Fiesta with low CO2 emissions will come soon, says Booth

Ford of Europe Chairman Lewis Booth
LONDON -- Ford will be quick to the European market with a high-economy version of its new Fiesta, says Ford of Europe Chairman Lewis Booth.

“A Fiesta with 99 grams per kilometer CO2 will come very quickly after Job 1,” Booth told Automotive News Europe last week.

The EcoNetic derivative would essentially have conventional technology under the hood, said Booth.

Job 1 on the new Fiesta is set for July 21 in Cologne, Germany, said Ford public affairs manager Astrid Wagner.

It is becoming pretty clear that customers are beginning to care about CO2, said Booth, though they were not yet prepared to pay for it.

“CO2 is a popular agenda now, not just a political one. Nobody gets criticized for having a large house, which must have high CO2 emissions. But they will be criticized for running an SUV rather than a B-segment car.”

The growing momentum towards low-emission cars has seen a range of models, including the VW Polo, the SEAT Ibiza and the Smart Fortwo, drop below the psychologically important 100g/km CO2 mark. Several more models are set to appear over the coming months.

Draft European Union legislation currently under discussion in Brussels seeks to impose a 130g/km fleet average CO2 benchmark on automakers by 2012.

The new Fiesta will be Ford’s first truly global car, with a high level of commonality despite the different body styles for different regions, said Booth.

“I love Fiesta-sized cars,” declared Booth. “These are often the first new car that a customer buys. These are the cars that can really make a difference to a customer’s life.”

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