Major Ford product offensive aims for European growth
Presented to 2,500 dealers, employees and media, the event outlined Ford’s plans to find new sales in growing sectors and to slimline the number of platforms it uses globally. To date, 43% of its European model range uses global platforms, including the Focus and Fiesta. By 2017, it aims to boost this to 71%, in turn pitching for part of the predicted 20% growth in vehicle sales predicted in the next five years.
Ford President and chief executive officer, Alan Mulally, told delegates: ‘Even with the near-term business environment, Europe presents a significant opportunity for profitable growth.
‘Today, we are accelerating the introduction of our new products in Europe, leveraging our One Ford plan with a full family of vehicles offering the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value, just like we did when we transformed our business in North America.’
New models include a facelifted Fiesta, which will launch with six engines emitting less than 100g/km CO2, including Ford’s new 1.0 EcoBoost unit, and a 180bhp ST version at the top of the range.
A stylish all-new Mondeo will launch next year, sharing its platform with the American-market Ford Fusion and available with powertrains including the 1.0 EcoBoost petrol with as much as 140bhp, and CO2 emissions of 125g/km for the 123bhp version. European buyers will also be offered the petrol-electric hybrid, a first for Ford in the European D-segment.
Ford also sees SUVs as a large growth sector, driven more by styling than true off-road capability. The carmaker said the European B-segment crossover segment will double in size over the next five years, so will launch its Fiesta-based EcoSport globally next year. An all-new Kuga, which will also be a world car, launches next year, and this will be followed by the European introduction of the mid-size Edge SUV previously only offered in the United States.
Finally, the commercial vehicle range is to expand to four models. All-new Transit launches as a car-like one-tonne van, a two-tonne version which will be sold globally and the Connect which is based on Ford’s C-segment platform. Ford will follow this with an urban delivery van, the Transit Courier, at an unconfirmed date within the next two years.