Blog: Dave LeggettCars that share, but are different

Dave Leggett | 3 November 2008

I was interested to read how Ford has attempted to differentiate the Ka from the Fiat 500, with which it shares plenty, the two being made at a joint venture in Poland. Ford even plays around with the Fiat engines. Joint ventures involving vehicles are often intriguing (there's the division of responsibilities, supplier contracts - plenty of potential for friction) and there are frequently fallings out of one sort or another (Ford-VW in Portgual springs to mind; Toyota and PSA haven't always seen eye to eye in the Czech Rep).

And then there are the models that come out of JVs - one partner perhaps taking a lead, knows what it is doing, where exactly to position the model, its marketing... and another may not be so sure (remember the unloved Mitsubishi Carisma produced alongside Volvo's S40 at NedCar in the Netherlands?).

Ford's Ka looks like an important model for the company in Europe based on past sales performance. I would guess the Ka and Fiesta have had fairly different customer sets historically. But now the Fiesta has been sexed up to appeal to youngsters (especially young professional females judging by the advertising I have seen on TV and online), is a Ka really needed?

UK: Ford tries to make Ka feel different to 500


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