Ford Motor Co. has made room in its North American product lineup to bring in the next-generation Mondeo from Europe, Ford COO Nick Scheele said. Ford also will enter the low-priced entry-level car market to compete against the Koreans.
In a meeting with journalists on Saturday, Scheele would not confirm that the Mondeo is coming for certain.
Ford should have a sedan in the segment that was occupied by the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique, Scheele said.
Weve got to have one, Scheele said. It feeds into our cycle plan.
The current Europe-market Mondeo offers three four-cylinder engines, one V-6 and a turbo-diesel.
At the entry end of the car lineup, Ford will bring in a Brazilian-built version of the Fusion all-activity vehicle. However, it will be seriously modified from the Europe-market version, which will have a 1.1-liter engine and a five-speed manual transmission. The American-market version will most likely have a 1.8-liter or 2.0-liter engine, as well as an available automatic transmission.
If we duck taking on the entry level, we lose the customer, Scheele said, If you lose the first-time buyer, you have a hard time getting them back.