During a press conference in September 1973 Henry Ford II was asked if he planned a smaller car,
"It’s a luxury we have not allowed ourselves until now" he answered, "maybe soon the luxury we shall not be able to afford will be not making such a car."
On 3rd December he instigated project Bobcat, at that time Ford's biggest ever development programme. It cost over a billion dollars, and produced their smallest ever car, the company's first frontwheel-drive, transverse-engined hatchback, the Fiesta. Launched in 1976 it remained in production, with styling tweaks, until 1989 by which time over 3.7 million had been produced. Job done.