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First Ford Mondeo rolls off the line

Posted Mar 27th 2007 3:59PM

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The first Mondeo has made its way down the production line at Ford's production line in Genk, Belgium. The Genk plant has undergone a big upgrade and is one of the most flexible in Ford's production arsenal. The plant was already building S-Max and Galaxy vehicles, and now with the Mondeo added to the mix, there are five different body styles being turned out at a maximum rate of 1,200 cars per day. Keeping it interesting for the workers, the different body styles can come down the line in any order, as well. It looks like Ford's investment of over 700 million Euro will be paying off as they ramp up full production on their lauded European offerings. While 98 percent of the Genk plant's output will be for export, the United States is not one of the 60 countries these cars are headed. A shame, as we really dig the Euro Fords.

Press release after the jump

[Source: Ford]


FORD GENK STARTS PRODUCTION OF THE ALL-NEW MONDEO


GENK, Belgium, March 27, 2007 – Less than 12 months after the official production start of the successful Ford S-MAX and new generation Ford Galaxy, the first all-new Ford Mondeo today rolled off the same production line at Ford Genk.

An investment program totaling €715 million was made at Genk in support of the three new models. And once production is running at maximum capacity, almost 1,200 Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy models will be built there each day, with 98 percent of the total being exported to more than 60 countries.

"After the international recognition and success of both the Galaxy and the S-MAX, which was voted Car of the Year 2007, the new Mondeo completes the Ford range in the crucially important European CD segment," said John Fleming, Ford of Europe's president and CEO.

"Following the introduction of a new, flexible production system over the past year, Ford Genk has made gains in its efficiency and quality, and it remains the cornerstone of the production of Ford's large car line-up," he added.

From today as many as five different body styles will roll off the same production line at Genk – and in any order. These body styles are S-MAX, Galaxy, Mondeo four-door, Mondeo five-door and Mondeo wagon (estate). Genk is the only Ford plant to produce all these models.

"Thanks to the far-reaching modernization of our production plant, Ford Genk achieves pace-setting production quality and flexibility, enabling us to respond quickly to the ever changing demands of our customers", says Guy Martens, general manager of Ford Genk.

Since the Genk production plant opened in 1964, more than 12.6 million vehicles have been built there. It is one of the most modern vehicle assembly factories in Europe, and together with the Volvo production plant at Gent it accounts for more than half the total production, employment and export of Belgium's automotive sector. The plant has 5,800 employees.

The sales launch across Europe of the new Ford Mondeo is planned for the first half of June 2007.

The start of new Mondeo production is the second Job 1 ceremony for Ford of Europe this week. On March 26, Ford began production of the new Ford C-MAX at its plant in Saarlouis, Germany.

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ptbehr

Definitely a nice looking car. If Ford decides to sell the new Mondeo in the U.S., maybe they'd start recouping some of that $12.0 BILLION loss last year.

April 08 2007 at 3:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan

Screams MERCURY!

This is presicely what Mercury needs to differentiate its product and go up market. A Mercury Mondeo with a TwinForce V6 would kick some 5 Series, GS 400 and G35 behind.

March 28 2007 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Niall Oswald

As you may know if you watch 'Top Gear', in the mid-90s the Mondeo sold very well over here in the UK leading to the phrase 'Mondeo Man' being used to describe the 'average' voter in the 1997 election.

Problem for Ford is that since then, the BMW 3-series has started to outsell the Mondeo as people want the 'exclusive' German option. IMHO the new Mondeo looks great (the last one wasn't exactly ugly, just uninspiring) but it'll be interesting to see if Ford can tempt people out of their BMWs.

March 28 2007 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jamie

You're all on crack. You whine at Ford to bring the Mondeo over and if they ever do, you'll whine about it being too small, under-powered, and too expensive for a Ford (or even a Mercury)

Face it, Americans like giant cars or SUV's with ridiculous HP and TQ numbers. Your tastes in automobiles are far different from Europeans, who actually like to DRIVE their cars (shifting gears, depressing the gas pedal, etc)

If Ford ever does bring it to the US they will have a dump a big V6 in it, which will kill the handling dynamics that this car is famous for. They will have to re-tune it for shitty American roads, once again killing the above mentioned handling dynamics.

March 28 2007 at 12:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gustavo Miranda

I'm curious what could happen when you put a Fusion, Taurus and Mondeo at the same market... and the smaller, increased, improved Mondeo more expensive than other two...

March 27 2007 at 10:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cawfebug

it would be so easy to bring that over here - we need some good wagons.

and Ford... if you do bring it over, don't change a thing!! (except the US DOT, standard stuff)

March 27 2007 at 10:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christopher

We could sell you the Mondeo, but instead we'll take the 500 and slap a Taurus badge on it. Yeah, America, we just assume you're that friggin' stupid.

Bland Moves. Only from Ford USA.

March 27 2007 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve H

Like the Fusion, this thing is all nose. Too much front overhang. Some of the design cues are good, but it's clear that they're trying to disguise what is really a huge schnoz.

March 27 2007 at 9:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
philipg55

if only ford can figure out how to offer this car in the US for less than $30k...

March 27 2007 at 8:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff

Hey Ford....

Bring this car over here to America NOW as a MERCURY!

With NO Ford counterpart!!!!!!

March 27 2007 at 7:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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