On this day in auto history - October 13th

Tue 13th Oct 2020

It was on this day in 1982 that the Ford Sierra first went on sale, having divided opinion at its unveiling at the British International Motor Show in Birmingham the previous month.

Developed to replace the dated but still best-selling Cortina in Ford’s line-up, the Sierra came with a futuristic, aerodynamic styling which was considered too ‘radical’ at the time and the car struggled to meet market expectations as a result, particularly as Ford dealers were still heavily discounting surplus Cortina stock during its first year.

Initially, the Sierra played second fiddle to its big rival the Vauxhall Cavalier in the family hatchback segment but a well-received 1987 facelift, which launched a four-door saloon into the bargain, sparked an upturn in fortunes and the vehicle became the second-best selling car in the country behind its stablemate, the Ford Escort, in both 1988 and 1989.

By the early 1990’s however, it was clear that the Sierra had fallen out of step technologically against modern Japanese rivals and a resurgent Vauxhall Cavalier, so Ford took the decision to end production in 1993 and replace it with the all-new Mondeo.

Having sold approximately 1.3 million vehicles during its 11-year production run, the Sierra is the 10th most popular car of all time to be sold in Britain and, due to a strong parts availability, many models still regularly change hands on auction websites.