The five-door Fiesta hatchback designed for the Asian market makes its debut in China at the Beijing auto show as Ford prepares to sell the global car in at least three body styles to markets around the world starting this year.

Our first look at the new family of small cars began last fall and continued into the 2008 auto show season with a series of Verve concepts shown as a three- and five-door hatch, as well as a pair of sedans unveiled in China and Detroit—each tailored to their respective markets.

Last month in Geneva, Ford showed the first production version of the five-door global car now officially known as the Fiesta—the name Ford will use for all markets.

The development center in Europe took the lead for the Mazda 2–based Fiesta program that will begin its rollout in Europe and Asia this year, followed by North America in 2010. So far North America is only promised the sedan, but Ford is gauging reaction to the five-door as a second possibility.

Meanwhile, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Company will start building Fiestas for the Chinese market by the end of this year in a new $510-million plant in Nanjing with the capacity to build 160,000 vehicles a year, including the Fiesta. Asian countries will also be able to source the B-segment car from a plant in Thailand.

For Europe, Fiesta production begins this fall in Cologne, Germany, and the Ford plant in Valencia, Spain, will add output next year. By 2010, Ford says Fiesta assembly will also be occurring in North America.

The Chinese-market Fiesta is no third-world-country offering, with a high-strength steel body structure, MacPherson strut front suspension, and the introduction of electric-power-assist steering.

Ford did not provide powertrain details for the Asian model, but the European Fiesta will be offered with a choice of five powertrains including a new Duratec 113-hp, 1.6-liter Ti-VCT gasoline engine. Others are 1.3-liter and 1.4-liter Duratec gasoline mills and a pair of diesels: a 1.4-liter and a 1.6-liter. Transmissions are a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. U.S. customers will have an as-yet unspecified fuel-efficient four-cylinder gasoline engine, the automaker says.

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