Ford counts on updated Mondeo to double China share

Article by Anita Panait, on September 4, 2013

Ford Motor Co. updated its Mondeo mid-sized sedan to entice consumers in China where it targets to more than double market share by 2015. According to Trevor Worthington, vice president of product development in the Asia Pacific region, Ford is bringing in the revamped Mondeo to China, at prices ranging from CHY179,800 ($29,400) to CHY265,800.

He said that Ford expects to post sales of between 70,000 to 110,000 Mondeos annually in China. Ford is targeting to post a 6-percent market share in China by 2015, and only controlled around 3 percent of the market in 2012, according to researcher LMC Automotive.

General Motors controlled 16 percent of the China market in 2012, while Volkswagen had 15 percent. Ford posted a 50-percent surge in sales in China in the first seven months of 2013, thanks to its efforts to expand its lineup as well as double its production capacity in the country.

Ford is banking on the updated Mondeo to challenge other carmakers’ offerings like the Volkswagen Magotan and Passat, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Teana and Buick Regal and Lacrosse. Worthington told Bloomberg that Ford sees the updated Mondeo as “being a volume player that appeals to a range of different people."

He noted that Chinese customers might be looking for unique requirements that perhaps buyers in the United States or Europe are not, adding that it is their job to make sure that from “an appearance, craftsmanship perspective,” all things are taken into account."Ford sold less than 70,000 units annually of the earlier versions of Mondeo in China from 2008 to 2012, according to data from LMC Automotive. Ford is selling Mondeo as the Fusion in the US.

Since one objective set for the Mondeo was for it to be able to offer greater strength, Ford made sure to utilize cutting-edge production techniques and the use of refined materials. Further, by improving the sustainability and even lowering the weight, it allows for safety to be enhanced. The Mondeo will be the first ever model from Ford to be released in Europe and developed using the brand’s very own CD-segment architecture.

In addition, this new model will also serve to debut the brand’s newest integral link suspension for the rear. This suspension delivers a performance that is more dynamic with refinement being improved as well. In addition, to create the roof rails, A-pillars, and B-pillars, Ford used what is called as high strength hydro-formed steel, a first for the industry.

With the four-door model, and even the five-door version, there is that inner tailgate structure made of magnesium. Unlike the usual versions made of steel, the use of magnesium means the weight of this structure is lowered by 40%. For the first time in the Mondeo, it will have the Electric Power Assisted Steering which improves not just the body structure but the new platform too.

The anti-lock braking system remains to be present and by being optimized, lowers the stopping distance from 100 km/h (62 mph) to at least 1 meter. Koesters said that compared to the previous Mondeo version, the new generation has a body structure that is stiffer by 10%. It has been fitted with a number of technologies that enhance handling like the Torque Vectoring Control, making this the most versatile and responsive version of the Mondeo.

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