Ford Reconsiders Bringing Ka to U.S.

2009fordka

With demand for small cars increasing, Ford is reassessing its decision not to bring the Ka to the United States. Similar in size to the tiny Smart ForTwo, the Ka was originally slated only for Europe because Ford didn’t think it would sell stateside.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally recently told a Detroit radio station that the crash of the truck and SUV market has led Ford to reconsider. Clearly, all he has to do is look at his own sales figures: While the U.S. auto market is down 13% this year, sales of the Focus — Ford's only compact car that’s sold in the U.S. — are up 24%. Meanwhile, small-car sales are up 6% overall, and Smart sold more than 18,000 ForTwos through September.

With the writing on the wall as early as May, when gas prices began their stratospheric climb, Ford has looked to add more products to its lineup of small cars. It plans to bring the Fiesta over from Europe by 2010, as well as the next generation of the European-designed Focus.

A new version of the Ka (shown here) debuted at the Paris auto show this past week and will go on sale in Europe either at the end of 2008 or early in 2009.

Would you like to see Ford bring over a U.S. version of the Ka? Let us know in the comments.

Ford CEO Says Company Assessing Tiny Car for U.S. (Associated Press)

By Stephen Markley | October 6, 2008 | Comments (14)
Tags: Ford

Comments 

ziggy

Why not? It couldn't hurt. I see tons of 3 door Yaris' and Accents all over the place. Ford should have brought this over years ago.

Mart

This is quite a bit smaller than even a 3 door Yaris though. Ok, it's bigger than a Smart and is a proper 4 seat car, but I think most Americans would be kind of amused by how small it is.

The most interesting thing I think about bringing this to America is the possibility it could also herald the possible market entry of the Fiat 500, which is based on the same floorplan, and is built in the same factory in Poland. I'd LOVE to see that baby here and wonder if crashtesting etc could be worked for BOTH vehicles seeing as they are essentially so similar under the skin.

Cj

I like it. It looks very stylish. It would do very well for the company in the US and help them improve their small car image (the Focus looks kinda crappy, but it is selling pretty well). It would also be a nice alternative to other subcompact 3 doors as well.

Amuro Ray

I don't know, guys...whether bring this in is a good idea or not. Look, I'm PRO small cars, but there's just sthg weird 'bou the general buying public in the US. Once it gets down to some size...they just won't buy the vehicles even though it's good gas saver. Yaris is NOT that huge of a success, esp when compared to the Corolla! (Same thg for the pre-Yaris = Echo). Accents too! You see more Elantra than that. Whether it's due to safety or comfort, I think that we are just too fat to fit in to these stylish new vehicles :( The exception is the Versa (and probably the NEW Fit). Note: I'm talking 'bou Hatchback only. CHEAP hatchback. The Aveo is a great example of sales not jumping sky high with fuel prices nowadays and with so many discount on it! I purposedly don't mention Focus because it's no longer a H/B. I drove the sedan/wagon (old) many times, and it's good interior size - just dunno 'bou the H/B.

The successful US formula is Small Exterior Size (at least it looks like small) but LARGE Interior volume. Don't think the Ka has it.

I'm going to have to agree with Amuro. Ka is too small for US. Smart is selling so well right now because it is something of a novelty item- I don't expect it to keep up that momentum as the people that buy it aren't the long commuters- you know, the people drive into the city everyday from the suburbs, sharing roads and feeways with huge 18 wheelers and trucks. I could be wrong of course, but I think the new fiesta and new focus should do fine. They could make it exclusively for mercury though- a tiny luxury car, lol- they could use a cool little image car like this more than anyone.


Broq

johnnyt

HALLELUJAH!

Alf Neuman

YES! Bring it, the Fiesta, Super-Max and Focus, especially the turbodiesel variants. I often wonder if the goofballs in Detroit even bother to pay attention what's going on outside of their palaces. Ford's small cars are consistently in the top 5 in Europe as far as quality, utility, performance and popularity. Several of the Euro-car builders openly admit they're designing some of their cars to be a Ford beater in the class. MAybe Detroit should read AUTOCAR regularly.

ken

i think americans would need to know how much the ka would cost, how much horsepower, and mpg before we could say if it would do well or not here in america

I'm not sure this will sell all too well depending on the engine. I think the Fiesta will do very well. This...might be a bit too small for U.S. buyers. Although Smart sure has surprised me with its sales. This mos tlikely would be cheaper.

johnnyt

if ford wants this car to succeed, one thing it will have to do, and do it very well, is make a good automatic transmission to go with the car. most of the current ka's i see on the road (living in london) are manual, as are most cars in europe. i would presume since few people buy automatics, ford probably didn't spend a lot of time engineering a good one. american's don't do stick; and ford will have to find a good automatic to mate with this car if it is to sell well.
that being said, if this new version of the ka is anywhere near as good as the current, it should be a great hit where ever it is sold.

ziggy

It's only 6 inches shorter than the 3 door Yaris and 38 inches longer than the Smart. It's not as small as you would think. It's close in size to the yaris, accent and sx4. It would be a nice complement to Ford line-up with the Fiesta and Focus. They're saying it gets 42mpg. Could be a good seller.

I'm wondering if it would be a better idea to do a limited production run, at first, just to see how well it would sell over here. I don't know though, I'm still real fuzzy on how car sales work. I really really really do hope that the Ford designers put some sense into how they designed those engines, because I work in a shop and change oil on Fords (majority are fords) all day long and I am really growing a passionate hatred for how the engines are designed, I mean you need to know Yoga to get to the flippin' oil filters!!!!

JimC

I think Ford needs to do more than assess the situation. They need to make something happen in the 2009 model year. Two to three years to bring a car to maket is ludicrous in this age of instant gratification.

I don't know how long these US automakers think they can continue to lose money each year and stay in business, but the end is near.

Americans want answers "this year", not 2010 or 2011.

JimC

t. nugen

Don't listen to these guys - some of us want micro cars badly. They need fast/big cars to prop up their manhood. We don't need no prop.

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