The hatchback will take its place as the smallest of Ford's American offerings - but only for a lucky 100 drivers

The hatchback will take its place as the smallest of Ford's American offerings - but only for a lucky 100 drivers

Fresh from a trip to number two on Europe's sales charts and a journey across the Atlantic Ocean, Ford's new Fiesta hatch has begun arriving on American shores. One-hundred forty of the cars made the trip over from the factory in Cologne, Germany.

Ford's Fiesta Movement program is an experiment where 100 young 'trendsetters' chosen from a list of 3,300 applicants will be given the hatchback for six months to share their experiences online through social media sites such as Facebook, Flickr and YouTube to build buzz and anticipation for the vehicle’s North American launch early next year.

“In the midst of the toughest economy many of us have ever seen, the Fiesta is becoming a legitimate global success story,” said Jim Farley, Ford Group Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “The Fiesta Movement is all about introducing a new kind of small car to a new generation of buyers.”

The new Fiesta is a very small car by American standards, though Europeans have one smaller - the Ka, which shares a plaftorm with the Fiat 500, itself expected in the U.S. soon. The arrival of Ford's new hatch and sedan may be ill-timed for the market, however, as small cars and hybrids are getting the cold shoulder from American buyers.

After the social marketing experiment, the Fiesta will finally be available for purchase by the public sometime in 'early 2010', with a starting price under $15,000.