It might be two years late in reaching us thanks to a decision by Ford to completely move production from Genk to Valencia, but the new ford Mondeo has been launched across Europe and will be unveiled here in Ireland on October 28 next with the manufacturer hopeful it will spearhead its bid to regain the number one sales slot from Volkswagen.
According to Eddie Murphy, the boss of Ford in Ireland, the two year delay in the arrival of the company C/D segment contender was “not the easiest time” for everyone in the Ford family - not least the dealer network which has been gagging to get its’ hands on new Mondeo for a seemingly endless period of time.
Well, it is here now and the Ford retailing machine is ready to swing into action selling a car which will initially be available from é28,995 in two models, Zetec and Titanium with the entry level Style model coming on stream in the new year.
Eddie Murphy reckons that despite the delays in the arrival of Mondeo, its arrival at this particular moment in time is very prescient - particularly in Ireland - with the overall car market on the up.
“We expect the 100,000 unit barrier to be broken in 2015 and with that in mind, we here at Ford - as well as the Irish motor industry as a whole - welcomed the fact that the Minister for Finance accepted the advice of the industry and this week’s budget and did not impose any tax increases on the sector,” Mr. Murphy commented.
He said that the C/D segment has seen something of a decline recently in Ireland, but Ford was confident that it will increase this year’s 12% share of the segment to around 14% as a result of Mondeo’s arrival.
“We are not at all put off by the decline in the segment and we think Mondeo will give Volkswagen a good scrap when it goes head-to-head with the new Passat. We really think next year will be a comeback year for Ford and be want to be the number one brand in Ireland in 2105,” he added.
With the face-lifted Focus coming on stream along with Mondeo for 2015 and a host of other new models arriving in the next 12 months, Ford is understandably bullish about achieving its aim and according to Marketing Director, Ciaran McMahon, the Mondeo will initially be available with three engine choices - two diesels and one petrol.
We are already familiar with the 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDCi turbodiesels, but new to Mondeo is a 1.5 litre EcoBoost petrol engine which we experienced for the first time in Spain this week at the pan-European launch of the car and found to be an excellent addition to the line-up.
Sharp, responsive and very economic, the new engine is going to be up against it on the Irish market, particularly given that nearly 100% of Mondeo sales here have traditionally been diesels.
But Ford has a stated aim of ‘re-educating’ the Irish public to the value of a potent yet frugal powerplant and on the initial evidence of what we saw this week, they certainly have the right tool to so do.
Further engines will be introduced during 2015, including the much-anticipated 1.0 litre EcoBoost which we have already seen in Fiesta and Focus, as well as the new Hybrid version which combines a specially-developed 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery. We are told it will deliver anticipated CO2 emissions of 99 g/km.
An all-wheel-drive two litre diesel is also on the cards as the model line-up evolves.
Ford is confident that the very eye-catching new car will almost double Mondeo sales from 1,500 units to 3,000 in the coming 12 months. The company is predicting that with a split of 50% fleet buyers and 50% retail, as well as a very competitive PCP plan coming in at around é300 per month, will help sales greatly.
“We think we have made a good thing out of a frustrating situation what with the car being delayed. We’re confident and we are aspiring to top the market next year,” Eddie Murphy commented.
Among the things Ford hopes will attract customers is the debut of a new pedestrian detection technology that could help reduce the severity of accidents or help drivers avoid them altogether. Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection will feature in the new range.
Initially available here as a five-door and a station wagon, the new car will also offer Ford’s adaptive LED headlamps, inflatable rear seatbelts (an interesting é200 option), as well as multi-contour seats.
The bullishness is reflected by Eddie Murphy’s assertion that the new range “is a beautifully designed package that has it all: great looks, great safety credentials, great technologies and great powertrains delivering excellent driving economy.
“And on top all this, the new Mondeo builds on the car’s well established class-leading driving dynamics to provide an even more exhilarating driving experience,” he said.
The car will be launched at the end of this month and arrive in Ford Dealerships across Ireland during November.
Believe me, it will have been worth the wait.
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