By on September 4, 2018

Image: Ford of Europe

Over the weekend, the future of Ford’s Mondeo midsize sedan (and wagon) looked as bleak as that of its U.S. Fusion twin. Britain’s Sunday Times, citing anonymous sources, claimed the automaker was poised to ditch the Mondeo, as well as a crop of other models, in an effort to shore up its sagging European operations.

Not so, claims Ford, though the murky timeline for the Fusion’s demise has us wondering if this reprieve for the Mondeo stands to be short-lived.

The report claimed Ford would ditch the struggling Mondeo amid a streamlining effort that could see 24,000 employees dropped from its worldwide roster, many of them in Europe. On the product front, the Mondeo suffers from a widespread contagion known as “not being an SUV.”

In the U.S., the Fusion is expected to shuffle into the afterlife by 2021, though the model name might remain, likely affixed to a high-riding vehicle with a liftgate.

Responding to the report, Ford stated, “We have upgrades coming for Mondeo later this year, which will see new powertrains as well as exterior and interior updates as well as enhancements to the Mondeo Hybrid range.” Should the new content fail to budge the sales needle, it’s not hard to imagine the Mondeo passing away at the same time as the Fusion. The other vehicles mentioned in the report — the Galaxy and S-Max minivans — went unmentioned. All three vehicles share a Valencia, Spain assembly plant.

Ford’s European division lost $73 million in the second quarter, and its continued lack of strength is just one of the anchors holding back the automaker’s dismally low stock price. Last month,  Moody’s downgraded the company’s credit rating to one step above junk status.

[Image: Ford of Europe]

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32 Comments on “European Ford Buyers, At Least, Get a Tiny Amount of Sedan Optimism...”


  • avatar
    Advance_92

    I guess the Brexit mess is going to destroy Ford’s manufacturing operations across Europe, anyway. Nissan can probably walk away from their UK plant since it’s brand new and they’ve got the French connection but I’m most interested to see what Honda decides to do after investing so much in Swindon for the last thirty years.

    • 0 avatar
      Tstag

      Thing is Nissan won’t be allowed to walk away from Sunderland. If the EU impose tarrifs the British government will be under immense pressure to retaliate to the point where the only cars you may be able to buy in the UK will be Vauxhalls, Jaguars, Land Rovers, Nissans, Hondas and Toyota’s. That will really hurt anyone without manufacturing capacity in the U.K…. can you imagine the UK government allowing 800,000 jobs to go? Problem is we all end up poorer in the end.

    • 0 avatar
      Guitar man

      Ford stopped making vehicles in the UK a decade ago. The fall in sales is because pommies will buy any steaming heap with a Ford badge on it. Continental Europeans aren’t so enthusiastic.

      Nissan and Honda have already announced they will close UK operations without privileged EU access.

      Once Brexit occurs, the UK plants will have to compete against world competition, not just the fenced off little wading pool called the EU.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Mondeo Estate sounds better to me than say Fusion Active for a lifted wagon sitting on my dealers lot.

    But then I’d love a “shooting break” as well so I know I’m one of those wagon loving weirdos.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    The Mondeo is doomed. Everyone will pull out of this market soon except maybe a handful on of car makers like BMW and Mercedes.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    I think Ford’s problem in Europe is they are no longer seen as a premium maker. 30 years ago they had products that were considered equals to MB and BMW and could sell with good margins. That’s not the case anymore, people will buy a stripped BMW over a well equipped Mondeo.

    • 0 avatar
      Ce he sin

      Er…no. Ford have never been a premium maker. Thirty years ago their main sellers were the Fiesta, Escort and Sierra. Nobody considered any of these as rivals to anything from Merc or BMW. They were rivals to cars like the Fiat Uno, Golf and Renault 21 respectively.

      • 0 avatar
        Jagboi

        In the executive car market a Granada/Scorpio certainly was seen as competitor to Rover, BMW or MB. Obviously a Fiesta isn’t, but it was never intended to be an upmarket car.

        The 2.9 Cosworth was a very fast car for it’s time.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Keep in mind that plenty of mid-sized BMWs and Mercedes-Benz cars in the ’80s were carbureted 8-valve 4 cylinders that could barely get out of their own way. The Granada in its V6 Ghia guises was selling for similar money, but it had a much higher equipment level and a somewhat lower brand value. Similarly, Opel had the Senator and Monza. Eventually, European social engineering through taxation meant that most people who had once been able to have big powerful Fords and Opels could merely afford the operating costs of shopping trolleys with ‘premium’ badges from reunified Germany.

    • 0 avatar

      Only premium car I can think about was Scorpio. It was RWD to compete with German premium cars. Escort, Sierra, Mondeo and etc felt cheap inside. Eventually it hurt Ford’s reputation. Mondeo was kind of Jaguar at one time.

