – one of the 1,120 Fords supporting the event in Scotland this month.

Mark Ovenden, Ford Britain chairman and managing director, said: “The Ford Fiesta has gone from strength to strength and today’s car combines style, value, driving dynamics and remarkable technologies such as the multi-award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. It continues to outsell its nearest retail competitor by more than two to one – and that really tells the story of this extraordinary car.”

UK-based engineers at Ford’s research and development centre at Dunton, in Essex, and at Ford’s Dagenham Diesel Centre, in East London, develop all powertrains for the Ford Fiesta. Dunton Technical Centre is home to Ford’s latest technical masterpiece – the EcoBoost range, including the 1.0-litre named International Engine of the Year for an unprecedented third consecutive year.  The 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine that powers the hot Fiesta ST is manufactured at the Bridgend Engine Plant, South Wales.

Dagenham Diesel Centre specialises in the engineering and production of high-tech, low CO2 diesel engines for virtually all of Ford’s line-up of cars and commercial vehicles, across Europe and beyond, including the new 1.5-litre TDCi diesel for Fiesta.

Technical progress since the original Fiesta was introduced is a step-change. For example, it would now take more than 80 modern-day Fiestas to generate the NOx emissions of a single 1976 Mk1 model. This first-generation Fiesta, with the 46PS four-cylinder 950cc petrol engine, weighed around 800kg and achieved 37.7mpg, with CO2 emissions of almost 150g/km. Today’s fully-equipped model, with the 1.0-litre 100PS EcoBoost engine, weighs nearly 1,100kg, yet boasts a combined fuel economy of 65.7mpg and just 99g/km CO2 emissions.

More than 40 per cent of  Fiesta buyers in the UK today choose the turbo-charged 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, and almost 90 per cent opt for higher level specification – Zetec, Zetec S, Titanium, Titanium X and ST models with the Ford SYNC voice-controlled connectivity system.

The most popular Ford Fiesta series in Britain is the Zetec, priced at £12,945, and features MyKey (limiting vehicle speed and audio volume for novice drivers), radio/CD with USB connection, remote central locking, electrically operated front windows, electrically operated and heated door mirrors, air conditioning, Hill Launch Assist, seven airbags, Electronic Stability Programme and headlight courtesy delay.

 Fiesta Timeline:

  • 1972: Fiesta conceived as secret Project Bobcat to create a new Ford small car
  • 1973: Ford Board of Directors give go-ahead to produce Bobcat
  • 1974: Construction of Ford’s new Valencia manufacturing complex
  • 1975: Fiesta name chosen by Henry Ford II
  • 1976: Mk I introduced in 1.0- and 1.1-litre Ghia form. UK launch falls into 1977
  • 1977: Ford introduces larger displacement 1.3-litre version
  • 1978: Fiesta wins British Design Council Award.
  • 1979: Millionth Fiesta built for worldwide sales. Special sporty version enters Monte Carlo Rally - this would become the XR2
  • 1981:  Ford introduces the new Fiesta XR2 with a 1.6-litre engine, stiffer suspension, unique alloy wheels and styling treatments. First 100mph Fiesta
  • 1983: Mk II launched with fifth gear. 1.6 litre diesel becomes first in class.
  • 1984: First Fiesta runs on lead-free petrol. XR2 version introduced
  • 1987: Best sales year just under 154,000 Fiesta were sold in Britain. CTX continuously variable transmission added to Fiesta range
  • 1989: Mk III launched with anti-lock brakes and lean-burn engines. Available for the first time as a five-door. Fiesta is first small car with ABS. Fiesta MKIII adds 1.4-litre – first Ford engine to meet pending European emission standards due to take effect in 1996. Fiesta XR2i joins the range
  • 1990: 135PS Fiesta RS Turbo launched
  • 1993: Driver airbags standard.
  • 1996: Mk IV launched with Zetec engines. Dual airbags standard. Fiesta Ghia 1.3-litre added to UK range
  • 2002: Mk V launched initially in five-door with new line up of engines including the new Duratec petrols, the 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre 16v. 1.4-litre Duratorq TDCi common rail diesel added and Durashift EST auto
  • 2003: Three-door version
  • 2005: 150PS Fiesta ST launched – most powerful to date
  • 2006: Refreshed Fiesta launched with voice activation and Bluetooth
  • 2007: Ford Verve concept debuts at IAA Frankfurt motorshow
  • 2008: Mk VI launched. Fiesta ECOnetic becomes UK’s most fuel efficient 5-seat family car with 76.3mpg and 98g/km CO2
  • 2009: Fiesta makes north American debut
  • 2011: Fiesta S1600 special edition 1.6-litre, 134PS arrives, Fiesta RS world rally car makes its competitive debut
  • 2012 – New Fiesta is launched, new powertrains including the award winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost and technologies with Ford SYNC and MyKey
  • 2013 – New Fiesta ST launched with 182PS 1.6L EcoBoost engine
  • 2014 –1.0-litre EcoBoost, triple time winner of International Engine of the Year, offered at 140PS Fiesta Zetec S Red and Black editions

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