By Stephen Markley on Sun Oct 05 20:33:00 GMT-06:00 2008
With demand for small cars increasing, Ford is reassessing its decision not to bring the Ka to the United States. Similar in size to the tiny Smart ForTwo, the Ka was originally slated only for Europe because Ford didn’t think it would sell stateside.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally recently told a Detroit radio station that the crash of the truck and SUV market has led Ford to reconsider. Clearly, all he has to do is look at his own sales figures: While the U.S. auto market is down 13% this year, sales of the Focus — Ford's only compact car that’s sold in the U.S. — are up 24%. Meanwhile, small-car sales are up 6% overall, and Smart sold more than 18,000 ForTwos through September.
With the writing on the wall as early as May, when gas prices began their stratospheric climb, Ford has looked to add more products to its lineup of small cars. It plans to bring the Fiesta over from Europe by 2010, as well as the next generation of the European-designed Focus.
A new version of the Ka (shown here) debuted at the Paris auto show this past week and will go on sale in Europe either at the end of 2008 or early in 2009.
Would you like to see Ford bring over a U.S. version of the Ka? Let us know in the comments.
Ford CEO Says Company Assessing Tiny Car for U.S. (Associated Press)