Ford of Europe is aiming its to-be-launched Vignale upscale trim line at business customers as it seeks to boost profit its margins and while warding off rivals in the midsize segment from the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, and Volkswagen Passat.
Ford will introduce the Vignale in September on the new Mondeo. According to Roelant de Waard, Ford’s European sales and marketing chief, the high-end features of the Vignale Mondeo will help persuade business customers to go for it instead of buying a premium model. He remarked lease rates to companies for the Vignale Mondeo would match those of its German luxury rivals.
He told Automotive News Europe that residual values will be high for the Vignale Mondeo since the carmaker will restrict sales to low-profit customers like rental car firms. Ford will build the Vignale Mondeo alongside standard Mondeos at its Valencia site in Spain.
The carmaker is setting up a special department at the site to ensure high quality levels for the Vignale trim line. The US carmaker is planning to roll out a Vignale version of the latest S-Max large minivan but is mum on the timing of the sale.
The Vignale Mondeo is expected to be priced 10 percent higher than the most expensive Mondeo, which standard version has a starting tag of EUR27,150 in Germany.
According to De Waard, the Vignale Mondeo would have very limited retail volume due to its price, expecting business customers to account for between 80 percent and 90 percent of sales.
Every Ford Mondeo Vignale is hand-finished by six master craftspeople at Ford’s Vignale Centre in Valencia, Spain. These master craftspeople were supported by the latest laser and camera technology to closely examine every element of a Vignale vehicle – including their bodyshell, panel alignment and even paint finish.
As these experts possess so much passion for precision and attention to detail, they spend over two hours hand-polishing the paintwork to ensure that Ford Mondeo Vignale has the perfect high-gloss finish.
These experts also thoroughly inspect the fine detailing and stitching of 40 laser-cut pieces of leather trim of each seat. It took around two-and-a-half years to perfect the design of the Vignale seats, which take inspiration from luxurious handcrafted leather goods. These seats needed 110 percent more leather for greater coverage and 50 percent more sewing time.
The full-grain premium Windsor Leather is created from carefully and rigorously selected hides with minimal natural markings. This creates a more elegant appearance for the distinct Vignale hexagonal quilting and tuxedo stitching. These soft-touch elements now cover the instrument panel, arm-rest, door top-rolls and the center console. To ensure that surface appearance remains consistent through time, finished parts were exposed to the sun.
Thanks to sophisticated technologies and its advanced chassis structure, the new Ford Mondeo Vignale offers a smooth and comfortable ride. Among these technologies is the Active Noise Cancellation system that makes use of strategically located three microphones in the cabin to monitor engine noise. Once engine noise is detected inside the cabin, Active Noise Cancellation would send opposing sound waves via the audio system to cancel such noise, thereby enhancing interior ambience.