The rise of SUVs at the expense of traditional passenger cars has cast a shadow over the future of the Ford Mondeo, with the next generation mid-sizer to move away from two of its three current production sites.
As reported by both Automotive News and its European subsidiary Automotive News Europe the next Mondeo, and the American-market Fusion (essentially the same car with minor differences) won’t roll out of the current Spanish and Mexican assembly sites.
Other outlets have reported that Ford’s Chinese joint venture with Changan Automobile would become the global hub for Mondeo/Fusion production, although Ford has since clarified that the US-bound Fusion will not be a Chinese import.
In a statement from the company, Ford described the Fusion as “an important part of the Ford car lineup,” and promised “We will have more information to share about the next Fusion/Mondeo at a later date.”
That wording suggests that the mid-sizer still has a future in Ford’s lineup, however the company is also planning to bolster its line-up of SUVs and pickup trucks as sales of those vehicles continue to rise while Fusion (below) sales slide in North America.
Ford has alerted suppliers that from 2020 the Fusion will no longer be produced in Valencia, Spain, but has not nominated a replacement facility. Previously the Mondeo was assembled in Belgium, though that factory has since been fully decommissioned.
The Valencia factory will instead be overhauled in time to produce the next-generation Kuga/Escape SUV.
Ford has also alerted its supplier network that its factory in Hermosillo, Mexico, is on the same limited timeline for Fusion production after having wrapped up US production at its Flat Rock, Michigan factory in 2016.
While both Spain and Mexico have been sidelined as production sites for the Mondeo/Fusion, Ford hasn’t said that European or North American production will be sidelined entirely, opening the possibility that both cars may switch to one of Ford’s other factories.
At the same time sales of Ford’s medium car line in both markets have declined by over 20 percent compared to the same time in 2016, meaning that Ford may opt to consolidate production from its three current sites to just one or two factories.
A game of musical chairs within the organisation also sees the next Focus for North American consumption coming from China instead of Michigan, while a question mark hangs over the future of Fiesta outside of Europe.
Ford Australia was contacted for clarification on the future of its passenger car range, with product communications manager Damion Smy telling TMR only that “Mondeo and Focus are important parts of the Ford Australia line-up, and we will continue to offer these to customers for the foreseeable future.”
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