California Autos Examiner

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Mulally: Ford Ka not headed to the United States

Ford Ka shares frame with Olga Kurylenko (source: Ford)

The diminutive Ford Ka will not be heading to the United States according to a recent Automotive News interview with Ford CEO Alan Mulally. In the interview, Mulally stated to the trade publication,

Our view is that the Fiesta is about the smallest vehicle that we think will be a real success in the United States.

Some industry watchers had speculated that because Fiat will offer the Ka's sister vehicle the Fiat 500 in the United States, Ford might team up and sell the Ka here as well. If Ford were to have shared a North American manufacturing facility like it does with Fiat in Poland it would have been a relatively thrifty way to dip its toes in the water.

View a slideshow of the current Ka and its predecessor in the the gallery below this article.

Apparently, Ford doesn't think that enough of a market exists and it might be right. The Fiat 500 will sell, at least initially, because it is as cute as a bug, but the modern looking Ford Ka might have tougher go of things. My own experience with the previous generations of the Ford Fiesta and Ford Ka led me to the conclusion that the Fiesta would be as small as I would likely go. Of course, the latest Ka is a more substantial vehicle, but in terms of pricing and content, I think the sweet spot in the USA will be the Fiesta.

Europhiles should not complain about Ford denying Americans its Old World finery, however, because the company is bringing a slew of European models such as the Fiesta, Focus (current Euro generation shown, we get the next version), Grand C-Max and Kuga (Kuga not officially announced for USA) over the course of the next few years.

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