Ford has restructured its Mondeo range – including cutting P11D prices by up to £3,000 – to increase its appeal to fleets and company car drivers by offering more equipment and lower tax bills.
The manufacturer has reduced the number of trim levels from seven to five, with all models featuring sat-nav, digital radio, autonomous emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, and cruise control as standard.
Ford says its changes mean annual benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax savings of up to £240 for drivers and a reduction of £100 in an employer’s national insurance (NI) bill (for a 40% taxpayer who chooses a ST-Line Edition 2.0 TDCi 150).
Customers were able to order the new models from last week, with first deliveries taking place in November.
Owen Gregory, fleet director of Ford of Britain, said: “Our thinking has been influenced significantly by the needs of fleet operators and business drivers. We are seeing a lot of movement into SUVs and customers themselves are changing their own views in terms of what they want their cars to say about them. With that in mind, we wanted to dial up a couple of elements of Mondeo’s personality and make those a little bit more distinctive.
“We also wanted to take a look at the list pricing and do some adjustments there, particularly in terms of fleet customers to give them a BIK benefit as well as reducing employer NI contributions.”
He added: “We want to keep Mondeo fresh, we want to keep it relevant and be responsive to where the market and customers are moving, and we really hope to continue the good progress we’ve made against key competitors, particularly in true fleet.”
Around 85% of Mondeos are registered to fleet, and Gregory added the lower prices of the updated range also translate into lower lease rates for a higher spec car through improved residual values (RVs), according to Cap HPI.
The new Zetec Edition, which has a starting P11D value of £19,205, becomes the new entry-level model which, as well as the equipment mentioned earlier, also has 17-inch alloy wheels and electric door mirrors.
Moving upwards from this trim level, drivers can choose whether to prioritise the sporty specification of the existing ST-Line and ST-Line Edition, or the more luxury-focused Titanium Edition or range-topping Vignale.
On top of Zetec Edition’s specification, extra ST-Line equipment includes front, rear and side body styling, sports suspension, start button and darkened headliner. Privacy glass and 19-inch alloy wheels are added on the ST-Line Edition.
Titanium Edition adds 18-inch alloy wheels, electrically-adjustable premium leather heated seats, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning and automatic headlights and wipers.
Extra equipment on Vignale includes 19-inch alloy wheels, LED adaptive headlights, rear privacy glass and rear view camera.
Ford’s decision to cut P11D prices follows the launch earlier this year of the Vauxhall Insignia, its key upper-medium segment rival.
Vauxhall’s strategy saw it reduce like-for-like prices by up to £2,500 compared to its predecessor. This was part of its plan to offer best-in-class wholelife costs as well as help to reduce discounting and, therefore, improve RVs.