Future Models - Ford 2013 Mondeo
New Mondeo to preview future big Fords
Unveiled: Ford has revealed images of the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo global mid-sizer.
Ford design chief reveals simplified ‘premium look’ will point to Falcon replacement
9 January 2012
FORD design boss J Mays has revealed that the next-generation Mondeo will herald a new styling language and preview the company’s thinking behind the Blue Oval’s next-generation of large cars due in the middle of the decade.
“I think it really sets (the styling template for large cars),” he told a group of Australian journalists at the Delhi Auto Expo in India last week.
“We’ve come up of an evolution of the design language based on Kinetic, but we’re not calling it Kinetic Design because we’ve had it for five years and we’ve come up with enough changes to the philosophy that we’ll follow the New Global Design Language.”
Mr Mays said the future look – which he described as “premium” and which will be glimpsed in the lines of the new Fusion/Mondeo – would strive to eschew the current fashion for automotive fussiness in order to maintain a timeless style.
“Premium doesn’t have to scream; premium can talk quieter,” he said.
“You get a lot of frenetic design out there. If you think of Hyundai – and I’m not criticising Hyundai; it’s just a different philosophy – theirs is all over the map, really loud and fussy. And I don’t think that’s premium and I don’t think that’s sustainable.
Left: J Mays. Below: Ford Evos concept.
“So if we’re going to have one foot in front of the other and have this brand fall into a more premium look, not a premium price, then I think we have to have something that will still look good in seven or eight years.
“That’s the idea on future models – and you’ll see this on Fusion – that our cars will have a more tailored feel about them. And if you tailor a thing, it’s less about fashion and more about the cut of a suit.
“I think you’ll see that we have a bit of a milestone car in that car … everybody who sees that car has an ‘oh shit’ moment – they go ‘Oh, that’s really nice’.”
Mr Mays is confident the new Fusion/Mondeo IV will overshadow all of its competitors’ designs.
“It’s not just another C/D car, it’s going to be a real contender in that market, and when I look at the competition in that market – whether it be Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan – we’ve got a really strong product that we’re bringing to market.”
Mr Mays also revealed that the Ford Australia design studios had a hand in the look of the new mid-sizer.
“It was styled in the US,” he said. “But, because we’re working as a global design studio, we have 11 studios around the world. I will tell you that Melbourne did have an input on the car, and from Cologne as well.
“Every car we work on we have global competition, and we normally narrow it down to three cars, and from those three cars we see what bits are the best and we homogenise it into the final design.
“Melbourne offered up a feeling of the surface – it was really nice. It wasn’t a particular headlamp or something like that, but those guys do great work, and consistently so.”
As consumers continue to abandon the traditional ‘D/E’ segment for the smaller ‘C’ and ‘D’ class offerings all around the world, Mr Mays believes that new car buyers are looking at medium-sized cars as the ‘new large’, further underlining the importance of the Fusion/Mondeo.
“Don’t get me wrong, I like big D/E cars, but the market doesn’t like them.
“It’s not a decision we’re making, it’s a decision the customers are making. They’re just not buying into that segment any more. And it’s not a function of Australia. It’s a function of anywhere in the world. That segment is shrinking.
“So the new large car – in a big way – is sort of the C/D car. And beyond the C/D car you’re getting into a very small piece of the market.
“We’ve had some success in the US with the Taurus, and there’s always somewhere in the world that will buy (into large cars), but to sustain that over the next 10 years will be really tough, I think.
“We previewed the new Fusion to the American press just before Christmas and we’re delighted with how that car looks. It’s an absolutely great-looking vehicle.”