Just weeks before the Paris Motor Show, Ford Motor Co. has taken the wraps off of much of its new lineup for Europe in an effort to shore up its efforts for European dealers. The webcast press conference from Amsterdam ended with the official announcement that the Dearborn, Michigan-based car maker will officially make the Mustang available for Autobahn runs and cobble stone street drifting.

"We'll have more details on the Mustang coming to Europe later this year," CEO Alan Mulally said, as he stood before a crowd of more than 2,500 dealers, enthusiasts and reporters. Thousands more watched him and other key Ford executives tout the company's accelerated plans to introduce more global vehicles to Europe.

The Old Country has been problematic in recent years as its stagnant economy has cost automakers billions. Ford lost $404 million in Europe in the second quarter of 2012 and expects Europe to continue to drag down the company's global profitability in the near future. But instead of going on the defensive, Ford has launched its own path to prosperity, Mulally said. The company can't afford to try the same old formulas.

"Six years ago, we developed our One Ford plan," Mulally said, "Now, we're bringing that plan to Europe."

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The original One Ford plan included a product blitzkrieg in America based on many European designed vehicles such as the Ford Fiesta, Focus and Transit Connect. Now, to capitalize on many successful American products, it appears those are destined to Europe, this time as the Ford Kuga, Edge and Mondeo (built off of the Escape, Edge and Fusion platforms).



According to Ford's top European executive Stephen Odell, 41 percent of Europe's vehicles are currently built on global platforms. By 2016, 71 percent of Europe's vehicles will be globally built vehicles.

The plan makes sense and could help the Blue Oval take advantage of economies of scale to lower the overall cost of many vehicles. And as long as the market embraces the vehicles, Ford should be able to begin to show profits in Europe.

Ford is certainly placing some big bets on its crossovers and sport utilities, which Odell says sales are expected to grow in Europe.

The small EcoSport (above), first launched in South America, will now go to Europe as a second generation CUV. Later this year, Ford will introduce the midsize Ford Kuga, which is built on the new Escape platform. Ford also will bring the Edge to Europe, where this bigger midsize crossover may have a tougher time handling narrow European streets and much tighter parking spaces.



While less exciting, Ford showed off three versions of the new Transit work van (above), a version of which will be coming to America eventually, with gas and diesel variants, to replace the aging Econoline. The smaller Transit Connect is also overhauled.

Ford also debuted a redesigned Mondeo, which shares its looks and platform with the 2013 Ford Fusion. However, the Mondeo will include Ford's three-cylinder 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine and offer a wagon variant.

"This is as true of engines as it is of computers and smart phones," said Barb Samardzich, vice president of product development for Ford Europe, "and by equipping the all-new Mondeo in Europe with our acclaimed 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine we are delivering cutting-edge technology that delivers a very real and tangible customer benefit."

