The Vauxhall Insignia rival’s starting price is now £19,445. That's £2500 cheaper than before, although it’s still £695 more expensive than its Vauxhall arch-rival. However, the Mondeo now comes as standard with an 8.0in touchscreen, autonomous braking and front and rear parking sensors.
The reduction in pricing, which also brings £2500 savings on ST-Line Editions, £2000 off of Titanium Editions and £3000 off the range-topping Vignale, will help to lower the benefit-in-kind tax applied to fleet vehicles. Ford UK fleet director Owen Gregory said this should have a major impact on overall success because fleet accounts for 85% of Mondeo sales.
He also told Autocar that the updated ST-Line Edition and Titanium Edition trims would broaden the model’s appeal to both fleet and private buyers. ST-Line Edition, he said, gains 19in wheels to appeal to private buyers who want a sporty-looking car, while Titanium Edition, which now has leather, heated seats with 10-way electronic adjustment, caters to the demand for luxury among fleet buyers.
“What we’re doing here is ensuring that the Mondeo remains vibrant in both sides of the market,” Gregory said.
The changes to the Mondeo range have been spurred on by declining demand in its segment, where, despite an increase in market share, the Mondeo’s sales have fallen foul to fast-growing SUV demand. Last year, Ford shifted 18,650 Mondeos in Britain.
“The fleet market is making similar moves to the private market, with a shift to SUVs,” said Gregory. “But fleet operators are increasingly looking to cut operating costs in the current economic environment, so there’s a downsizing shift beginning.
“The thing that I’m encouraged by is when we take a look at the fleet market year on year, we’re growing our share in that space. Whilst it’s under pressure as a segment, our performance is holding up well.”
Despite the growing threat of SUVs, Gregory believes the Mondeo is enough of a unique offering in the market to retain strong demand.
“I would say now and in the near term, I think the Mondeo addresses a need that other vehicles can’t,” he said. “If you think about the Mondeo in Estate form, there are very few vehicles that can offer that breadth of capability. And there are still a large number of people who want a large, comfortable saloon car.”