of Europe’s top executive confirms the next-generation Fiesta B-segment car will be sold in North America and Asia.
“It will be the first timeNorth America has had a B-car in the last 15 to 20 years,” Lewis Booth, executive vice president-Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group, says during a teleconference with investors at this week’s Geneva auto show.
The car will share a platform with the Mazda2 unveiled in Geneva.
Booth doesn’t reveal a timeline for the vehicle’s North American arrival, but media reports suggest the subcompact will debut in 2009 as a ’10 model.
As for sharing other vehicles and architectures with its North American counterpart, Booth says Ford of Europe “continues to look at other opportunities.”
One possibility could be the Mondeo sedan. However, the vehicle wouldn’t get the green light for sale in North America until after the popular Fusion midsize sedan has run its course, Booth says.
“Ultimately, once we’ve worked our way through the cycles, we could go up to Mondeo size,” Booth says.
“When and how it can happen is too early to tell. Ford North America is only one (product cycle) into (the) Fusion, so we have to work through that cycle. The implementation will depend on existing assets and getting return on existing assets.”
Booth says he expects both Ford of Europe and PAG to be profitable next year due to new product launches and a favorable product mix.
Booth also uses the teleconference as an opportunity to dispute recent media reports that a sale of PAG’sLagonda Ltd. subsidiary is imminent and says struggling Jaguar Cars is not on the auction block.
“If that changes we’ll tell you when we’re ready,” he says. “But it’s not for sale at present.”