Final Ford Fiesta rolls off production line in Cologne

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The last Ford Fiesta will roll off the production line on Friday bringing to an end almost 50 years of history which made it the UK’s best-selling car.

Ford will produce the final model in Cologne, Germany before its plant is modified to produce more electric vehicles.

First manufactured in 1976 it became an instant hit with those wanting smaller, more efficient cars.

More than 22 million have been produced globally.

Despite a huge choice in brands more Fiestas have been sold in the UK than any other car model, and it was the country’s best-selling vehicle every year between 2009 and 2020.

It was the 10th most popular new car last year, with more than 25,000 registered.

In total, there were 1.5 million licensed for use on UK roads in 2022, figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) show, ahead of all other models.

Ford announced it would end production of the Fiesta last October after it scrapped its family saloon the Mondeo in 2021. Earlier this year it also stopped making the S-Maxx and Galaxy people carriers.Production of the Ford Focus will end in 2025.

The car giant is thought to be using electrification as an opportunity to reinvent the brand for eco-conscious consumers.

Ford workers at old Dagenham factory
The Fiesta was produced in Dagenham for many years

The first model built in the UK was produced in Dagenham, Essex in 1977, but the car was first manufactured in Valencia, in Spain a year earlier.

It was originally designed as a more fuel-efficient, small car in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.

Alex Buttle, co-founder of used car marketplace Motorway, said the car would remain popular with customers for years to come. “We continue to see high demand for the Ford Fiesta, as our dealer partners remain keen to stock their forecourts with this modern-day classic,” he said.

The average sold price of a used model had increased by 14% in the last few months alone and was testament to the popularity of “this timeless model”, Mr Buttle said.

“The ceasing of production of new Ford Fiestas may mean the end of an era, but the used car market will continue breathing life into this much sought-after car for years ahead,” he added.

The final two Fiestas will be kept by Ford – one will stay in Germany while the other will be shipped to the UK and placed in its heritage collection.

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