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Ford Fiesta Returns to Japan After Seven Years

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/11/2014 Edward A. Sanchez
2014 Ford Fiesta© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Ford Fiesta

Often criticized for its notoriously closed automotive market, Japan's seemingly impenetrable market is starting to show a little more openness to imported models. After being discontinued after 2007 for slow sales, the Ford Fiesta subcompact is making a return to the Japanese market for 2014, hoping to grab a slice of Japan's popular subcompact market. Three of Japan's top five best-selling cars are subcompacts, including the Toyota Aqua (sold in the U.S. as the Prius C), the Honda Fit, and the Nissan Note.

The Fiesta will be sold in Japan with a starting price of $22,900, and will be offered with the new three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. Although sales of imported cars reached an all-time high of 280,540 vehicles in 2013, sales of U.S.-brand cars remain low. Ford sold approximately 3500 vehicles in Japan last year, with the Explorer sport-utility being the most popular model. General Motors only sells about 1000 vehicles a year in Japan.

Ford plans on expanding its product offerings in Japan, by adding the EcoSport subcompact SUV, as well as offering the 2015 Mustang with right-hand-drive. The addition of the EcoSport SUV will bring a the total number of models sold by Ford in Japan to eight. The increased number of smaller models from imported brands is one factor cited by the increased popularity of imported cars in Japan.

Source: The Detroit News


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