Ford is celebrating the Fiesta’s position as the best-selling car in the UK, by exhibiting a timeline of the model at SMMT’s Westminster headquarters. Featured in the display is a first-generation 1976 Fiesta L, as well as the iconic 1993 Mk3 XR2i and a current-generation 1.0-litre EcoBoost-engined car.
Fiesta’s story began nearly four decades ago in 1976, with the introduction of the company’s first commercially-successful front-wheel drive car. Launched in response to the increased demand for efficient cars following the 1973 oil crisis, the Fiesta boasted a 950cc engine, ample interior space and a fuel consumption figure of 33.3mpg. A large percentage of first-generation Fiestas destined for Europe were produced at Ford’s Dagenham factory, while it sold more than 500,000 units in the UK until it was replaced in 1983.
By the time the third-generation model was introduced in 1989, Fiesta had climbed to third place in the sales charts, and became the UK’s best-selling car for 1990 and 1991. In 1993 Ford launched the sports car-beating XR2i, which quickly won favour across the automotive industry and still enjoys legendary status.
The current Fiesta has been the UK’s best-selling car for seven months out of the 11 that it has been on sale. Its highly-acclaimed 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine was designed and engineered at Ford’s Dunton and Dagenham research and development centres and has won International Engine of the Year twice in succession.
Since 1980, the Ford Fiesta has consistently appeared in the top-five annual best-sellers, and has held the top spot since 2009.