User-chooser fleet focus for Ford’s fastest models
The UK is a vital market for Ford’s sportiest models, with 50% of Europe’s ST-badged cars sold here. Some 5,000 examples of the 180bhp Fiesta ST will be sold in the UK each year, 80% of which are the top ST2 trim level, and 20% of which are expected to sell to corporate users, not including the manufacturer’s internal fleet – almost identical to the sales split for the non-ST versions.
Dr Andrew Paton, product strategy manager at Ford UK, said this allowed new products to be closely tailored to British buyers, not only in terms of dynamics but total cost of ownership. The new Fiesta ST will be priced under most of its rivals, resulting in a competitive P11d value, while low insurance, 139g/km CO2 emissions and a residual value prediction of 42%, or 41% for the range-topping ST2, from CAP are expected to make the car viable for user-choosers.
‘Ford is going through a renaissance in fleet, and going after user-choosers,’ he explained. ‘It’s something we’re pushing for, hence the Focus ST being available with five-doors and especially an estate for user-chooser fleets.’
Paton also said buying habits were changing for the recently facelifted Fiesta, primarily due to the new 1.0 EcoBoost petrol engine offering sub-100g/km CO2 emissions. Pre-facelift, a quarter of all Fiestas were sold with diesel engines, which was predicted to fall by up to 3%. Instead, diesels now represent less than 20% of all UK sales, he said, though fleets have been slightly slower to adopt the fuel, primarily due to companies with diesel-only policies.