Ford reportedly plans replace Fusion and Mondeo with a lifted crossover wagon
22 July 2019 - autoblog
Subaru Outback competitor would replace S-Max, Galaxy SUVs, too
After nearly three decades, Ford's Mondeo/Fusion nameplate might end up shelved – or at least, the Mondeo as currently perceived perceived is in for a change. Since the Mondeo hit the streets in the early 1990s, the family sedan has been available as a four-door globally, and as a five-door liftback and wagon in some parts of the world, with the short-lived Cougar coupe version offered at the turn of the century. But for 2021, Ford is rumored to transform the Mondeo into a crossover wagon-only model, and there's a likelihood that it will lose the name in favor of something more global, and that it could even come to the U.S.
Originally, the 1993 Mondeo made it to the States as the Contour and the Mercury Mystique, as those models replaced the Tempo and Topaz. While those new '90s sedans were somewhat European-sized, for U.S. buyers they were too cramped, and only later, larger iterations of the corresponding platforms started to gain a foothold. Eventually, Ford named its U.S. midsize sedan model the Fusion, using a name which had already appeared on a Fiesta-sized crossover in Europe. Currently, both the 2013-on North American Fusion and 2014-on Euro Mondeo versions are heading towards discontinuation, with top-spec trim levels getting dropped in advance.
Autocar, citing unnamed sources, says the new crossover model will also effectively replace the S-Max and Galaxy overseas in addition to the Mondeo, and that it will be built on Ford's new C2 platform, which is in use on the Focus and later on, the new Fiesta, Edge and Transit Tourneo or Connect. Engine variants will include both gasoline and diesel engines and 48V mild-hybrid electrification.
Autocar also states Ford Europe sold just 50,000 new Mondeos last year and a piffling 24,000 S-Maxes and 12,000 Galaxies. Contrast that with the Fusion's U.S. sales of 173,600 units, which is already a strong drop from 2017's 209,600 or 2015's 300,000+ sales, and it's clear the European Mondeo isn't selling as well as it should. Looking at the Euro sales data for the past two decades is especially grim: The Mondeo's segment has been visibly shrinking, with the car unable to break 100,000 sales after 2009. Back in 1997, Ford sold 322,700 new Mondeos with a bodystyle that dated back to the early '90s, albeit with a fresh facelift. So maybe the Mondeo name really is due for retirement, and the Fusion nameplate will be fresh enough to sell even in Europe.
It's expected that the one car model the new crossover wagon will especially have in its sights in North America is the Subaru Outback, which in 2018 sold nearly 180,000 units in the U.S. Meanwhile, in Europe Subaru found fewer than 7,500 buyers for both the Legacy and Outback combined – far below Mondeo sales.