COLOGNE, Germany -- Ford of Europe released the first official picture of its new Fiesta ahead of the car's unveiling. Ford is taking the Fiesta upscale and adding advanced safety equipment to improve the car's profitability and competitiveness in Europe's tough subcompact segment.
Ford called the new model "the world's most technologically-advanced small car" without disclosing details ahead of the unveiling.
Ford showed the Fiesta in its sporty ST-Line trim to the workers at its factory here that builds the hatchback for European markets.
"As the small car segment continues to diversify, our next-generation Fiesta will deliver an option for every driver – from downsizing customers who want big-car quality in a small car package, to growing numbers of crossover consumers – reinforcing our product diversity and growth potential in the important B-segment of the European market," Ford of Europe CEO Jim Farley said in a statement on Monday.
Ford is adding upscale features to the Fiesta in Europe to distance it from its new Ka+, which now targets budget subcompact customers after moving out of the minicar segment.
The Fiesta's new design has a cleaner, more uncluttered look compared with the current model. It will go on sale in Europe next year and in the U.S. in 2018.
The Fiesta is Ford's best-selling model in Europe with sales of 253,180 through October, down 5.8 percent on the same period the year before, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers. It was Europe's No. 3 best-seller overall in the first 10 months after the VW Golf at No. 1 and the VW Polo at No. 2.
The Fiesta was unveiled at an event in Cologne Tuesday to an audience of more than 4,000 Ford employees, dealers, journalists, social media influencers, fans and dignitaries.