Ford is ending European production of the three-door variant of the Fiesta small car in the summer, as it works to streamline its lineup and clear a backlog of orders.
Ford is one of the last automakers to offer in Europe a three-door small car. They are usually bought by customers looking for a cheaper car than five-door models.
Ford has used the three-door Fiesta both as an entry model and as the basis for the sporty ST version of the Fiesta, which will also move to a five-door model, with production beginning in the summer.
Ford builds the Fiesta for Europe at a factory in Cologne, Germany. The automaker is investing $1 billion in a new EV manufacturing center at the plant as part of a plan to switch its European passenger vehicle lineup to full-electric vehicles only by 2030.
As well dropping the three-door variant, Ford will further streamline the Fiesta lineup to accelerate output at the Cologne plant, after a stretch of downtime because of parts shortages.
“We are restricting some Fiesta orders due to the volume of existing orders we have,” a company spokesperson said, while also confirming the end of the three-door model.
Sales of the Fiesta are plunging as customers shift to crossovers from small hatchbacks. Fiesta production has also been disrupted by the industry’s components shortages.
Fiesta sales in Europe fell to 7,608 in the first two months from 19,844 during the same period last year, according to Dataforce.
The Cologne plant is currently idled for a scheduled two-week period over Easter that is set to end April 25.
Dealers in the U.K. have stopped taking orders for the cheapest Fiesta ST-2 performance variant, as well as for certain options such as the black contrast roof and the panoramic sunroof.
Ford will start production of a midsize full-electric SUV at the Cologne factory this year. The crossover will use Volkswagen Group’s MEB electric platform that underpins the VW ID4. A second vehicle, which Ford has said will be a “sports crossover,” will also be built at Cologne starting in 2024. The vehicle will also use the MEB platform.
The five-door Fiesta is expected to continue to be built alongside Ford’s VW-based electric vehicles in Cologne. Ford has yet to comment on when the five-door Fiesta will go out of production.
The seventh-generation Fiesta was launched in 2016 and was given a facelift last year. The Fiesta was introduced in 1976 to give Ford a hatchback competitor to rival the Renault 5 and Fiat 127.
The automaker is ending output of the EcoSport small crossover later this year at a factory in Craiova, Romania. The move will allow Ford to tool up the plant for the Transit Courier small van, which is due to start production in Craiova alongside the Puma next year.
The van will be sold with a passenger version called the Tourneo Courier, Ford said in March, leading to speculation that the model could replace Fiesta as Ford’s entry-level small passenger car. The Courier will be sold with full-electric, diesel and gasoline options, Ford has said.