Ford has confirmed that it will stop producing the Mondeo next year as it turns its focus to SUVs and electric cars.
The large family car was once the marque’s flagship vehicle but sales have dwindled in recent years as the car-buying public shifted towards SUVs. Ford said the phasing out of the Mondeo from March 2022 was a result of this “growing change in customer preference” and its plans to expand its line-up to be fully electrified in the next five years.
The Mondeo was launched as a replacement for the Sierra in 1993 and sold more than 90,000 units in its first year. Since then more than five million examples have been bought but sales of the large hatchback/estate have fallen by 80 per cent since the start of the century and totalled just 2,400 last year. The rise of the SUV and finance deals that made premium rivals from brands such as BMW and Audi more accessible are thought to be behind its falling popularity.
In contrast to the Mondeo, sales of SUVs such as the Kuga and Puma are rising, up eight per cent between 2019 and 2020 and now accounting for 39 per cent of all Ford’s sales.
Announcing its strategy for the coming years, Ford said: “As Ford moves to an all-electric passenger vehicle future, European consumer preferences continue to change.
“As a result of this growing change, Ford will phase out the Mondeo, its large car, at the end of March next year. 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.”
Ford has stated that by 2026 all models in its passenger car range will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, and by 2030 its range will be all-electric.
According to Ford half of new Kuga buyers are already opting for the plug-in hybrid variant and this year the all-electric Mustang Mach-E SUV goes on sale, ahead of a mainstream EV in 2023.
Ford confirmed that there would be no replacement for the Mondeo, saying: “Ford is fully committed to evolving its passenger vehicle portfolio in Europe, strengthening its position with vehicles like the Kuga, Puma and Explorer PHEV. The company is introducing new nameplates into Europe, with the outstanding all-electric Mustang Mach-E just being launched – and including the Mustang Mach-E GT coming later this year – and its first all-electric volume passenger vehicle coming to market in 2023.”
The brand has said it will invest at least £16 billion globally in developing its electrification strategy. It latest announcement included plans to develop its Valencia plant to build the 2.5-litre Duratec hybrid engine used in the Kuga, Galaxy and S-Max hybrids It is also spending £1bn to built the new Ford Cologne Electrification Centre for the production of electric vehicles. The plant will be used to build the large-volume EV coming in 2023 and Ford says it could be expanded to produce a second all-electric vehicle.