With the European market showing tenuous signs of revival after plunging into its worst downturn in decades, Ford Motor Co. is prepping a major product offensive that includes a push into more up-market segments it abandoned with the sell-off of its former Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo brands.
Ford is leaving room for the eventual European launch of its North American luxury brand Lincoln, until then the maker is betting its new Vignale brand-within-a-brand can attract the sort of demanding buyers who might otherwise migrate to other high-line marques – and that it can deliver better sales while earning higher margins, in the process.
While Vignale is still a work in progress, Ford pulled the wraps off the first model to carry the new name during this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The Ford Mondeo Vignale is a fancier version of the maker’s midsize model line – which is sold in the U.S. as the Ford Fusion – and slots above the current Mondeo Titanium model. (more…)