• Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2013 Noah Joseph / AOL
  • Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2013 Noah Joseph / AOL
  • Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2013 Noah Joseph / AOL
  • Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2013 Noah Joseph / AOL
  • Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2013 Noah Joseph / AOL
  • Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2013 Noah Joseph / AOL
  • Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2013 Noah Joseph / AOL
  • Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2013 Noah Joseph / AOL
  • Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2013 Noah Joseph / AOL
  • Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2013 Noah Joseph / AOL
  • Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2013 Noah Joseph / AOL
  • Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2013 Noah Joseph / AOL
  • Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2013 Noah Joseph / AOL
  • Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2013 Noah Joseph / AOL



We know that Ford is positioning the new, upscale Vignale brand in Europe to fill a niche market of customers who want a bit more luxury, a lot more service and the same reliability and dependability that a non-Vignale Ford offers. But so far, we've been in the dark regarding how the Blue Oval will sell Vignale vehicles, how many of them will be created, and what the new sub-brand has in store for the future.

Gaetano Thorel, Ford's European marketing head, recently was interviewed by Automotive News and shared details about Ford Vignale. Thorel says, "The Vignale trim line will be priced like an ST model but attract a completely different type of customer." Specifically, he says it will attract customers in the upper 15 percent of the price band who don't want a performance-oriented ST model. He adds that Vignale cars will be about 10 percent more expensive than Titanium-trim cars. About 500 of Ford's European dealers will sell Vignale Fords, Thorel says, "in areas that make sense." The automaker expects 10 percent of its European sales to be Vignale cars, which equates to about 5 percent of its global sales. When asked if there are any other Vignale models planned beyond the Mondeo, Thorel said, "There is nothing written in stone yet."

Instead of tuning the engine, brakes and suspension for max performance, like Ford does with its ST line, a Vignale will grace occupants with luxurious attributes that are exclusive to the brand, "such as the unique chrome detailing, the exclusive leather-quilted seats and dashboard, a unique exterior color and all of Ford's latest infotainment technologies," Thorel says.

But the material gains aren't everything. Paying for a Vignale privileges customers with an encompassing, special ownership experience, which has been said to include free car washes for the life of the car. Thorel doesn't confirm the free car washes, unfortunately, but does say this "is in our plans." He goes on to say that a crucial part of owning a Vignale Ford is that customers will have a single dealership contact to help them deal with product and service needs.

