Ford announced today that its next-generation Ford Fiesta will be manufactured at the Blue Oval's Cuautitlan plant, near Mexico City. Production for the small car will begin in early 2010, and Ford has also confirmed that the Fiesta will come in sedan form as well as the sporty Euro hatchback model in North America. Expect to see both the three and five-door Fiesta hatchbacks plus the sedan go on sale in North America by the middle of 2010.

The Cuautitlan plant is being converted from its current production duties of building the F-Series pickup for Mexico and is instead being geared up to create small cars for the North American market. Ford also plans to release new commercial-vehicle engines from its Chihuahua engine plant, as well as investing in new transmissions via a joint partnership with Getrag to establish a transmissions plant in Guanajuato. The trio of Mexican investments by Ford are taking place in a bid to reduce production and export costs associated with creating a global car that can be sold in various regions.

The move to convert the Cuautitlan plant from pickups to small cars reflects a greater trend towards smaller vehicles. In fact, momentum in small-car sales is outpacing overall industry growth worldwide. Globally, small car sales have grown from 23 million units in 2002 to an estimated 38 million in 2012.

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2009 Ford Fiesta five-door

2009 Ford Fiesta three-door