Ford of Europe is introducing a new badge that includes larger models with upscale features – the Vignale. Ford will launch the Vignale badge at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show through a concept derived from the new-generation Mondeo. The Vignale line represents the carmaker’s latest try to entice richer customers who are more concerned about their lifestyle than getting a bargain.
It also represents that latest attempt by a volume carmaker to create specially badged vehicles aimed at enticing customers away from German premium brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Vignale – a name that suggests an expensive Italian marquee – will also allow Ford to counter actions by premium brands to lure away customers from volume carmakers.
According to Roelant De Waard, Ford of Europe's sales and marketing chief, the carmaker expects half of Vignale customers to be current Ford customers seeking to upgrade while the other half are owners of cars with premium brands.
Vignale-badged models have a price premium of 10 percent to 15 percent over Ford’s most expensive models on the market. According to Gaetano Thorel, Ford of Europe's marketing chief, the Vignale version of the Mondeo will be EUR3,000 to EUR4,000 more expensive than Ford’s current top-of-the-line model that is badged Titanium.
He told Automotive News Europe that the Vignale version of the Mondeo would be less expensive than an entry-level Audi A4. Thorel said that the carmaker expects the Vignale line to account for around 10 percent of sales in Europe.
When it comes to modern design and luxury, Ford is always looking for ways to come up with its own unique version. For this year, Ford is once again making a mark as it becomes the first automaker to be part of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile. Held in Milan, this event is the foremost furniture design show in the world. On display during the event are the Ford Design bespoke chair, watch, and lamp.
Looking closer at the design, it is clear that the design language of the brand is present and at the same time revealing the influence of fashion and furniture trends. Ford of Europe Exterior Design Director Stefan Lamm revealed that the different influences in fashion and architecture result in what is known as the Mondeo Vignale Concept. This concept offers an excellent high quality feel combined with the sense of timelessness while adding in the latest cutting-edge technologies, he continued.
Ford disclosed that selected dealerships will be offering the customized experience dubbed the Ford Vignale. Through this, the brand promises to offer stress-free and stimulating atmosphere and high service levels. Here, customers will be able to test exclusive colors and materials. They can even get the chance to experience exciting technologies and features.
As part of this vision, Ford will be offering to customers free lifetime carwash and delivery and collection for vehicle servicing. Customers will even get the opportunity to be invited to different exclusive events. Further, a dealer principal will be there to greet customers during the official handover of their new model. There will also be a dedicated and named point-of-contact with branded handover documents that include the leather document wallet.
The Vignale will begin with the Mondeo Vignale wagon and saloon slated during the early part of 2015. This vision though will later be extended to further models. The Ford Vignale is the brand’s response to that ever increasing trend of time-saving services and also mirrors the demand for the brand’s high-end products. After all, models with higher specifications account for at least 50% of the large car sales of the brand in Europe.