DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. will charge more than $23,000 for a fully loaded Fiesta, a new car smaller than the Focus.
Ford thinks consumers are ready to pay premium prices for small cars, which long have been dominated by budget shoppers.
"The price is out there, and we already have 1,000 orders," said Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president of global marketing. "Americans have shown us if we bring out aspirational products, not only will they pay the base price, but go up."
The 2011 Fiesta, which goes on sale in summer, starts at $13,995 including shipping for the four-door sedan. The base five-door Fiesta starts at $15,795. The Focus starts at $16,535 including shipping.
Farley, who spoke with reporters after a Ford event here, said upscale consumers want fuel efficiency and high-tech gadgets.
"There are people who live in downtown Boston who want to trade in their Audi A4 and still have Bluetooth and Sync technology, yet get a smaller car. They can do that," he said.
Farley said Ford has seen that play out in Sydney, Australia, where consumers are paying high prices for fully loaded Fiestas.