Ford’s official statement on the new Fiesta hatch is that it likely won’t be arriving in North America, which will instead receive a sedan model based on the recent Verve 3 Concept, but that doesn’t mean the new hatchback has been completely ruled out.

On hand at the launch of the new hatchback at the Geneva Motor Show, Ford’s new marketing chief Jim Farley told Automotive News that a final decision would be made within the next 12 months. He went on to explain that market research is showing younger buyers in North America don’t share the same anti-hatchback sentiment as older customers. "We have an opportunity, and we're studying it very carefully," Farley said.

Ford has been surveying consumers at car shows around the U.S. and is finding that younger buyers associate hatchbacks with SUVs and crossovers rather than budget econo-cars.

The new Fiesta is the first major product of Ford’s new global product development process and it will eventually be sold in China and Australia as well. The car goes on sale in Europe this fall but is scheduled to appear in North America until 2010 at the earliest.

2009 Ford Fiesta five-door

2009 Ford Fiesta three-door

Ford Verve 3 Concept