Ford Ka reaches half a million

British customers have bought 500,000 of Ford's smallest car since it first went on sale in 1996. The total includes 11,000 of the second-generation version which has been on the market since January this year. The new model is, perhaps, less distinctive than the original - it looks a bit like a scaled down Fiesta, especially from the front - but has maintained a strong position in the market; Ford claims that it is still the leader in the small car segment with a share of 14 per cent.

The first Ka was all Ford but the latest one was developed jointly with Fiat; it is a sister model of the Italian manufacturer's 500 and is built at Fiat's Polish factory at Tychy.

British buyers certainly like the Ka but even after thirteen years seem no closer to a final agreement on how to pronounce its name - the "long a" and "short a" camps still appear to be of roughly equal size.

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