Outside of the kei car market of Japan, it seems Europe was the last bastion of small cars, but it appears those walls are crumbling down as Ford has announced it will start selling more SUVs, crossovers and pickups in the Euro market. Ford also announced that two of Europe’s favorite cars are going away for good—the Focus and the Fiesta. In bringing along the new Bronco and other non-car vehicles, Ford will also launch a new patriotic campaign to sell these vehicles.
Yes, you’re reading that correctly, according to Automotive News Europe, the Ford Bronco midsize off-road SUV will be coming to select European markets by springtime 2023. It’s not clear if that also includes the Ford Bronco Sport compact SUV. It’s a new approach to bring in high-margin vehicles into the continent as the brand will make the transition to all-electric vehicles by 2030. Ford will push its small car and hatch buyers into upcoming small SUV offerings.
Though, it wasn’t as if the writing wasn’t on the wall for the Focus and Fiesta cars. European sales of the Focus have seen a large drop since 2019 going from 224,401 units to 101,066 units by 2021. The Fiesta was even worse off, in 2018 it had 270,931 units sold and to drop below 100,000 with only 86,385 units in 2021. Even in the height of the Pandemic in 2020, the Fiesta sold 156,067, just to show how disappointing sales of Ford’s small car were (for some additional context, the Focus sold 173,853 units in 2020).
EVs Still Coming
The plan to launch three new EVs in the next two years is on schedule and will start with a battery-powered and Romanian-built Ford Puma crossover in 2024. That’s the EV that European Ford Fiesta buyers will be pushed towards as both it and the Focus will both be dropped. The Fiesta will be ending its production in 2023—taken over by an all-electric vehicle being shared by Volkwagen’s MEB platform—and the Focus by 2025—there has been no update on what production will take over that Saarlouis, Germany plant.
With the introduction of the Bronco to Europe, a new ad campaign will be kicking off and it will be very, well, American-flavored. In a quote to Auto News Europe, the new slogan will be titled “Adventurous Spirit” and is meant to reflect “American values” of freedom, outdoors and adventure.
We can only wonder how well those ads will work considering that those three attributes aren’t exactly America-only values. This is a part of five different global marketing campaigns that includes the Mustang under “Wild Performance,” the new Puma crossover EV branding with “Urban Escape,” the Explorer with “Active Adventure” advertising, and the updated Ranger campaigning as the “Ultimate Outdoor” vehicle.
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