The new Ford Mondeo will compete better in the European mid-sized segment since it is underpinned by its new global CD4 platform that was also designed to underpin Lincoln vehicles. Ford's outgoing assistant global line director for CD platform cars, Darren Palmer, told Automotive News Europe that the Mondeo’s suspension and platform were state of the art, since they were also developed for Lincoln.
Ford will start rolling out the Mondeo in Europe at the end of 2014, charging against Volkswagen Passat and the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia. Ford's global CD4 platform will also underpin the new S-Max and Galaxy minivans, and the Edge large SUV.
It will also underpin Lincoln MKX, Palmer said. Sales of mid-sized cars in the region have been on a slump as customers choose those from German luxury brands and crossovers. IHS Automotive expects overall volumes in the mid-sized segment to drop to under 500,000 units in western Europe in 2014, from over 800,000 in 2011.
To boost sales of the Mondeo, Ford is offering the upscale Vignale trim for the model next summer. Ford delayed the rollout of the new Mondeo by two years after it shifted output from its Genk site in Belgium to its Valencia facility in Spain.
The CD4 platform is bound to underpin 10 models – all of which are seen to have an annual volume of 1.2 million, Palmer said. The platform boasts of several sophistications, like the use of unequal bush sizes on the suspension control arms.
He noted that such feature had been only found in premium cars since it was more complex, expensive and difficult in the production process. The feature enables the suspension to be tuned for better handling and ride comfort, Palmer remarked.