2009 Ford Ka
In a possible stroke of genius where small cars are concerned, one of the Detroit's Big Three is seriously considering bringing a small, Europe-only mini car to market in the United States. Ford CEO Alan Mulally's shift was confirmed by Detroit News, who said that "increased demand for small cars has led the automaker to revisit its decision not to bring the tiny European Ka model to the United States."
The new Ka (above) was just released at the Paris Auto Show last week. Detroit Free Press points out that "Ka is far smaller than the Focus, which is Dearborn-based Ford's only U.S. compact car." The Ka is similar in size to Daimler AG's Smaft fortwo mini car, making it even smaller than vehicles like Toyota's Yaris and Honda's Fit. Whether or not American consumers are ready to buy mini cars in numbers large enough to make an American Ka a worthwhile investment is up for debate. This year's economic downturn and gas price fluctuations have boosted Ford Focus sales some 24 percent.
In 2010, Ford also plans U.S. sales of its new global sub-compact, the Fiesta, and the superior European version of its popular Ford Focus.--Colin Mathews