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Ford Ditching Minicars in Europe for Refined Subcompact Strategy

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2016 Ford KA+

Ford appears to be on the verge of undertaking a strategy shift in Europe that will see it abandon minicars by beefing up its KA and emphasizing luxury when it comes to the Fiesta.

According to Automotive News, Ford of Europe Vice President of Marketing, Sales, and Service Roelant de Waard indicates that the brand will attempt to capture those customers who want less of a one-size-fits-all experience, selling the newly-revealed KA+ to buyers looking for affordable-yet-well-equipped subcompacts and aiming the Fiesta toward those looking for the upscale experience without the large vehicle platform.

“We see a growing group of more affluent customers who want to downsize from larger more expensive cars, but who still expect the premium experience features and technologies they are used to,” de Waard said, adding that the average customer does not want to pay for unused features in a vehicle.

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Ford announced that the KA+ will start at €9,990 in Germany and £8,995 in the UK, making it an ideal choice for first-time car buyers who would be looking for a vehicle that provides some combination of comfort, efficiency, and value. Auto News points out that cars price at or below €13,000 make up approximately 400,000 unit sales in Europe and are growing at a rate consistent with more luxury-minded vehicles priced at €20,000 or greater.

Slotting the KA+ as the affordable subcompact consequently allows Ford to focus on marketing the higher-end variants of its Fiesta, including the new Fiesta ST 200 and a possible Vignale luxury model. According to JATO Dynamics market research, the Fiesta was the best-selling subcompact in all of Europe during the first quarter of the year.

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News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)