Ford axes the Mondeo to focus on electric and SUVs

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Ford will stop making the Mondeo car as the US carmaker shifts its European line-up towards electric models and sport utility vehicles.

The company plans that all passenger cars sold in Europe and the UK will be fully electric by 2030, with every model having a hybrid or electric option by 2026.

As part of the shift, the Ford will phase out the Mondeo, which was once its flagship family and business sedan, early next year, it announced on Thursday.

Consumers have shifted away from saloon vehicles in favour of high-riding sports utility vehicles and so-called crossovers, such as the Nissan Qashqai and the Ford Kuga.

While the Mondeo was a best-seller when launched in 1993 and has sold more than 5m in its lifetime, sales have dwindled and it was widely expected to be axed as Ford overhauls its line-up.

Almost 40 per cent of Ford’s sales in Europe in the past year were SUVs or crossovers, compared with 31 per cent just a year earlier.

In the US, the group has already moved away from sedan cars completely, following moves by rivals such as Fiat Chrysler to focus on higher-margin models.

Under its electrification plans, Ford has already added hybrid options to its two largest passenger vehicles, the S-Max and the Galaxy, and it said that half of all Kuga sales were currently hybrid.

The company began deliveries of its electric Mustang car in Europe this year, with its first Ford-branded European electric car to be released in 2023.

Ford also announced on Thursday that its 2.5 litre hybrid engine would be made in Spain at its Valencia engine plant, to cater for higher demand as more of its models become hybrids. 

At present, Ford imports hybrid engines into Europe from Mexico.

As it shifts towards fully electric models, the company is also considering how to maintain its network of engine sites that will become obsolete once all cars run on batteries alone.

The group previously said its UK Dagenham engine plant would remain viable, because it produces the diesel engine for the Transit van, which will still be sold after 2030. The company has already closed its UK petrol engine plant at Bridgend in Wales.

“Today is another step on Ford’s electrification journey, providing a bridge to an all-electric passenger vehicle future, and demonstrating our continuing commitment to our manufacturing operations in Valencia where we have invested around $3bn since 2011,” said Kieran Cahill, vice-president, manufacturing, Ford of Europe.

On Thursday, Ford also said it planned to increase battery work at its Valencia car plant, with an investment of €5.2m, on top of the €24m invested last year.

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