Mon­deo, the wagon’s role

Ford is looking at a lo­cal brand re­launch, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

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.

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