Ford Mondeo will be the first Ford to receive upscale Vignale treatment.

Ford says that 10-15 percent of its customers in Europe want their cars to be set apart from regular Fords - even those wearing the top Titanium X trim - and the Blue Oval will answer them with the Vignale sub-brand. The new brand proposes a more upscale look and a much-improved dealership experience, Autocar reports. The Vignale Mondeo will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show to kick off the new endeavor.

The first Ford to receive the Vignale treatment will be the 2015 Mondeo, a Euro-only model, followed by the new S-Max and Edge. The Vignale Mondeo is set apart visually from other Mondeos by a chrome grille and chrome door handles and mirror caps. Mondeo badging will be deleted - only Vignale badging will make an appearance.

The interior will get a more upscale flavor, as well, with quilted leather seats and door trim and leather covering the instrument panel, center console and steering wheel. A Vignale-badged storage drawer will be installed in the trunk, and in-car Wi-Fi is available.

Roelant de Waard, Ford of Europe's sales boss, says the Vignale sub-brand is aimed at customers who don't have a lot of free time, are "independent thinkers" and want to feel special, Autocar reports, so visual treatments aren't the only features Vignale cars will get. Owners also will have a Ford dealer contact assigned to them and receive exclusive services, such as free car washes at the dealership for the life of the car.

There's no word if Vignale Fords will come to the US, but our guess is that they won't - at least not right away.

UPDATE: Spokesman Mark Schirmer tells Autoblog that Ford has no plans for Vignale in the US, noting that in Europe, the company's Titanium models are hugely successful, particularly as there's no risk of upper-end models rubbing up against Lincoln (which doesn't have a presence in Europe).

UPDATE II: We've added the official press release below with more details about Vignale and Ford's planned upgraded ownership experience for customers.

Show full PR text
FORD INTRODUCES 'VIGNALE' – A NEW PRODUCT AND OWNERSHIP EXPERIENCE


Ford of Europe announces plans to launch Vignale – a unique exclusive product and ownership experience – in early 2015

Ford reveals new Ford Mondeo Vignale Concept – an initial vision of how unique interior and exterior design touches, premium craftsmanship, exclusive specification and technologies might be combined

The first Ford Vignale model will be based on the all-new Mondeo, with others to follow


COLOGNE, Germany, 4 September, 2013 – Ford of Europe plans to launch a new exclusive product and ownership experience in Europe called Vignale.

Ford's initial vision for Vignale (pronounced: Vin-ya-lay), the Ford Mondeo Vignale Concept, features unique design elements, high quality craftsmanship, exclusive specification and advanced technologies.

"Vignale represents the highest expression of the Ford brand in Europe from both a product and from an ownership experience perspective," said Stephen Odell, Ford president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. "The Ford Mondeo Vignale Concept showcases the features that customers tell us they want in terms of styling and quality, advanced technology and exclusivity."

Ford presented the new Ford Mondeo Vignale Concept in four-door saloon and estate body styles, both featuring 20in Vignale alloy wheels with in-depth detailing and high-quality finish, "Vignale" badging, chrome door handles and mirror caps, mesh grille, unique front bumper and fog lamp design, and exclusive "Nocciola" dark brown coachwork.

It also features quilted trim, chrome lower mouldings, leather armrests, and exclusive seating with "Vignale" detailing and high-quality, soft-touch leather that extends to the steering wheel, instrument panel, centre console, door top-rolls and centre arm-rest. Embossed scuff plates and luxury floor-mats enhance an ambience that combines traditional coach-building with contemporary design and material trends.

Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch in-car connectivity system will enable integration of smartphones and deliver wi-fi capability, while new-generation adaptive LED headlamps enhance visibility and vision.

Ford continues to develop a unique interpretation of modern luxury and design, and this year it was the first auto manufacturer to participate in the world's leading furniture design show – Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. The company's design DNA and the influence of furniture and fashion trends was reflected in Ford Design's bespoke chair, lamp and watch displayed at the event.

"Influences that range from architecture to fashion combine to give the Mondeo Vignale Concept a sense of high quality and a feeling of timelessness – alongside the very latest advanced technologies," said Stefan Lamm, exterior design director, Ford of Europe.

With the full Vignale experience more than 18 months from commercial launch, Ford will roll out further details of both product and consumer benefits in the coming months.

Ford Vignale, which starts with the Mondeo Vignale saloon and wagon in early 2015 and will be extended to further models, responds to an increasing trend towards time-saving services, and reflects demand for high-end Ford products. Higher specification models currently account for more than half of Ford's large car sales in Europe.

Vignale is also inspired by exclusive services from beyond the world of automotive. These include VIP air-travel services that offer chauffeuring, dedicated check-in and security and clubhouse access; and exclusive banking and credit card services with dedicated relationship managers, reward points, concierge services and partner brands such as hotel chains, restaurants and entertainment venues.

"Ford Vignale premium services will meet the needs of the customer for whom time is the ultimate luxury," said Gaetano Thorel, Marketing vice president, Ford of Europe.

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About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 177,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information about Ford and its products worldwide please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 47,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 67,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 22 manufacturing facilities (13 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and nine unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.