Ford announced that the Focus ST and Fiesta ST hot hatches will be dropped from its Australian range by the end of the year, following supply issues in production. This means that the brand will no longer offer hatchbacks – nor ST models – in Australia, instead focusing on segments with growing customer demand such as SUVs, LCVs, and EVs.
Andrew Birkic, CEO of Ford Australia, explained: “Both the Focus ST and Fiesta ST have been segment-defining hot hatches for Ford Australia and have put smiles on the faces of enthusiasts across the country, and we want to thank those fans for their passion. But with semi-conductor-related supply shortages and our focus on emerging areas of growth, we’ve made the difficult decision to call time on these iconic hot hatches in Australia. We look forward to sharing more about the next era of our performance vehicle line-up soon”.
The ST variants of the Focus and the Fiesta were the only available options for Aussies who wanted a Ford-badged hatchback, since the lesser trims were discontinued a while ago due to slow sales. The hot hatches were also the only full-blown ST models offered in Australia (the Puma ST and the Explorer ST were never available Down Under), with Ford Performance’s range being limited to the Mustang and the Ranger Raptor.
Ford Australia said it has secured 40 units of the Focus ST for prospective buyers, and an unspecified number of Fiesta ST models until they depart the lineup towards the end of 2022. Existing owners will continue to be supported by the company in terms of maintenance and spare parts.
Ford launched the facelifted Fiesta in September 2021, and the facelifted Focus in October 2021 but the road has been quite rough since their market launch in 2022, with long waiting times and delays due to production backlogs. Recently, the automaker restricted the availability of the hatchbacks in Europe to pre-specified models, not being able to meet the demand. We also know that the Focus will be phased out in 2024, as Ford’s plants in Europe will be repurposed for EV production.
Following the departure of the Focus and the Fiesta, the Australian range of Ford will be limited to the Puma, Escape, and Everest trio of SUVs, the Mustang sportscar, the Ranger ute, as well as the Transit Custom and Transit LCVs. In mid-2023, Ford will also bring the F-150 to Australia as a RHD conversion.