Ford will stop building Fiesta models next week to make way for the electric Explorer SUV

As one chapter closes, another one is about to open. Ford is ending production of its top-selling Fiesta model next week as it gears up for an all-electric future. The compact car was retired to free up much-needed space at its Cologne, Germany, plant to build Ford’s new electric Explorer SUV.

Ford ends Fiesta production for electric Explorer

Ford revealed last year it would be dropping the iconic compact car from its lineup sooner than expected as it accelerated its transition to EVs.

According to Autocar, the last Fiesta model will roll off the assembly line on July 7, 2023. After 47 years and eight generations, the Fiesta era is ending in favor of an electric future.

The move came after the American automaker announced it would become an all-electric brand in Europe by 2030, with nine EV models in its lineup by 2024. Ford teamed up with Volkswagen in 2020 to accelerate EV production in the region with plans to use VW’s MEB platform to launch its own branded electric models.

Ford expects the partnership to double planned volume to 1.2 million units over the next six years.

After teasing a new medium-sized crossover EV, Ford finally released the fully electric Explorer SUV in Europe in March, expected to start at less than $50,000 (€45,000).

The five-seat family SUV fuses American design with premium German Engineering resulting in a stylish, functional mid-size crossover.

Following a $2 billion investment to transform its plant in Cologne, Germany, Ford opened the “Cologne Electric Vehicle Center,” its first carbon neutral factory on June 12. The new high-tech production facility is designed to produce next-gen EVs for the European market, starting with the electric Explorer.

Martin Sander, general manager of Ford Model E Europe, said, “We decided to build our first high-volume electric vehicle here in Cologne,” speaking with Autocar in December. Sanders added:

There comes the point where we need the space for construction, because we are turning the Fiesta plant into a fully battery-electric plant. This is why we had to make a decision that we have to stop Fiesta production.

The Fiesta was one of several ICE vehicles Ford retired (including the S-Max and Galaxy minivans) to make way for EVs, including the electric Explorer.

Ford previously said it will only sell EVs in the region from 2030. The automaker aims to sell 600,000 electric cars annually by 2026 as it works toward becoming an EV-only brand in Europe by the end of the decade.

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