Ford says goodbye to ‘Mondeo Man’ as demand shifts to SUVs and EVs

Ford says goodbye to ‘Mondeo Man’ as demand shifts to SUVs and EVs
The Ford Mondeo will be “phased out” by March next year after almost 30 years of production, the US carmaker has announced.

The discontinuation comes in response to a “growing change in customer preference”, and to accommodate the rise in demand for sports utility vehicles (SUV) and make room for electric vehicles (EVs) to flourish.

The axing of the iconic saloon marks the end of an era in several respects. In the mid-1990s, it became symbolic of the ‘Mondeo Man’ – a political reference coined by Tony Blair to identify the Labour Party’s target voter.

The manufacturer said in a statement: “As Ford moves to an all-electric passenger vehicle future, European consumer preferences continue to change. In 2020, 39% of Ford’s passenger vehicle sales were SUVs and crossovers – up eight percentage points from 2019.

“Moreover, customers are showing more confidence in electrification technologies, with more than 50% of Kuga owners purchasing a Kuga PHEV.”

Ford has pledged its passenger vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid by mid-2026, moving to all-electric by 2030.

It added: “As a result of this growing change in customer preference, 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.”

The Mondeo was the first Ford vehicle to be known as a ‘global’ car. Since its 1993 launch in Europe, where it replaced the Ford Sierra, its sales have reached around five million to date.

While the model hit peaks of 86,500 sales in the UK alone in 2001, sales have dwindled dramatically in recent years with only 2,400 sold in 2020.

A Ford spokesperson said: “Admittedly, 2020 was difficult all around, but the market segment in which Mondeo competes has been dwindling for years and is down about 80% since the start of the century.

“There will be no Mondeo replacement in Europe.”

Ford Mondeo will remain on sale in the UK until March next year, with prices currently starting from £25,565.

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