Ford to retain three body styles on fourth-generation Mondeo
MILAN – Ford Motor Co. will continue to offer three body styles when its fourth-generation Mondeo mid-size model goes on sale in European markets in early 2013, said Martin Smith, the automaker's design chief for Europe.
Ford is one the few automakers still offering station wagon, five-door and four-door versions for its European midsize segment model.
"The next generation Mondeo for Europe will continue to be offered in its current three body styles," Smith said on the sidelines of a company event here on November 28.
Ford says the station wagon variant accounted for 48 percent of the 70,400 Mondeos sold through October in 19 European markets plus Turkey and Russia. The five-door version was the No. 2 seller, accounting for 34 percent of sales, with the four-door sedan making up the remaining 18 percent.
Toyota dropped the five-door version of the Avensis in 2008, keeping only the sedan and the wagon. Citroen, Peugeot and VW offer both a sedan and wagon in the C5, 508 and Passat ranges, but no five-door. Renault offers five-door and wagon variants on the Laguna, but no sedan.
General Motors' Opel/Vauxhall unit offers all three variants with the Insignia.
Different market tastes
Different mid-size body styles have varying appeal in European markets.
Station wagons dominate in northern Europe, with this variant accounting for 94 percent of Mondeo sales in Denmark and 92 percent in Norway, ahead of 89 percent in Germany, Ford said.
Southern European buyers prefer the practicality of a tailgate in a five-door body that looks sportier than a wagon. This is preferred by 84 percent of Mondeo buyers in Spain and 72 percent in both Britain and France.
The more conservative buyers in developing markets still tend to prefer the traditional four-door sedan, which make up 97 percent of Mondeo's sales in Russia and 94 percent in Turkey, followed by Romania at 49 percent.
At the Detroit auto show in January, Ford will debut the U.S. version of its new mid-size sedan, which will replace the Fusion.
Smith said the European version, which will retain the Mondeo name, will be identical to the U.S. model to be shown in Detroit.
The new model will have many styling clues from Ford's Evos concept, which was unveiled in September at Frankfurt auto show, particularly in the front end and the surface treatment of the side.
European sales of the fourth-generation Mondeo will begin in early 2013. The current generation was launched in 2007; the second one in 2000 and the first in 1993.
You can reach Luca Ciferri at email@example.com.