Mondeo, the wagon’s role
Ford is looking at a local brand relaunch, writes NEIL McDONALD
THE new Mondeo wagon will be pitched against the brawnier and more powerful Holden Sportwagon. Ford Australia says it will use the wagon’s arrival next month to help relaunch the slow-selling Mondeo locally.
Despite the fact the Holden eclipses the four-cylinder Mondeo on the cylinder count with a choice of V6 and V8 powertrains, as well as sporty and luxury models, Ford president Marin Burela believes the wagon ‘‘will be a real competitor for the Sportwagon’’.
‘‘Let’s take our first shot across the bow with the Mondeo wagon, which is a very classy car in terms of package, performance, fuel economy and styling,’’ he says.
‘‘We think it will be a real surprise and delight to the market.’’
Ford expects big things from fleet and private buyers for its mid-sizer as it broadens the choice to sedan, hatch and wagon.
The wagon is expected to be available in the same specification as the hatch.
The Mondeo sedan and hatch were launched in late 2007 but sales have never fired against the Toyota Camry, Mazda6, Honda Accord Euro and Subaru Liberty.
About 85,000 buyers bought mid-size cars last year, but Ford’s slice was only 4872 Mondeos.
Unlike the Japanese makes, the Mondeo is available with a 2.0-litre turbodiesel mated to a six-speed automatic.
Burela believes a refocused and more aggressive Mondeo marketing push will lift sales.
‘‘Even a 10 per cent share, which is around 8000, may not seem a lot but it’s important,’’ he says.
Despite Ford’s pitch, the Holden still wins the space race. The Sportwagon has 895 litres of luggage room with the rear seats up and 2000 litres of space with the seats folded.
By comparison the Mondeo has 542 litres of luggage room, growing to 1733 litres with the rear seats folded.
The venerable Falcon wagon eclipses both, with 1260 litres of luggage space, 2584 litres when the rear seats are folded flat.
Wagon train: the new Ford Mondeo wagon is seen as a competitor to the Holden Sportwagon.