Technology · August 5, 2022

Ford Axes Focus and Fiesta ST switch to SUVs and Utes

Ford has dropped its popular Fiesta and Focus hot hatches as it focuses on Utes and SUVs.

The brand abandoned the regular Focus and Fiesta some time ago, but continued to import the ST performance models in limited numbers. So far this year, the pair has attracted just 183 buyers.

Ford President Andrew Birkic says the decision recognizes the fact that buyer tastes have changed in recent years. He also hinted that there would be replacements for high-performance cars in other segments.

“Both the Focus ST and Fiesta ST have been segment-defining hot hatches for Ford Australia and have brought smiles to fans across the country and we want to thank those fans for their passion,” he says.

“But given semiconductor-related supply shortages and our focus on emerging growth areas, we have made the difficult decision to time these iconic hot hatches in Australia. We look forward to sharing more about the next era of our performance vehicle lineup soon,” he says.

The move comes as quite a shock as the brand has just started importing updated versions of both cars.

Ford says it’s only secured 40 Focus STs for the rest of the year, but the Fiesta offering will likely be more than that. The company will also try to secure more vehicles from the plant in Germany if demand warrants it.

The move continues Ford’s shift from traditional passenger cars to Utes and SUVs, particularly the Ranger and the Everest wagon, which is based on Ranger underpinnings.

Between them, Ranger and Everest accounted for about 85 percent of Ford sales that year. The percentage would have been higher, but sales have fallen as buyers have been waiting for the new models.

The new Ranger was launched last month and Everest will follow shortly.

A new version of the Ranger Raptor will also be arriving soon. It is powered by a powerful 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine that delivers V8-like 292 kW of power and 583 Nm of torque.

Ford will also be taking the covers off an all-new Mustang at the Detroit Motor Show next month.

“The Ford Mustang remains the country’s most popular sports car and we are preparing to launch the next generation Ranger Raptor, which will set a new performance benchmark for crew cabs in Australia,” said Birkic.

Both vehicles could become solid investments for those buyers who snap them up, as discontinued high-performance vehicles have attracted big prices from car collectors.

Pre-owned versions of the Subaru WRX STI EJ25 Final Edition, which launched last year for $62,440, sell for between $125,000 and $170,000.

Originally released as the Ford Focus and Fiesta ST, the company focuses on SUVs