Ford Fiesta Is the Best Selling Car of All Time in Britain

 Ford Fiesta becomes Best-Selling UK Car of All Time 4 photos
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Ford Fiesta becomes Best-Selling UK Car of All TimeFord Fiesta becomes Best-Selling UK Car of All TimeFord Fiesta becomes Best-Selling UK Car of All Time
Ford has the largest share of the British car market and its Fiesta and Focus models usually fight each other for the number one spot in the sales charts. Give its popularity and longevity, we knew it was only a matter of time before Ford announces the Fiesta is the best selling car in the country and it's finally happened today.
As of this month, total Ford Fiesta sales totaled 4,115,000, a new record in Britain. The little Ford was first introduced in the country back in 1976 and has been a B-segment leader for 27 of the past 37 years.

So which is the car that the Fiesta overtook? You might be tempted to think it's the Volkswagen Beetle or the Golf, since the Corolla isn't sold in Britain. But they're not. The previous best selling car in Britain is another Ford, the Escort. Between 1968 and 2000 when it was replaced by the Focus, 4,105,961 examples of the famous Escort were made, but now it has to pass the baton over to its younger brother.

Considering some of Ford's vehicles are engineered in Britain, it's not surprising that the Fiesta has been doing so well, being well suited to driving demands of the famous B-roads. The company's research and development center is located at Dunton, in Essex, and is responsible for creating the 1-liter EcoBoost turbo engine, which was named the International Engine of the Year three times in a row.

The 1.6-liter EcoBoost in the Fiesta ST, named hot hatch of the year in 2013, is also made in Britain at the Bridgend Engine Plant, South Wales, while Dagenham Diesel Centre has engineered the new 1.5-liter TDCi diesel for the Fiesta.

Mark Ovenden, Ford Britain chairman and managing director, said: “The Ford Fiesta has gone from strength to strength and today’s car combines style, value, driving dynamics and remarkable technologies such as the multi-award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. It continues to outsell its nearest retail competitor by more than two to one – and that really tells the story of this extraordinary car.”

Fiesta Timeline:

1972: Fiesta conceived as secret Project Bobcat to create a new Ford small car
1973: Ford Board of Directors give go-ahead to produce Bobcat
1974: Construction of Ford’s new Valencia manufacturing complex
1975: Fiesta name chosen by Henry Ford II
1976: Mk I introduced in 1.0- and 1.1-litre Ghia form. UK launch falls into 1977
1977: Ford introduces larger displacement 1.3-litre version
1978: Fiesta wins British Design Council Award.
1979: Millionth Fiesta built for worldwide sales. Special sporty version enters Monte Carlo Rally - this would become the XR2
1981: Ford introduces the new Fiesta XR2 with a 1.6-litre engine, stiffer suspension, unique alloy wheels and styling treatments. First 100mph Fiesta
1983: Mk II launched with fifth gear. 1.6 litre diesel becomes first in class.
1984: First Fiesta runs on lead-free petrol. XR2 version introduced
1987: Best sales year just under 154,000 Fiesta were sold in Britain. CTX continuously variable transmission added to Fiesta range
1989: Mk III launched with anti-lock brakes and lean-burn engines. Available for the first time as a five-door. Fiesta is first small car with ABS. Fiesta MKIII adds 1.4-litre – first Ford engine to meet pending European emission standards due to take effect in 1996. Fiesta XR2i joins the range
1990: 135PS Fiesta RS Turbo launched
1993: Driver airbags standard.
1996: Mk IV launched with Zetec engines. Dual airbags standard. Fiesta Ghia 1.3-litre added to UK range
2002: Mk V launched initially in five-door with new line up of engines including the new Duratec petrols, the 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre 16v. 1.4-litre Duratorq TDCi common rail diesel added and Durashift EST auto
2003: Three-door version
2005: 150PS Fiesta ST launched – most powerful to date
2006: Refreshed Fiesta launched with voice activation and Bluetooth
2007: Ford Verve concept debuts at IAA Frankfurt motorshow
2008: Mk VI launched. Fiesta ECOnetic becomes UK’s most fuel efficient 5-seat family car with 76.3mpg and 98g/km CO2
2009: Fiesta makes north American debut
2011: Fiesta S1600 special edition 1.6-litre, 134PS arrives, Fiesta RS world rally car makes its competitive debut
2012 – New Fiesta is launched, new powertrains including the award winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost and technologies with Ford SYNC and MyKey
2013 – New Fiesta ST launched with 182PS 1.6L EcoBoost engine
2014 –1.0-litre EcoBoost, triple time winner of International Engine of the Year, offered at 140PS Fiesta Zetec S Red and Black editions
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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