Long-running large family car bows out as SUVs surge in popularity; successor for China only
Ford Mondeo production for Europe has come to end after 29 years.
The final example – a grey saloon – rolled off the line in Valencia, Spain, this Monday (4 April), images posted to Linkedin by a production engineer confirm.
Launched as Ford‘s first “world car”, the Mondeo arrived in 1992 and lasted over four generations.
It was historically one of the brand’s core global models but its market share dwindled in the face of the growing popularity of SUVs. In the UK alone, Ford sold more than 86,500 units in 2001 but that figure fell to just 2400 units in 2020.
A Ford spokesman told Autocar that the main reason for ending Mondeo production comes down to “changing customer preference” and that Ford is “evolving our passenger vehicle range in Europe to meet changing customer needs as we move to an all-electric future”.
A fifth-generation Mondeo has been revealed but will be built in China and sold there exclusively, as demand for saloons in the world’s biggest car market remains strong.
Questions remain over what will happen when the two hatchbacks reach the end of their life cycles in 2023 or 2024. Ford’s European line-up will be all-electric by 2030, and it is unlikely to launch new pure-ICE models in the run-up to that deadline.
Prior to that, however, Ford will offer every model in Europe with a plug-in hybrid powertrain option by mid-2026, so the Fiesta and Focus could return as exclusively PHEV offerings before the brand goes all-electric.
In line with its electrification goals, the company has announced that its Valencia factory will build the 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle hybrid petrol engine used for the Kuga, Galaxy and S-Max from late 2022. The engine is currently built in Chihuaha, Mexico.
Ford has also pledged €5.2 million (£4.5m) to increase its battery pack assembly capacity in Valencia, supplementing a €24m (£20.7m) investment announced early last year.
It said: “The extra capacity is required to support increased demand for current and future electrified vehicle production.”
Source: Autocar RSS Feed Read More