Fresh marketing initiatives are being devised to help maintain interest in one of Britain’s best-loved fleet cars in the wake of a shock decision to delay the launch of its replacement.
Though the strategy has yet to be revealed, it will be aimed at keeping the Mondeo performing at its present registration levels, revealed Ford of Britain managing director Mark Ovenden pictured).
“We always like to be selling new vehicles, but circumstances dictate that we maintain the position of the Mondeo for a little while longer than we had expected.
“It’s not as if the current car is not still selling strongly – it is and it’s done pretty well this year. But we will ensure that it remains competitive throughout the balance of its lifecycle until the new model comes in,” he told Fleet News.
Speaking in Italy as the company launched the revised Fiesta range it will introduce in January, Ovenden said he was happy at the way the Mondeo was continuing to perform against newer rivals but added: “From a marketing perspective, we need to ensure that it remains fresh.”
He said he was ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Ford’s UK prospects for next year. “This year is coming in with two million registrations and we think next year will be similar, providing the economy keeps recovering. There have been some green shoots lately to suggest there is some potential upside in the economy, and that has to be good for the fleet sector, providing corporate profitability starts to improve.
“I’ll be disappointed if we don’t achieve a 15 per cent market share this year and I’m happy that Ford has held up remarkably well despite pressures from competitors above and below,” he said.
Ovenden dismissed reports that the next Mondeo would offer three-cylinder power as pure speculation, but went on: “You only have to look at the success of our EcoBoost engines in the Focus to see that it is a phenomenal power unit.
“There is a lot of scope when it comes to getting more power from a smaller unit and the future of the engine is immense – it might be a logical conclusion that it could be fitted into bigger cars, but as yet, we have no details.
“I don’t see any reason why the typical Mondeo customer shouldn’t consider a three-cylinder engine. People had concerns when the motor went into the Focus and these have proven to have absolutely no basis. These are very early days but the take-up of EcoBoost on the new B-Max is very encouraging and it will do fantastically well in the Fiesta.
“If – and I stress if – an EcoBoost engine went into a bigger car like a Mondeo, providing it could have the required power and fuel economy, I don’t think the customer would mind.”
Author: Maurice Glover