New Mondeo suffers from slow start

Dealer group expresses optimism despite poor demand for upper-medium car

Ford Mondeo
COLOGNE -- The new Ford Mondeo has had trouble gaining traction in Germany.

Introduced last June, the new Mondeo's sales results are lower than those of the car it replaced.

Through three months, Ford has sold 7,367 Mondeos compared with 7,581 during the same period last year.

Volker Reichstein, president of the Ford dealer group, blames the poor first-quarter figures on the upper-medium car's strong sales in December.

"That's the reason our showing in the statistics is poor," he said.

Reichstein admitted that the Mondeo hasn't won as many business customers as hoped.

"In our case, customers eligible for company cars also like to go into the van category and get themselves an S-Max."

The S-Max large minivan shares its platform with the Mondeo.

Overall, Reichstein said he still believes in the success of Ford's new models.

"In our new-order entries, we are about 7 percent above last year for all vehicles," he said. "The picture will brighten considerably in the next few weeks."

Ford's goal is to have a 7 percent market share in Germany. At the end of the first quarter its share was 5.8 percent.

You can reach Michael Knauer at autonews@crain.com

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