It's said that where there is smoke, there is fire; hence we should have known that the Ford Mondeo was on its deathbed when rumors of its demise started circulating in 2018. For nearly three decades, the vehicle has served generations worldwide, but Ford can no longer maintain its production. Therefore, in March 2021, Ford announced it would be discontinuing the Mondeo model in early 2022, which has the model's lovers curious as to why the favorite vehicle is being axed. It's all about changing consumer preferences so let's get into the details and see why Ford reached the decision and what could be Mondeo's replacement.
Ford Mondeo Takes the World by Storm
By 1993, Ford had already earned its reputation as the world leader in manufacturing efficiency. According to Fortune, the manufacturing company was selling six of the twelve most popular across in America. Also, all its factories were running close to capacity. Despite the successful operation in its factories and a broad customer base, Ford made losses as it chose to continue making new models. One of the models that the vehicle manufacturing company was designing is the Mondeo. It was described as the most ambitious project on which Ford had spent $6 billion.
It was expected that even after making such a huge capital outlay, the Mondeo model would barely make any profit for Ford. It replaced the Sierra in Europe when it went on sale; the Mondeo was elected the Car of the Year in 1994, and for three consecutive years running from 1996 to 1998, it was the best-selling car in Britain. It seemed people were ready to part with $16,800 for the new model due to the discounted prices that enabled Ford to penetrate the European market and compete with Opel Vectra. Considering the successful launch, Ford was ready to cater to the European demand by producing 400,000 annually. However, it took six years before Ford could penetrate the US market; it had been speculated it would take eight years, so it was still quite an achievement.
After its launch in 1993, the Mondeo became the epitome of a hardworking man hence the phrase 'Mondeo Man' was coined. According to Auto Express, Tony Blair referred to the 'Mondeo Man' as the hardworking voter whose support he needed to defeat the Tories. Although his story described a voter who drove a Sierra and was determined to support the Tory Party, reasoning that he had done well for himself without the Labor Party involved, the model in the narrative later changed to Mondeo. Consequently, Mondeo was associated with the average voter.
Axed Due to Changing Times
One man, Ian Houghton, as published by Driving bought his first Mondeo in 1995. Finally, his dream had come true; he even remembered the date he drove the car home, and the car impressed him because it was reliable, comfortable, and economical. Therefore, even when he needed to change to suit his mileage, Houghton could rely on Ford to provide him with what he needed. To him, Mondeo was a car for all seasons, and it always gave him value for money. With such praises, you would expect Ford to keep the model in its lineup, but the car has slowly lost its place in the market.
Hot Cars revealed that Ford was adapting to changing customer needs, admitting that they were no longer relevant in the market. The model has sold over 5 million units, but the sales have been on a declining trend. In 1994, Ford sold 376,000 cars in the UK, but by 2001, the sales had dwindled to 86,500 units. Unfortunately, there was no light at the end of the tunnel because, in 2020, only 2,400 units were sold. In the Netherlands, the trend has been the same; in 2008, it sold 9,958 vehicles, while in 2020, only 468 units were sold.
As a result, Ford has to adapt. According to What? Car, it aims to replace all models with fully electric or hybrid plug-in models by 2026. The first volume all-electric, European-built passenger vehicle is expected to be launched in 2023. Therefore, even if the changing customer preferences would have remained the same, Mondeo's death was still imminent because the company must comply with the UK ban on selling new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.
Express reported that families have progressively moved to the SUVs and crossover vehicles; hence sales have of such models have been increasing. The Ford Kuga, for instance, was ranked the ninth most popular car sold in February 2021 due to the extra space it offers car owners. Therefore, when the Ford Evos was unveiled during the Shanghai motor show, speculations began that it would replace the outgoing Mondeo. The Evos was hailed as the first Ford car with progressive energy in strength that fits the Chinese aesthetics. However, its shape was described as befitting the European market, hence the conclusion that it would make the perfect replacement for the axed Mondeo.
The rumors that a new crossover model would replace Mondeo began in 2019, and since it was expected that the new vehicle would be released in 2021, it is safe to assume that maybe the Evos is the car we were anticipating. However, to comply with the UK ban on diesel and petrol cars, the Evos has to be either a hybrid or plug-in hybrid, but Ford is yet to confirm what is powering the new model. Nevertheless, the company boasts of the vehicle's design, and you will be glad to know that the SUV has a co-driver mode for passengers.
It allows passengers to use entertainment applications on their side of the screen as drivers focus on the navigation functions. The entertainment application covers the entire dashboard and comprises a 27-inch 4K infotainment system and a 12.3-inch digital infotainment system powered by Ford's Sync+ 2.0 software. So even if Mondeo dies, customers can rest assured that Ford is doing its best to give them a car catering to all their needs.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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