Ford Mondeo production to cease in 2022


James Brodie

It has been confirmed that the Ford Mondeo saloon will be phased out of production by March 2022, with Ford citing changing customer demand as the reason for calling time on its previously big selling family car.

Since introduction in 1993 as a “world car”, Ford has sold over five million Mondeos in Europe. As many as 86,500 were sold in the UK alone in 2001, but sales have declined over a 28 year stint in the brand’s line-up, with just 2,400 sales in 2020.

It reflects a wider industry trend as family car buyers are turning to SUVs over traditional big hatchbacks and saloons. In 2020, 39 per cent of Ford’s sales were SUVs and crossovers. That’s an eight per cent increase from 2019 alone despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and 50 per cent of buyers of the latest Kuga are opting for the plug-in hybrid version of the brand’s mid-size family SUV.

Ford had been hotly tipped to reinvent the Mondeo as a sleek crossover in 2022, but a statement from Ford reads: “While we do not comment on speculation concerning our product plans, we can state that we have no plans for a future Mondeo in Europe.”

It’s possible that the vehicle that started speculation of this shift - caught testing not so long ago - is a next-generation Fusion, the Mondeo’s US equivalent, but it won’t be introduced in Europe with a Mondeo badge.

Built at Ford’s Valencia plant since 2014, the brand will use the Mondeo’s production capacity to bolster its offerings in SUV segments where popularity continues to grow, and to broaden its electrification efforts further still.

When Mondeo production stops in Valencia next March, the company will use the extra production capacity to manufacture the 2.5-litre hybrid engine used in models such as the Kuga PHEV, plus the regular hybrid Kuga, and hybrid versions of the Galaxy and S-Max people carriers - both of which will continue in production for the foreseeable future.

Also, from late 2022, Valencia will expand with increased battery manufacturing capacity. Battery assembly for the brand’s growing line-up of electrified vehicles has been taking place at the site since last September.

Ford recently announced plans to repurpose its Cologne manufacturing plant into a build site for its next generation of electric vehicles. Currently, it’s where Britain’s most popular new car - the Fiesta - is made, but from 2023 onwards it will see all-electric Fords using the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform roll off the production line.

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