This anticipated decision by Ford will put added pressure on rival manufacturers to keep the traditional round of August price rises to a minimum and increase pressure on both Nissan and Volkswagen to ensure their new arrivals in the upper medium sector - the Primera and Passat - are priced competitively. The new Mondeo line-up is likely to mirror the existing Mondeo badging range with the engine line-up also remaining unchanged. However, fleet operators can expect Ford engineers to have improved operating costs and ride and handling.
The launch of the new Mondeo will further intensify the battle for fleet business in the all-important upper medium sector and Ford is looking to increase fleet sales in 1997. The manufacturer will be particularly targeting small fleets.