The Mondeo, known as the Fusion in the U.S., has been offered in other markets as a station wagon. The redesign will make it more of a crossover.
You may not have noticed it, unless you keep tabs on how Ford is doing in overseas markets, but the Blue Oval is in the midst of one of the most radical changes in its European operations in decades. The automaker is in the process of cutting models and closing factories in response to lackluster sales over the past decade that have seen its models lose market share to competitors: Ford is cutting 12,000 jobs in Europe and is reorganizing its lineup, one that has not kept up well with the shifts in the automotive landscape over the past few years.
These changes will not be confined just to Europe, as Ford has announced drastic cuts to its lineup of passenger cars within the last year in the U.S. as well, prompting some skepticism from industry observers regarding its pivot to crossover and SUVs.
One such change to its lineup will be the revamp of the Mondeo, sold as the Fusion in the U.S., as a crossover-style wagon model, Autocar reports, as Ford cuts the Galaxy and S-Max MPVs from its European lineup. This crossover-style wagon will be offered in the U.S. as well, and this redesign will effectively roll three distinct models into one.
Autocar likens this new Mondeo/Fusion bodystyle to a Subaru Outback-type wagon designed to appeal to traditional wagon buyers in Europe while also providing a versatile bodystyle to crossover buyers in America. That’s right: A big Ford wagon in the mold of the Outback is what the new Mondeo/Fusion will deliver, positioned below the Escape but likely above the Ecosport in Ford’s U.S. lineup.
Autocar notes that the new Mondeo/Fusion will use the C2 platform, used on the new Focus, and will be offered in Europe with gas, diesel and hybrid powerplants. We wouldn’t bet on diesels making it stateside once the model goes into production, but we could see the expected 1.5-liter three-cylinder base engine, which powers the Fiesta-based Ecosport model that Ford recently brought to the U.S. after many years of offering it elsewhere.
Such a model, if it goes into production as reported, will offer the first serious challenge to large, Outback-style wagons that have been fielded by just a handful of automakers in the past two decades, including Audi and Volvo. It will also cement Ford’s turn to crossovers and SUVs that will sideline some of its small and midsize cars, including the Focus hatchback. It remains to be seen if Ford’s bet on crossovers will successfully anticipate consumer tastes of the new decade, but it’s clear that Ford’s path in Europe has been in need of fresh strategy for some time.
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