The Ford Puma has been a success in Europe, where shoppers are following their American counterparts and pivoting toward crossovers and SUVs. Last summer, in fact, the Puma overtook both the Ford Fiesta and Focus in terms of sales, quickly becoming one of the automaker’s “icons” in the process. Thus, some wondered if the Ford Puma ST would replace the Fiesta and Focus ST in Australia following last week’s announcement that neither of those models will be sold in the country moving forward. However, that doesn’t seem likely to happen, according to Drive.
A Ford spokesperson confirmed that the automaker has “no plans” to sell the Ford Puma ST in Australia, even though such a move makes sense on a number of levels. For starters, the Fiesta ST shares its drivetrain with the Puma ST, and the former’s departure from that country leaves a gap in Ford’s lineup in terms of a sporty hatchback of sorts.
The Puma ST and Fiesta ST share even more in common than just mechanicals as well, including a platform – albeit stretched for the Puma – the same heated seats, 8-inch touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and B&O stereo system. The Puma ST costs around 15 percent more than the Fiesta ST, however.
Regardless, Drive notes that the lack of an automatic transmission option in the Puma ST is likely the driving force behind this decision, as the crossover comes equipped with a standard six-speed manual gearbox. The Puma will continue to be sold in Australia, albeit in more tame, non-performance-oriented configurations. Thus, for now at least, it seems as if Aussies that want to purchase a hot hatch with a Blue Oval badge will be stuck trying to track down one of the very few remaining Fiesta ST or Focus ST models left on dealer lots.
We’ll have more on the Puma very soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Puma news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.
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