LOS ANGELES -- Despite recently spending $1 billion on a global mid-sized car platform, Ford Motor Co. has chosen to stretch a compact car platform for its European mid-sized luxury vehicles.
The reason: The mid-sized platform can't meet the performance requirements of Ford's European brands.
Ford Motor will modify the current European C1 platform for Volvo's next generation of large cars, such as the S60 and V70. The modified platform also will underpin the Land Rover Freelander redesign coming in 2007, company sources say.
The modified platform, called EUCD, could spawn the Jaguar X-Type replacement in 2009. For Ford of Europe, it will be the basis of the Ford Mondeo sedan and Galaxy minivan.
The size of the EUCD platform is nearly identical to that of the existing $1 billion Mazda6-based platform, called CD3. In 2002, Ford said CD3 would meet global packaging requirements and have the driving dynamics required of a global mid-sized platform. But the company decided the platform couldn't supply the performance needed for Ford's European brands.
"We had to come up with a set of technologies that respond to the market needs of the PAG brands in Europe," says Mark Fields, Ford Motor's executive vice president in charge of Premier Automotive Group.