Final chapter of the Ford Mondeo ends in Europe as last model leaves the assembly line
Nearly two decades after becoming a UK best-seller, the final Mondeo rolls out of the factory in Valencia
- Mondeo production line will be repurposed to build hybrid batteries
- SUV with Mondeo badge now ruled out
- Almost 4 in 10 Fords sold are crossovers
Ford has built the final models and ended production of the Mondeo in Europe. The once popular family vehicle became a bestseller back in 2001 and remained a sales success for the first half of the decade. Since then the growing trend towards crossovers and SUVs resulted in weaker sales for the family saloon.
Ford announced last year that it planned to cease production of the Mondeo citing customer demand as the reason.
A range of new electric family cars is in the pipeline, but it looks unlikely that any of them will use the Ford Mondeo nameplate. A sleek new Mondeo has started production in China for its domestic market as demand is still strong for the family sized saloon, but this will not be exported elsewhere.
Ford’s rival, the Vauxhall Insignia, recently received a refresh and will continue on in the shrinking segment for now. Ford will now retool the Valencia factory to build hybrid engines for the Kuga PHEV and electrified Ford Galaxy and S-Max. Later this year Ford intends to increase capacity at the factory for more battery production.
Introduced as a ‘world car’ in 1993, the Mondeo has racked up more than five million sales in Europe and enjoyed success in the UK for a number of years. At its peak in 2001, over 86,500 examples were sold; fast-forward to 2020 and just 2,400 left dealership forecourts - although the coronavirus pandemic is partly responsible for last year’s figures.
The main reason is that buyers are heading for SUVs and crossovers instead. Ford’s rugged-looking models accounted for almost 40% of its sales in 2020, and the Ford Kuga and Ford Puma are regularly listed in the UK’s bestselling cars chart.
In some respects, it’s a little surprising that Ford didn’t cancel Mondeo production sooner. Half of all Kuga sales are the plug-in hybrid model, so there’s already significant demand for the 2.5-litre engine that will be built on the Mondeo’s production line when it’s repurposed.
Previous spy shots seemed to suggest that Ford was working on a Mondeo crossover to sit above the Kuga but that has been denied in a statement: “While we do not comment on speculation concerning our product plans, we can state that we have no plans for a future Mondeo in Europe”.
Meanwhile, the next Vauxhall Insignia will also be a crossover and Citroen is working on a new flagship with SUV cues.
Read our guide to the best hybrid SUVs.
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