As part of it’s effort to double its market share in China by 2015, Ford today introduced to Chinese consumers a version of the midsized Mondeo sedan that the company says has been revised specifically for that market. Ford currently has about a 3% market share in china. The Chinese Mondeo starts at 179,800 yuan ($29,400) and the company said that it expects to sell between 70,000 and 110,000 units annually in a segment led by Volkswagen and General Motors (and those companies’ Chinese partners). The Mondeo has never sold more than 70,000 since it went on sale in China in 2008.
After doubling production capacity in China and increasing the number of models it sells, Ford has seen a 50% increase in the number of vehicles they sell in China for the first seven months of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.
Concerning the Chinese Mondeo, a Ford spokesman said, “We do see ourselves with this vehicle as being a volume player that appeals to a range of different people. There are unique requirements that a customer has that perhaps U.S. customers or European customers haven’t, so it’s our job to make sure that from an appearance, craftsmanship perspective, that all of those things are able to be taken into account.”
To decide on what changes the Mondeo would need to appeal to Chinese consumers, Ford says that it did three years of market research involving over 700 potential customers. Some of the changes that research prompted are LED headlights and giving rear passengers control over the audio system as well as front seat positions. Chinese consumers also apparently like round taillights as those have replaced the more C-shaped rear lamps on the Mondeo in other markets.
In addition to the news from Ford out of China, Reuters says that sources in the company revealed that the Edge crossover will be brought to China, starting in 2015, after the CUV is redesigned. Ford had previously announced that the Edge would be sold in Europe. While Ford’s North American operations will supply the Edge to Europe, the Chinese versions will be locally produced.
The new Edge will be built on Ford’s new CD4.2 architecture that will also be the platform for redesigned versions of the S-Max and Galaxy, neither of which will be offered in the U.S. Earlier this week, Ford released photos and information on a new S-Max concept to be shown at the Frankfurt auto show next month.