The latest Ford Mondeo – the family car that gave us ‘Mondeo Man’, the so-called middle-ground voter who could swing elections – has been unveiled today, showing a sharp new design that’s aimed at buyers of executive models.
But it won’t be sold to Britons.
That’s because the all-new fifth-generation Mondeo is exclusively for the Chinese market, while the long-running saloon car will be axed from UK showrooms in just a matter of months.
Ford’s new Mondeo that Britons can’t buy: This is the fifth-generation family saloon that is exclusively for the Chinese market
Ford announced last year that it will cease production of the Mondeo for Europe in March 2022. It will end a 29-year run for Mondeo man
Ford has taken the covers off the new Mondeo at its China Design Centre in Shanghai on Monday.
The Mondeo has been sold in China since 2002, almost a decade after it hit UK showrooms and five years after it was famously used as a campaign tool by Tony Blair and New Labour to secure swing voters in its landslide victory to take power in 1997.
Mondeo Man long ago traded in his saloon for an SUV and the swing voters have since been dubbed Qashqai Dad and Mum.
Ford bosses describe the next-generation Mondeo as a ‘sporty coupe-style sedan brimming with technology and showcasing Ford’s bold new design language for China’.
Mondeo has been sold in China since 2002, some 9 years after it hit UK showrooms
Bosses describe the next-generation car as a ‘sporty coupe-style sedan brimming with technology and showcasing Ford’s bold new design language for China’
Commenting on the new car, Maurizio Tocco, chief designer at Ford Motor Company, said: ‘To design the next generation of a well-known nameplate such as Mondeo was a privilege and a challenge for our team.
‘We wanted to respect and acknowledge the history which had come before us while elevating the customers’ experience to the next level.
‘The starting point of the design is always the customer and looking for innovative ways to incorporate what they need and want into the design.’
Ford unveiled the new fifth-generation Mondeo at its China Design Centre in Shanghai on Monday
The new Mondeo will be sold in China with the choice of a turbocharged 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engines – and a plug-in hybrid at a later date
This new Mondeo will be produced in a joint venture between Ford and Chinese firm Changan in Chongqing and is set to hit showrooms from the second quarter of 2022
It will be sold with the choice of a turbocharged 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engines, the latter offering up to 238bhp.
A plug-in hybrid version will follow at a later date, though there are no plans for a fully-electric variant.
Cabin images have yet to be revealed, though sources confirmed it will feature a 1.1-metre-wide display in the dashboard, which will incorporate a 27-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
The four-door saloon will be produced in a joint venture between Ford and Chinese firm Changan in Chongqing and is set to hit showrooms from April.
But while it might also venture to the US as a replacement for the Fusion, it won’t be made available in Europe – a decision that was made clear by Ford bosses last year.
Mondeo Man to be killed off in two months: Ford has confirmed the 29-year run for the once-popular family car will end in March when Mondeo production is halted for good
Ford to kill off the Mondeo in Britain from March
The car maker announced that the Mondeo will be ‘phased out’ of Ford’s range by March next year due to ‘changing fashions’, notably the growing demand for SUVs and market shift away from family saloon cars.
The company said in a statement issued last March: ‘As Ford moves to an all-electric passenger vehicle future, European consumer preferences continue to change.
‘In 2020, 39 per cent of Ford’s passenger vehicle sales were SUVs and crossovers – up eight percentage points from 2019.
‘Moreover, customers are showing more confidence in electrification technologies, with more than 50 percent of Kuga owners purchasing a Kuga plug-in hybrid.’
Landing the killer blow, it added: ‘As a result of this growing change in customer preference, Ford will phase out the Mondeo, its large car, at the end of March next year.
The existing Mondeo (pictured) will remain on sale in the UK until March but then be removed from the European market entirely
The existing Mondeo – the fourth-generation car – is currently priced from £27,155
Ford recently tried to boost the appeal of the Mondeo with the introduction of hybrid versions. However, it did little to improve sales
‘Ford’s other large crossover and multi-purpose vehicles – the seven-seat Ford Galaxy and Ford S-MAX – will continue in production, with full hybrid versions of both recently launched.’
A Ford spokesman added: ‘The market segment in which Mondeo competes has been dwindling for years and is down about 80 per cent since the start of the century.
‘Our rationale is pretty much the same as others have said recently… all down to changing customer preference as consumers opt for SUVs and crossovers, and the fact that we’re evolving our passenger vehicle range in Europe to meet those changing customer needs as we move to an all-electric future.’
The term ‘Mondeo Man’ – used to represent ‘Middle Britain’ and the successor to Sierra Man – was cited as sweeping the Tony Blair Labour government to a landslide victory in 1997
The Mondeo took the British Touring Car Championship title in 2000 in the hands of Alain Menu. Pictured: Menu’s teammate Anthony Reid, who finished as runner-up in the driver’s standings in the 2000 BTCC season
The Ford Mondeo has even played a role on the silver screen. It was used in 2006 Bond film Casino Royale, driven by Daniel Craig in his maiden appearance as 007
Mondeos have been a firm favourite with police forces for three decades
Launched in 1993, the Mondeo was the first Ford vehicle to be hailed as a ‘global’ car and was the first in the UK to come as standard with airbags.
Since its launch in Europe where it replaced the Ford Sierra, Mondeo sales have reached around five million to date.
It also had a successful competed in the racing world, notably winning the British Touring Car Championship in 2000 and featuring in other series across Europe.
The Mondeo even played a role in a Bond film, driven by Daniel Craig in his maiden appearance as 007 in 2006 movie Casino Royale – earning him the title ‘Bondeo Man’.
Mondeo has also been a firm favourite of police forces up and down the country for years, and remains one of the patrol cars of choice even today.
The Mondeo was seen as a game-changer in the family-model sector when it hit the market. Even Jeremy Clarkson rated it
The Mondeo was, in first-generation guise, available as a hatchback and this marginally longer saloon variant
Practical and good to drive, the Mondeo won over plenty in the motor industry – even if the looks weren’t to all tastes
When Ford brought the Mondeo to market in 1993, it was the first model to have airbags as standard across trim levels
The existing model remains on sale in the UK until March, with prices currently starting from £27,155.
Ford last attempted to boost appetite for its former flagship model by launching hybrid versions of both the Mondeo hatchback and estate in 2019 to tempt buyers already in the market for greener family wagons, but with little success.
In 2001 Ford sold more than 86,500 Mondeos, but annual sales slipped to a mere 2,400 units in 2020 – and even less in 2021 with manufacturers enduring semiconductor shortages.
In 1997, Ford updated the mk1 Mondeo with rounder looks that became a huge hit with Britons
Ford has had some interesting advertising campaigns for Mondeo throughout its near-three-decade-long tenure, including one featuring Tom and Jerry
The second-generation Mondeo was available in UK dealership from 2001 and remained on sale until 2007
This third generation of the Ford Mondeo was introduced in 2007
The third-generation Mondeo was facelifted in 2010 and remained on sale until 2014, when the current car replaced it. By this time, SUV popularly had seen Mondeo sales dip
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