Ford’s stalwart large family car and S-Max and Galaxy MPVs axed in Euro shake-up

Ford of Europe is preparing a radical re-invention of its European large family car line-up by replacing the Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy with a single crossover-style estate model. 

The new vehicle, whose name is not yet known, will mark Ford’s exit from both the classic large hatchback market and the MPV sector. Although there’s no news on a definitive launch date, the car is expected to arrive in early 2021. 

Unlike some of Ford’s bespoke European models, the model will be sold in North America and beyond. In the US it is being compared by insiders to the Subaru Outback, itself a high-riding estate car. 

Although a niche model in Europe, the Outback has been a significant success in the US since it was launched two decades ago, with recent sales above 200,000 units annually. 

Last July Jim Farley, Ford’s president of new business, technology and strategy, hinted at the move away from conventional road cars towards what he called ‘utility’ body styles. He said the thinking behind the move into medium-rise crossovers was that customers would get “utility benefits without the penalty of poorer fuel economy”. 

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The new car will be built on Ford’s super-flexible C2 platform, which underpins the new Focus and, in time, should be able to stretch from accommodating the next Fiesta to the future seven-seat Edge SUV. The front section of the architecture will also be used by Ford’s future Transit and Tourneo family. 

The model will be offered with petrol and diesel engines plus a 48V mild-hybrid petrol option. The base engine is expected to be Ford’s 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol unit, which will have a belt-driven electric motor and small battery in mild-hybrid form. 

Insiders says that new Euro 6d-compliant diesel engines are, in pollution terms, as clean as petrol engines in real-world use. It is understood that these new oil-burners are still more economical than even mild-hybrid petrol engines, as well as being less expensive. 

Ford’s move to medium-height crossovers in Europe is also partly a recognition that meeting future EU fuel economy regulations would have been very difficult with a line-up of conventional SUVs. 

For a similar reason, it’s not yet known whether the car will be offered with fuel-sapping all-wheel drive in Europe. Instead, some kind of electronic traction control system for navigating loose surfaces is possible. 

Ford will be hoping that the model will appeal to today’s mainstream market of ‘adventurous families’ who will be attracted by running costs lower than those of an SUV, allied to what’s said to be a particularly capacious load bay and a comfortable raised driving position. 

Although the car will replace three very different vehicles, it is likely to outsell the Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy combined. Last year Ford Europe sold around 50,000 Mondeos, 24,000 S-Max models and 12,000 Galaxys – figures which are too low to be profitable enough. 

By the time the model is launched, Ford will have discontinued four MPV model lines. The MPV market has been hit hard in recent years, and as a result Ford will end production of the C-Max and Grand C-Max by late summer, as well as the Romanian-built B-Max compact MPV. The Galaxy and S-Max will likely follow next year. 

The B-Max will in effect be replaced by the upcoming Puma, and the company will look to steer existing C-Max owners into the new Kuga compact SUV. Mondeo and S-Max buyers will be targeted by the Fusion, and Galaxy users moved towards the smaller Transit Edge seven-seat SUV.

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27

16 July 2019

Although there's doubtless going to be the hand-wringing that "Ford is too late/they are fools to stop making saloons", I'm comfortable that they made the decision. Years ago when I did all this nonsense for a  living I worked with GM and they had a proposition for Vauxhall/Opel of "flexibility" which I barely grasped as the product barely realized it. But, if Ford can own (a big if) the crossover space that they link to (electrical, connected, whatever) ability then they could carve out a point of differentiation.

SUV is about "utility" and although boring-sounding, it's the market today. Maybe someone (maybe Ford, maybe not) could define "ability" in terms of a crossover? One that has enough ability in terms of looks and 10% less perceptual bulk to have a niche. Subaru is killing it in the US in this space and yet few else do - instead slavishly following the dominant SUV segment. Salon cars as we know it are dead, and we need to move on, I wonder if a personality-rich, technology intriguing "ability" car might be a path Ford could exploit? The Puma looks interesting when one takes off the anti-SUV mindset of the old boys so maybe Ford has a new direction?

 

16 July 2019
Cersai Lannister wrote:

Although there's doubtless going to be the hand-wringing that "Ford is too late/they are fools to stop making saloons", I'm comfortable that they made the decision. Years ago when I did all this nonsense for a  living I worked with GM and they had a proposition for Vauxhall/Opel of "flexibility" which I barely grasped as the product barely realized it. But, if Ford can own (a big if) the crossover space that they link to (electrical, connected, whatever) ability then they could carve out a point of differentiation.

