It wasn't to last. According to a report from Carscoops, production of the smallest Ford hatchback will end in September this year. This is backed up by a statement from Ford of Europe’s Product Communications Manager, Finn Thomasen, who reveals two reasons for the decision.
Besides the sales problem, the company is also trying to reduce its emissions. “Ka+ would be subject to CO2 penalties in 2020, making it less attractive to customers in a very competitive segment. The decision also is in line with our strategy aimed at strengthening the Ford brand and creating a sustainably profitable business in Europe, including by taking action to improve or exit less profitable vehicle lines," Thomasen told Carscoops.
Ford never managed to capture that original Ka magic. Back about a decade ago, it tried with a 3-door that was based on the Fiat 500. But the industry as a whole is looking past these A-segment cars. VW, for example, is probably going to make the Up! electric-only. And the Toyota Aygo joint venture with Peugeot won't last for much longer.
That being said, the Ka+ has nothing in common with the original. It's a 5-door budget hatchback like the Dacia Sandero. It's tall and in 2018 received an Active body kit for that rugged feel. Sales aren't horrible: about 51,000 units for both 2017 and 2018. But that's still only about a quarter of what the 1997 model managed.