How many SUVs and crossovers does one car company need?
Well, if you’re Ford the answer appears to be ‘as many as you can create’. The Blue Oval has made it clear its future lies in crossovers and utes, and a new report suggests the long-serving Mondeo is set to be replaced with a high-riding wagon to rival Subaru’s popular Outback.
A report from England’s Autocar suggests this Mondeo-replacing crossover will be one of the brand’s new additions as it shifts away from traditional passenger cars in the face of declining sales. Ford Europe confirmed recently that it will launch three new nameplates by the end of 2024 that are all expected to be crossovers and will be offered with an electrified powertrain.
While the Mondeo has never enjoyed much sales success in Australia, the mid-sizer was a staple for Ford for decades in Europe and, in particular, the United Kingdom where it was a very popular fleet model. However, in 2018 only 50,000 Mondeos found buyers in Europe, a significant drop from its heyday.
In contrast the Outback has been a long-running success story for Subaru, both in Australia and the crucial US market. According to the latest sales data, the Outback is the third-highest selling ‘large SUV’ behind only the Toyota Prado and Kluger.
A Ford Australia spokesman said the local operation was unable to comment on the speculation but did say the company is committed to the Mondeo in its current guise for the foreseeable future.
The next-generation Mondeo (or whatever it is called) is likely to be based on the same underpinnings as the latest Focus, dubbed C2 by Ford.
It will arrive at a busy time for the Blue Oval, with the all-new Escape due to arrive in Australian showrooms by the middle of 2020, featuring the brand’s first plug-in hybrid powertrain locally. It may be joined by the compact Puma SUV, with Ford Australia have officially neither committed one way or the other to the Fiesta-based high-rider that slots between the EcoSport and Escape in the line-up.
Do you think Ford is right to turn the Mondeo into a Subaru Outback rival? Tell us what you think in the comments below.