On this day in auto history - September 19th

Sun 19th Sep 2021

It was on this day in 1993 that production ended on the popular Ford Orion after a 10 year run.

Launched in September 1983, the Ford Orion was a small family car largely based on the Ford Escort but only offered as a four-door saloon. The aim was to fill a gap in the saloon market vacated by the withdrawal of the hugely-popular Cortina the previous year.

However, somewhat overshadowed by the enduringly popular Escort and a refreshed Fiesta in Ford’s line-up as the hatchback market boomed, the Orion struggled for a foothold across Europe, though it did carve out a strong niche for itself in the UK.

Following a well-received 1986 facelift, the Ford Orion peaked in popularity over the next two years, twice selling in excess of 70,000 vehicles in the UK to reach number seven in the annual best-selling car lists.

A final version of the Orion, launched in 1990, was criticised for a lack of design flair and the vehicle quickly dropped out of the top 10 best-sellers before then fading into oblivion in its final year. In all, the vehicle sold close to 500,000 units in Britain.