      • 0 avatar
        WallMeerkat

        Granada / Scorpio was like the Skoda Superb is now – a classless ‘everyman’ large car.

        It used to be UK company car heirarchy – you worked your way up from base Cortina / Sierras up through higher spec, onto Granada / Scorpios from 2 litre with the boss having the V6.

        Big BMWs and Mercs weren’t a common sight.

        Company car taxation and PCP financing changed all that.

        These days if someone in the UK wants a big sedan they go German. If they want a Ford they buy something crappy like an Ecosport, because the Kardisians and the Beckhams have SUVs and everyone wants to be like them.

    • 0 avatar
      WallMeerkat

      The problem is that it is cheaper to finance a 3 series than a Mondeo.

      I worked for the UK branch of a large American multinational that has a car scheme, this was the case. You paid more for a Ford than a BMW.

      (UK finance relies on used residuals – BMW is worth more after 3 years than a Mondeo, this difference is what you are paying)

  • avatar

    Ford could not handled the competition from Seat and Skoda. In America they can’t compete with Toyota, Nissan, and GM. Everyone now beats Ford when it comes to cars.

    Ford – what a disgrace!
    Hackett – what a disgrace!
    Ford’s stock price – what a disgrace!

  • avatar

    Ford announced that they cancelled development of Fusion’s update. How in the world they are going to come up with updated Mondeo when it is nothing other than Fusion with some European tweaks? I cannot believe that, sorry.

    • 0 avatar
      Ce he sin

      They mean a mild update in the few years remaining to the Mondeo, not a major facelift.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Inside Looking Out,
      I thought the Fusion was based on the Mondeo?

      Isn’t this the case?

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        it’s more complicated than that. the Fusion for 2013 changed from the Mazda-based CD3 to the Mondeo’s EUCD platform (and became the “CD4” platform.) But the actual 2013+ Fusion/Mondeo top hat/vehicle was led by North America. so it’s an NA vehicle from an EU architecture which was then “Europeanized” for the 2015+ Mondeo.

      • 0 avatar

        BAFO JimZ answered your question. I would add that Mondeo/Fusion is developed for NA because this class of vehicles a.k.a. D class is not popular in Europe. For Europe Fiesta is a mainstream car. And Mondeo does not compete with Mercedes/BMW/Audi anymore either. Ford dropped both Scorpio and LS.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Inside,
          The Mondeo using Ford’s global CD4 platform came out in 92.

          The US started using the CD4 platform at a later period.

          There will be US involvement.

          • 0 avatar

            Originally Mondeo was a much smaller car – compact in US terms or C-class in European classification. Mondeo replaced Sierra. Mondeo was very good car from the beginning. Original platform was called CDW27 which meant to be a world car. But in US it did not work because Ford already had compact car Escort for much less. Mondeo was better car than Escort but Americans normally do not care – they just want cheapest cars possible. CD4 is the latest generation of Mondeo which is aimed more on USA, Russia and China than Europe/Japan etc.

    • 0 avatar
      WallMeerkat

      Original Mondeo was sold as the Ford Contour. The original ‘CD’ code came about as it straddled the traditional C/D segments (compact/mid-size)

      The way I see it the Mondeo faces 1 of 2 futures:

      – It is axed. Plenty of European market sedans have been axed, Honda Accord (though strangely they will try and sell a Civic sedan), Nissan Primera, Citroen C5 (in the UK at least), Toyota Avensis (though strangely they will try and sell the Camry hybrid), Subaru Legacy/Impreza sedan etc.

      – They continue to develop the Mondeo/Fusion primarily for the Australian and Chinese markets, the European Mondeo is based on this. With axing the Falcon they need a large sedan for Australia, and China still likes a side of large sedan with their SUVs.

      At one point it looked like it may be spun off to it’s own brand, Vignale, but that is now being used as a trim level.

  • avatar
    iddqd

    the main flaw with Ford sedans was and will forever be their fluctuation in model names.
    European car buyer don`t fancy an everchanging brand, since THIS is what the are buying in the end…
    a BRAND.
    and with that all the fancy attributes, your common merchandize puppet can recite ad infinitum.
    They should have sticked with the Sierra badge for what its worth and made it a car they would have been PROUD of, instead of following some idiotic `world car`agenda…
    everything about this idea is unsexy in the first place- you buy a car, which is a huge investment in the first place,and you get to know, that EVERYONE else on the friggin planet is (potentially) driving the same car aswell?
    thank you very much,Ford.
    Hackett is doing everything right; UNSEXY CARS DON´T SELL.
    period

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