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DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 21, 2016 – Retail registrations for non-luxury, turbocharged small hatchbacks are down 21 percent in 2016 as buyers are snapping up SUVs. That’s not stopping Ford from posting just over a 21 percent gain in retail new vehicle registrations through September of its newest hot hatchback models – Fiesta ST, Focus ST and Focus RS.
Erich Merkle, Ford sales analyst, breaks it all down: “Non-luxury, turbocharged small hatchbacks are down 21 percent year-over-year, but our turbocharged Ford Focus is up 37 percent. With the shift into SUVs and crossovers, our hot hatches are bucking the trend.”
These gains for Ford are coming against a broader current of buyers trading in cars for SUVs.
Ford is seeing sales of both its Focus ST and Fiesta ST hot hatchbacks up this year, despite both the highly anticipated arrival of its own fire-breathing, 350-horsepower all-wheel-drive Focus RS* and an overall market decline in small cars.
The data is based on Ford analysis of IHS Markit retail registrations of new vehicles through September – the most recent data available.
“For decades, we heard criticism from customers that Ford sold its best small cars only in Europe, yet in five short years we’ve built a reputation here for making very serious but affordable performance cars with our Focus ST and Fiesta ST one-two punch,” says Jessica Bishop, Ford Focus brand manager. “Buyers now know Ford is committed to affordable performance.”
Retail registrations of Fiesta ST are up 7 percent year over year, based on IHS Markit data, and with Focus ST up just over 5 percent in the same timeframe. The addition of Focus RS, starting in June, puts retail registrations of Ford’s hot hatchbacks up 21.3 percent year over year. Through September, retail registrations of the 165-mph-top-speed Focus RS totaled 1,674. Focus ST retail registrations totaled 8,249, while Fiesta ST totaled 3,215.
Bishop says that with Focus, people are driving the hot Focus ST thinking, “Wow, I can get a 150-mph, 252-horsepower 2013 Car and Driver 10Best hatchback for under $25,000? Sign me up!”