Speaking on a radio show in Detroit, Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally told host Paul W. Smith that the automaker is now pondering the possibility of bringing its mini-compact Ka model to America. Formerly written off as being too small to appeal to U.S. drivers, the funky little four-seater hatch coupe may someday find a home in the American product stream of FoMoCo's new world-oriented lineup, although chances of seeing it here much before 2011 appear slim.
Ford unveiled a new generation of the Ka in Paris last week. It will go on sale in Europe by early next year and offer buyers there the choice of a 69-horsepower, 1.2-liter gasoline engine or an even more economical 75-horsepower, 1.3-liter turbodiesel alternative. Currently, the Ka's prospects for a U.S. debut are still being carefully weighed to see if the cost/benefit equation can be brought into proper balance. But with gasoline prices remaining on the far side of $3.00 per gallon and auto industry analysts continuing to downsize and downscale market projections for at least the next couple of years, the chances of seeing a Ka in your neighborhood Ford showroom now seems better than ever -- even if not quite a solid lock. Regardless of what happens on the Ka front, Ford will be introducing its new Fiesta sedan and wagon to the U.S. early in 2010 as 2011 models.