Ford of Europe introduces the Ford Fiesta.
The subcompact hatchback became the company’s first internationally successful front-wheel drive model. At $870 million, its development budget was also the largest in Ford’s history. Moreover, Ford built a massive plant in Almusafes, Spain, near Valencia, to manufacture the car. The investments paid off, and the Fiesta broke the one-year sales record of the 1965 Mustang. From 1978 to 1981, Ford also sold the European Fiesta in North America. However, it wasn’t until 2009 that Ford would begin selling the Fiesta in the U.S. again.