Ford fired the first shot in its campaign to restore Fiesta as the No1 seller with the show's most high-profile press day launch.
Three-times Formula One world champion Sir Jackie Stewart lifted the wraps off the new Fiesta with John Mendel, Ford of Britain marketing director.
Mr Mendel said: “New Fiesta is crucial for us in terms of brand image. It's the fourth plank on our current production development after Focus, Transit and Mondeo. “The B-sector accounts for more than 25% of the UK market and 30% of the Scottish. Over the next five to seven years, we believe the segment will grow overall in the UK to around 35% with an even larger increase in Scotland. So it is vitally important we maintain and strengthen our position in the sector.”
Mr Mendel said the new Fiesta needed to attract a wider customer base: “Young, old, married, single – we have to attract them all.”
He said Ford hoped to increase this year's Fiesta sales of between 90,000 and 95,000 to between 120,000 and 125,000 next year.
Mr Mendel accepted new Fiesta did not have the same pioneering looks as Focus or competitors such as Citroen's C3 and Honda's Jazz.
“We purposely didn't go as 'edgy' with Fiesta as with the Focus because it's not a segment-buster in the same way as with Focus.”