At the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, Ford is going to present an upmarket version of the Mondeo, entitled Vignale – sort of a Ghia from the old days, but with a more premium feel and price.
As the European car market continuously slumbers, the only automakers to do reasonably well are the premium ones, thanks to a loyal customer base that is usually not quite affected by economic downturns.
Ford has had some experience with the more upmarket price tag in Europe especially with the Ghia models of the old (anyone remembering Scorpio?) but now wants to join the major league with the ‘Vignale’ product and ownership experience and the first step is the soon to be unveiled Ford Mondeo Vignale Concept.
While suggestive of an expensive Italian marque, the Vignale is little more than a pimped-up version of the four-cylinder Ford Mondeo still favored by many a mid-level manager or sales rep. The target for Ford is clear though: BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
“This prevents defection of Ford customers who believe they need to go somewhere else as they progress in their careers and make more money,” Ford’s European sales chief Roelant de Waard says of the new premium line.
The concept, which does not sport the Mondeo badge anywhere on the car, is due to be rolled out across multiple vehicles as a new sub-brand akin to Ford’s sporty ST nameplate.
The company remains tightlipped about the Vignale’s price tag, but de Waard said it would offer a suitable product at a lower price for customers who find the premium German manufacturers too expensive. Anyways, in Germany already the Mondeo Titanium is at a hair to the Mercedes C-Class price – 29,450 euros ($38,700) to 33,230 euro; so the Vignale will not have a big price bracket.