SUV is about "utility" and although boring-sounding, it's the market today. Maybe someone (maybe Ford, maybe not) could define "ability" in terms of a crossover? One that has enough ability in terms of looks and 10% less perceptual bulk to have a niche. Subaru is killing it in the US in this space and yet few else do - instead slavishly following the dominant SUV segment. Salon cars as we know it are dead, and we need to move on, I wonder if a personality-rich, technology intriguing "ability" car might be a path Ford could exploit? The Puma looks interesting when one takes off the anti-SUV mindset of the old boys so maybe Ford has a new direction?

 

 

Presume you worked in Vauxhall Marketing. Almost impossible to read, and could be summarised down to “find a new niche and own it”. 

Vauxhall still have appalling marketing. 

16 July 2019
Paul Dalgarno wrote:

Cersai Lannister wrote:

Although there's doubtless going to be the hand-wringing that "Ford is too late/they are fools to stop making saloons", I'm comfortable that they made the decision. Years ago when I did all this nonsense for a  living I worked with GM and they had a proposition for Vauxhall/Opel of "flexibility" which I barely grasped as the product barely realized it. But, if Ford can own (a big if) the crossover space that they link to (electrical, connected, whatever) ability then they could carve out a point of differentiation.

SUV is about "utility" and although boring-sounding, it's the market today. Maybe someone (maybe Ford, maybe not) could define "ability" in terms of a crossover? One that has enough ability in terms of looks and 10% less perceptual bulk to have a niche. Subaru is killing it in the US in this space and yet few else do - instead slavishly following the dominant SUV segment. Salon cars as we know it are dead, and we need to move on, I wonder if a personality-rich, technology intriguing "ability" car might be a path Ford could exploit? The Puma looks interesting when one takes off the anti-SUV mindset of the old boys so maybe Ford has a new direction?

 

 

Presume you worked in Vauxhall Marketing. Almost impossible to read, and could be summarised down to “find a new niche and own it”. 

Vauxhall still have appalling marketing. 

 

I'll tweak your critique..easy to read...complete b**ll*cks.

16 July 2019
When the MPV came out, it was innovative, practical and quickly extremely popular.

Now it is being replaced by - wait for it - a slightly high estate car.

There is no underlining sense to this mindless crowd following. It is just a reaction of fear and zero creativity.

16 July 2019

With FORD the motto appears to be 'if you can't beam em give up'.

And by the time diesel versions of this model are  'on the road', 2022'ish, who knows where the market will be?

FORD - To little, To Late, To Expensive!!

 

16 July 2019

 Ford have got to join in because it’s the sector where most are sucked into buying, maybe cutting models to save money?, more money to develope new designs?, who knows, but, a jacked up Mondeo, and it’ll have to be better than the last one, will sell, there are still faithful Fordites out there.

8 October 2019

When nobheads saw German brands as the way to go, perceived quality, brand snobbery, cheap finance based on inflated residuals

 

16 July 2019

If it looks like Autocar's rendering, then it might do well, depending on pricing, of course.  Ford's new design theme, starting with the latest Focus, is developing nicely.  Yes, it's just a taller estate car, but estate cars have always been very practical, so why not?  

MrJ

16 July 2019

Interesting that Ford will have diesel engines in the range.

Anyone told the anti-diesel London Mayor, or will Ford have super-clean technology?

Even now, diesel is pretty clean where CO2 is concerned, reflected by a VED tax of just £30 pa on my Focus hatchback.

16 July 2019
MrJ wrote:

Interesting that Ford will have diesel engines in the range.

Anyone told the anti-diesel London Mayor, or will Ford have super-clean technology?

Even now, diesel is pretty clean where CO2 is concerned, reflected by a VED tax of just £30 pa on my Focus hatchback.

Yep, they know nothing - and neither do their advisors.

If you drive a petrol MHEV in a performance manner, you wil HALVE the economy of a conventional petrol. The aren't "clean" as some spout.

Diesel is massively cleaner than hybrids, unless it's a diesel hybrids - where you will get economy about the same as a conventional petrol vehicle driving in a performance manner.

The main diesel problem is from Heavy Duty vehicles - which are 2 to 3 emissions stages behind pass cars at miniumum these days.

The poor road network in and around London, and the resulting congestion, are the root cause of emissions - not the vehicles on the road themselves. If the traffic was free flowing NOx buildup would be a non-issue.

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