Ford Fiesta Becomes Segment’s First to Earn Top Safety Ratings in World’s Largest Auto Markets
* Ford Fiesta adds five-star safety rating in China to similar top ratings in Europe and Australia/New Zealand
* Fiesta reaches 1 million sales in Europe, total global sales are 1,140,000
* In North America, the 2011 Ford Fiesta earned a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – the first car in its segment to do so under new test standards
* More than 55 percent of Fiesta body structure is made from ultra-high-strength steel
DEARBORN, Mich.,– The Ford Fiesta is now the first car in its segment to earn top crash test ratings in each of the world’s largest auto markets that perform safety testing, the U.S., China and Europe.
“Ford is committed to safety, including our efforts to deliver top crash test ratings that customers look to when choosing new vehicles,” said Sue Cischke, group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety. “Fiesta is the latest example of that safety commitment, and shows that a small, fuel-efficient car can deliver top safety.”
Testing agencies in the U.S., China, Europe and Australia/New Zealand rate the Ford Fiesta at the top of the list for crash ratings. Fiesta’s latest maximum five-star safety rating was awarded by the China Automotive Technology and Research Center under the China New Car Assessment Program, or C-NCAP. This follows maximum five-star ratings in Europe and Australia/New Zealand.
The 2011 Ford Fiesta, the only car in its segment to earn a Top Safety Pick from the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety under its new test standards, continues to earn recognition in major global markets for its safety performance and rating in independent third-party testing.
The impressive ratings add to Fiesta’s global sales momentum. European sales of the latest-generation Ford Fiesta reached 1 million last month. The landmark was achieved just 28 months after the popular small car went on sale in Ford dealerships across Europe. The Fiesta has been the best-selling small car in Europe for the past two years.
In the U.S., Fiesta is attracting new customers, including those in the trend-setting California market. In 2010, Fiesta played a key role in helping Ford to achieve its highest retail share in California since 2006. Los Angeles continues to be the top-selling region for Ford’s smallest car.
Beneath Fiesta’s stylish exterior is a structure crafted from high-strength steels engineered to preserve quality and enhance driver and passenger safety. More than 55 percent of Fiesta’s body structure is made from ultra-high-strength steel, and the extensive use of high-strength, lightweight boron steel helps protect critical occupant safety zones.
Fiesta offers a segment-exclusive available driver’s knee airbag, developed to help reduce lower-leg injuries in the event of a frontal collision and to work together with other safety features. The knee airbag joins a suite of Fiesta safety features that include dual-stage, first-row airbags, side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags.
“Smart” Passenger Occupant Detection System (PODS) sensors determine occupant weight and seat belt status to optimize deployment force. The Fiesta also features class-exclusive smart sensors that use pressure pulses from a side impact to deploy up to 30 percent faster than traditional airbags with acceleration-based sensors.
A global effort
Ford’s global safety engineers worked together to prepare the Fiesta to be able to meet stringent crash protection requirements in any region of the world by leveraging Ford of Europe’s small car expertise and an array of virtual, actual and hydraulic sled-simulated crash tests.
“The global safety ratings provide another proof point that the all-new Fiesta is redefining what a small car can be,” said Matt Niesluchowski, safety, NVH and durability manager. “The new Fiesta brings outstanding driving dynamics and fuel economy, unparalleled connectivity and safety leadership on a worldwide scale.”
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 164,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
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