In July 1976, the first Ford Fiesta, produced in Valencia, Spain, was introduced to the world market as a small, accessible and economical car in the middle of an energy crisis that had thrown the planet into a flat spin. Ironically, 35 years later, amid further challenges in the fuel department, the Fiesta celebrates 35 years of existence as well as the production of their 15 millionth car internationally.

The current Fiesta Mark VI – which comes in sedan and hatch in South Africa as derivatives of the Ambiente, Trend and Sport – is the sixth generation Fiesta, although various generations have been used as a basis for other Ford vehicles like the Ikon which was only introduced in countries like South Africa, Mexico and Brazil. There have already been a million Mark VI’s produced worldwide. There have also been facelifts done to the Mark IV and Mark V.

According to Lloyd Marlowe, Product Communications Manager at Ford Southern Africa, “the Fiesta was first introduced to the South African market in 1997, and we have sold 83 323 models to date. The vehicle won South African Car of the Year Award in 1998 while the latest model was a Car of the Year finalist in 2009”.

That 1997 model was the Mark IV generation and set the foundation for this growing relationship with the South African car consumer. While the current model is primarily built in Cologne, Germany, Fiestas are still produced in Valencia as well as in Cuautitlàn, Mexico and Rayong, Thailand. The South African Fiesta is built in Thailand and imported into the country.

Sporty, convenient for urban living and packed with the necessary trimmings, the Fiesta has carved its own space on South African roads.