Ford’s Kuga Vignale Concept hints at brand’s upscale SUV plans in Europe

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 9, 2016

Ford offered us a glimpse of what the company’s future top-end SUVs could look like with its recently unveiled Ford Kuga concept seen at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Ford’s Kuga Vignale Concept dazzled the European audience with its Vignale Palazzo Pearl exterior with a tarnished dark paint finish for the front and rear skid plates, foglamp surrounds and door appliqués while the car’s grille and foglamp inserts done in gloss black.

A suede look was pulled off by the window pillar interiors and headliner enriched with Alcantara material while an Opale dark grey pearl-effect finish was applied to the car’s centre console. In addition, its armrest storage console and glove box had been lined with flock, highlighting the SUV’s premium quality. Historically, Ford Kuga customers always preferred the higher end variant of the car, with a recorded 4 in 5 of the 102,000 Kugas sold in 2015 being Titanium models.

According to industry sales analyst IHS, the trend for this luxury preference could increase to 27 percent of all vehicle sales in Europe by 2020. This is a big jump from the recorded 20 percent luxury variants sold in 2014. Ford Europe VP for Marketing Sales and Service Roelant de Waard said that the Ford Kuga Vignale Concept is meant to meet the growing customer preference for luxury SUVs.

The concept represents the best of what Ford can offer to discerning clients with an eye for the finer things in life with its premium design, craftsmanship and materials. A premium SUV deserves exceptional service with Ford offering a dedicated service to assist customers across Europe to arrange for exclusive travels and other lifestyle experiences.

This service exclusively being offered to Ford Vignale customers will be accomplished together with its partner Total Management, a global event, lifestyle and travel agency. The premium services will include breaks at luxury venues that include the Relais & Châteaux Mas de Torrent located in Girona, Spain as well as Grayshott Spa and Hotel located in U.K.

The program also offers theatre, music and sporting events that include the French Open. In addition, customers will be updated with the latest travel and lifestyle possibilities with a monthly email update to be launched in Europe this month.

Ford Vignale customers may likewise opt to have the Vignale Service smartphone app for both Apple and Android OS. App users will have access to the online lifestyle content of the Vignale Magazine with its informative driving tips, dealership locator, GPS-dependent services such as Ford Vignale Park Me, fuel stations locator and the one-touch emergency services called Ford Vignale One Call.

Press Release

Ford Kuga Vignale Concept: the future of SUVs

The Ford Kuga Vignale Concept offers an insight into the future of Ford upscale SUVs in Europe, using as a starting point the Ford Kuga mid-size SUV that is making its European motor show debut in Geneva.

The Ford Kuga Vignale Concept is presented in Vignale Palazzo Pearl – a unique mother of pearl-inspired exterior colour – and finished with tarnished dark paint effect for the front and rear skid plates, foglamp surrounds and door appliques, and with gloss black lower grille and foglamp inserts.

The Ford Kuga Vignale Concept interior features a unique leather treatment for the seats, doors and instrument panel featuring bespoke tuxedo stitching, with leather extending to the boot floor and tailgate interior.

Window pillar interiors and headliner are enriched with Alcantara material that offers a suede-effect; the glovebox and armrest storage console are flock-lined; and the centre console offers a premium Opale dark grey pearl-effect finish.

Almost 4-in-5 of the record 102,000 Kugas sold in 2015 were high-specification Titanium models, indicating high demand for luxury variants in the SUV segment that is predicted by industry sales analyst IHS to increase to account for 27 per cent of all vehicle sales in Europe by 2020, from 20 per cent in 2014.

"Our Ford Kuga Vignale Concept speaks directly to the growing trend for luxury SUVs and represents the very best of Ford with premium design, materials and craftsmanship," said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. "We see great potential to extend the top end of our Ford product range and offer a special experience that meets the growing expectations of our customers."

Travel in style

Ford Vignale customers value experiences and consider time the ultimate luxury. Ford will offer a dedicated service to help customers across Europe efficiently arrange exclusive travel and lifestyle experiences.

Delivered in partnership with Total Management – a global event, lifestyle and travel agency – the service will offer a carefully selected collection of experiences to Ford Vignale customers. These will include breaks at luxury venues including the Relais & Châteaux Mas de Torrent in Girona, Spain, and Grayshott Spa and Hotel in the U.K.

Exclusive offers for theatre, music and sporting events including French Open tennis also will be offered. Ford will keep customers informed about the latest exclusive travel and lifestyle opportunities via a monthly email update, launching across Europe this month.

Additional customer benefits offered by Ford Vignale include the Vignale Service smartphone app for Apple and Android™ operating systems. The app delivers a direct link to online lifestyle content from the Vignale Magazine, in addition to offering driving tips and information; a dealership locator; and GPS-enabled services including Ford Vignale Park Me, fuel stations locator, and a one-touch connection with emergency services or Ford Vignale One Call.

Ford Vignale Ambassadors revealed

The new Ford Vignale Ambassadors and stars of the Ford Vignale launch campaign are leaders in their fields and reflect Ford's passion for contemporary design and high-quality craftsmanship.

Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford are father and son fashion designers at the forefront of menswear with the Casely-Hayford's brand. The Casely-Hayford's are the first actively co-working father-and-son team to make a breakthrough in high fashion and between them have styled for the musicians including Lou Reed, Nas, Sam Smith, The Clash, The xx and U2. Joe Casely-Hayford was in 2007 appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, for services to the fashion industry.

Kai Petermann is a Berlin-based founder and creative director of "stilsucht.de", a leading German interior design online destination. One of Germany's biggest digital influencers, Petermann's blog focuses on design discoveries, lifestyle ideas and technologies. Ford will announce further Ford Vignale Ambassadors joining the programme later this the year.

"We chose to work with Ford Vignale because we felt there was a strong brand synergy," Joe Casely-Hayford said. "We liked the idea of combining craftsmanship with innovation, and technology with tradition. We love the attention to detail."

Signature Vignale Collection
The 2016 Vignale Collection brings together a portfolio of designs created by Ford Vignale designers and inspired by the distinctive craftsmanship and upscale materials found in Ford Vignale models. Available to experience and order at Vignale Lounges and via a dedicated online store, the Vignale Collection includes a handmade leather iPad sleeve and office bag that reflect the distinctive Ford Vignale grille and quilted pattern of the handcrafted seats.

Also presented is a power bank trimmed in high quality leather; a Vignale leather writing set with an exclusively designed LAMY Vignale fountain pen and ball pen; a leather sleeve for travel documents; and a wallet and leather sunglasses holder. In addition, the Vignale Collection for the first time offers a new range of soft leather-trimmed notebooks.

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