The extreme product makeover could help bolster sales for Ford in Europe, but more importantly, the commonality of vehicles across the globe could make the car maker more profitable. Great cars are good to have as long as the accountants use black pens instead of red ones.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      Josh
      • 2 Years Ago
      EcoBoost 4 cylinder Mustang?
      sanmusa
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice to see Ford officially bringing the Mustang to Europe. 30 km from my home in Germany there is a Ford dealer that does direct importation of Mustangs, and they do all the Euro conversion too: http://www.mustang-deutschland.de/
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sanmusa
        [blocked]
      May
      • 2 Years Ago
      " The company can't afford to try the same old formulas." There's one problem - old formulas worked. New one don't. New Focus is a big disappointment - it's the worst selling Focus EVER! Now Europe is going to get ugly Mondeo/Fusion (with dull interior) and crappy Mustang or Edge. I think next year you're going to loose more than $404 milion.
        SheldonRoss
        • 2 Years Ago
        @May
        Um what? http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2012/08/31/ford-focus-is-best-selling-car-or-is-it/
          Randy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SheldonRoss
          I second that.
        Daniel D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @May
        The Ford European range has consistently underperformed in Australia too. The only cars currently selling well for Ford Australia are the Ford Territory and Ranger - both designed in Australia. I was a fan of the one Ford plan, but it is looking like it just doesn't work. Mustang will be welcomed when it comes here, as it looks like we should get it at a similar timeframe to the UK, since both markets have the steering wheel on the correct side of the car. :) It will need to have a new chasis setup though and as the current Mustangs setup is positively crude next to the local Falcon.
          Randy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Daniel D
          Doesn't work? Are you insane? The plan has reduced expenses by billions annually, improved overall quality and was fundamental in new exciting and good looking vehicles.
          anon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Daniel D
          Yup that's what I was wondering a live real axle non independent real suspension in the current Mustang...yup I'd say that's a little behind the times esp. for a global market. Hope there's a update. And make more use of the aussie falcon RWD all indep. susp. platform in the rest of the world Ford----hint hint like in the US and Europe.........Holden did it timidly.
          DeathKnoT
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Daniel D
          Seems to be working. Sure they may sell less but even while selling less they make more profit for unit. Honestly who would be disappointed with the new products. They are a million times better than the old ones. The only thing killing the focus is the old bad rep on my ford touch, which is only in the higher trim levels, and the dsg, which has horrible programming. But, they have improved both, and now offer a manual on all trim levels for 2013.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        timbrands
        • 2 Years Ago
        Horribly over stated. The Focus/Fiesta DC automatics were reprogrammed. Mustang MANUAL transmissions were something like 1 or 2% of total. Bit on the internet you'd think it was rampant LOL. MFT had (and a few still do) have issues. Most owners who have it (it is an option you know) love it. Actually, no, it can be rebooted by pulling a fuse I've heard.......not an elegant solution, but a temporary solution. Since you mentioned leaders,shall we discuss the Korean Hyundai President ................Chung Mong-koo? He was imprisoned for embezzlement, corruption and bribery. He was ordered to pay a BILLION dollars to charity. And then given a special pardon that cleared him of all charges, (Did I mention bribery?). Buy a Hyundai, feed corruption.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @timbrands
          [blocked]
          Brian E Parker
          • 2 Years Ago
          @timbrands
          Pulling a fuse doesn't void a warranty - Fuses are maintenance items like lightbulbs, wiperblades and tires.
        Robert Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        I agree. Ford has slipped to 6th in Global Automotive rankings. These "new" products will not stop that.(The Fusion is actually based on the European Mondeo anyway), it is the withdrawal by Ford from more profitable sectors that VW and Toyota specifically are exploiting, that will hurt it in the long run.
      Nelson LiCalsi
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mulally knows what he's doing, he saved 2 great American icons, Boeing and Ford. I suggest reading American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company by Bryce G. Hoffman. From someone who has had nothing from Toyota's to now a Ford. I have to say if theres a time for which a car company has reached it's pinnacle of automotive engineering, quality, and leadership, its now
        Jesus!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nelson LiCalsi
        Trust me Ford still has a long way to go. The 2012 Taurus in the driveway would agree with me.
        May
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nelson LiCalsi
        "I have to say if theres a time for which a car company has reached it's pinnacle of automotive engineering, quality, and leadership, its now" You're not talking about Ford, are you? Because they haven't reached anything. They have many problems with engineering (fire in Escape, 1.0 Ecoboost is expensive and nowhere near as economical as Ford would like it to be, issues with MFT - not a big problem for Europe, noone uses infotainment systems there) or styling - Europeans don't like new Focus, it's too ugly outside, overdesigned inside, drives like a couch and is very expensive. Mondeo follows the same path. Mustang was never a success - it's too american. He's doing it wrong (from America to Europe), it never worked this way.
        Daniel D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nelson LiCalsi
        Mullay has done some great work at Ford for sure, but things aren't all rosey. Recent decisions by Ford have been less than great for many of its overseas operations and Ford as a global brand is struggling.
        Robert Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nelson LiCalsi
        Well he has an uphill battle if he is going to persist with the "One Ford" policy . Single chassis /Model policies that GM, Toyota and VW do not have. All three hope Ford persists with this policy as it means , Ford could be looking at increasingly diminishing returns with such a strategy.
      Vinuuz
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the European streets can handle the Range Rovers, Q7s, X5s, Cayennes etc., the Ford Edge should have no problem at all!
        Robert Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vinuuz
        I very much doubt Europeans are going to warm to the rather confronting styling of the Edge.
        Kai F. Lahmann
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vinuuz
        But all of these are sold by luxury brands (and bzw. you've missed the best selling one: Mercedes-Benz ML). The only "normal" brand successfully selling a mid-size SUV in Europe is Volkswagen (Touareg). All other models are more rare than self-imported Mustangs.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Nelson LiCalsi
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mulally knows what he's doing, he saved 2 great American icons, Boeing and Ford. I suggest reading American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company by Bryce G. Hoffman. From someone who has had nothing from Toyota's to now a Ford. I have to say if theres a time for which a car company has reached it's pinnacle of automotive engineering, quality, and leadership, its now
      imoore
      • 2 Years Ago
      How about a Ranger or Falcon for America?
        Daniel D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @imoore
        Falcon is on life support and will be dead by 2016. Prodrive just gave up their 49% share in FPV, which is the performance arm for Falcon and lost tens of millions in the process. Unless Mullay surprises us all by announcing the new smaller Mustang will be a shared Falcon/Mustang platform, Australian manufacturing for Ford will be over in four years time. Ford Australia are struggling badly with all but a couple of products these days. As an import only business I expect they will permanently drop out of the top five brands in Australia and right now it certainly seems they are planning to be an import only business.
      BipDBo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Reports were that the anniversary redesign of the Mustang was going to make it much lighter and a bit smaller. The decision to bring the pony to Europe was undoubtedly linked to this. Anything short of a supercar needs to be as efficient as possible to sell in Europe. I'd be shocked if Europe's Mustang wasn't available with much less displacement, likely an Ecoboost-4.
      wandisukoharjo
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like to american vehicle, www.jangandiklik.com
      Duke Woolworth
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh, boy. I can hardly wait to see the live axle Mustangs hopping over the cobblestones. Awesome!
        dreadcthulhu01
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Duke Woolworth
        The next gen Mustang, which is the one Ford is going to go global with, will have IRS.
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