European customers can start looking for the Mondeo VIgnale in participating dealerships when it launches in about 18 months.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 72 Comments
      throwback
      • 1 Year Ago
      I get the sense this will happen here if Lincoln does not gain traction. I see quite a few Titanium Fusions and Focus running around. If the badge does not matter to you, it is possible to get virtually every luxury, technology and comfort and convience feature imaginable in mainstream Fords. Features that a few years ago were exclusively the domain of luxury brands.
      Charrop
      • 1 Year Ago
      We have this in America, it's called "F-150 King Ranch"
        paulinator66
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Charrop
        I'm thinking more like "King Ranch" with better service also. Kind of what Lincoln is supposed to be. . .without calling it a Lincoln. This is also interesting because it lets them get away with blatant badge engineering.
      riserburn99andre
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lincoln is DOA and Ford officially has no luxury brand, good luck with that
        express2day
        • 1 Year Ago
        @riserburn99andre
        Lincoln is doing fine right now and should continue to get better but it takes a while to rebuild a brand. The first new model, MKZ, has outsold each of Cadillac's car models in the last six months and without the need for big rebates like Cadillac has resorted to. In last six months: 20,017 new MKZs were sold 18,467 new ATSs were sold 16,592 new XTSs were sold 16,548 new CTSs were sold This bodes well for a continued promising turnaround for Lincoln as there's still so much more to come from the brand.
          Carpinions
          • 1 Year Ago
          @express2day
          express2day, methinks you're a bit too optimistic. All you've pointed out is that Cadillac has multiple models that sell around the same sort of numbers as a single Lincoln model. Not the kind of argument one should be making if we're talking about Lincoln's viability for a comeback. If you check total brand numbers, Cadillac is outselling Lincoln the last six months by more than 2:1. In fact the only other Lincoln model selling in numbers similar to the MKZ is the MKX. All other models are solidly in 4-figure territory. The MKZ also doesn't compete with those 3 Cadillac models at the same time. It competes with the CTS, which is at the end of its current generation, and is selling in those kinds of numbers as their best CTS yet is coming online with a flurry of high praise the MKZ has not similarly received. Cadillac's aging, outgoing model is selling very competitively with a car Lincoln introduced a bit over a year ago. It DOES take time for a brand to rebuild, but clearly even Mulally hasn't been able to steer the Lincoln ship, and he's on his way out. Even Acura's current numbers are double Lincoln's, and they are constantly assailed by questions of their viability as a higher-tier brand.
          express2day
          • 1 Year Ago
          @express2day
          @Billy Farmer You have clearly shown your ignorance, that's about it. Feel free to call your local Cadillac dealer for correct rebate information. There are also sites like Edmunds - http://www.edmunds.com/cadillac/car-incentives.html Big rebates on the 2013 CTS may be at least somewhat understandable given it is on its way out but even for the all new models ATS and XTS, Cadillac has had to roll out big rebates to move stock. Up to $6K on XTS and $5K on the cheaper ATS.
          Billy Farmer
          • 1 Year Ago
          @express2day
          Your wrong , first here is the website for cadillac local offers http://www.cadillacfirst.com/vehicle-lineup.aspx , no rebates what so ever just low 0.00 APR financing deals... Now here is lincoln website, opps rebates are applied to their cars. 2013 mks has a 2000.00 rebate plus another 2000.00 rebate for current owners http://www.lincoln.com
          express2day
          • 1 Year Ago
          @express2day
          @Billy Farmer That site doesn't accurately reflect rebates. Current rebates: New 2013 ATS has $4K plus $1K in conquest/competitive or loyalty for up to $5K total New 2013 CTS has $5K plus $1K in conquest/competitive or loyalty for up to $6K total New 2013 XTS has $5K plus $1K in conquest/competitive or loyalty for up to $6K total
          Billy Farmer
          • 1 Year Ago
          @express2day
          express lets look deeper into that rabbit hat of your, show us where your getting your rebate information from as I clearly have shown you cadillac own website show there are no rebates on their models? Should we just take your word on that? if you want us to just believe you then ok, I just read lincoln gave a free new ford focus away with every MKS sale. Wow that rabbit hat is something else.
          express2day
          • 1 Year Ago
          @express2day
          @Carpinions An important reason the outgoing CTS is selling in decent numbers is the $5K to $6K in rebates. Same is true for the all new XTS and even the ATS has had healthy rebates which helps bring its potential starting price below $28K. Lincoln is much earlier in its turnaround/recovery and has shown good reasons to be optimistic, at least so far. Still much to come.
          Billy Farmer
          • 1 Year Ago
          @express2day
          express, Lets just say your right and cadillac.com own website is flawed and does not have rebate information even though every other GM websites like GMC.COM , BUICK.COM Chevrolet.com clearly have updated rebates amount on some models,. so assuming their website was wrong, I just called a cadillac dealership, no there are no rebates right now because their supply is at a low lever in other words their moving them good enough that there is no need for a rebate. so you say that the site i show is wrong about cadillacs rebates, that site is cadillac.com which come on now cadillac own website would have that.. Lincoln is trying to turn themselves around and the MKS is a good start but their still a far way from being a rival or threat to cadillac as whole company. it's odd all the other GM websites have updated rebates info. Sorry but if cadillac was giving rebates on their models they would have put it on their website. There are no rebates for cadillac at this time as there are 2000 to 4000 rebates for lincoln at this time and I wonder how well the MKS sales figures would had been without those very generous rebates on the MKS
          Carpinions
          • 1 Year Ago
          @express2day
          I see your point, but looking at each brand's numbers over the last 11 years, Lincoln's story is still much worse than Cadillac's was when they hatched the CTS. The year they did (2002), Cadillac posted almost 200,000 sales, of which the CTS was responsible for less than 20% of those figures. Lincoln also had a strong year back then, at 150,000. Since then, Cadillac's numbers saw several sales years over 200k, then went down to a low of 109k, and they are generally back in the mid-100k range. Lincoln's path, by contrast, has been a steady spiral downward, and they are on track this year to post much less than half their 2002 sales number. This is after they have propagated the new corporate styling, opened the MKT up for the livery market, and launched the most revolutionary MKZ yet. Many of us may be expecting too much too soon, but if Lincoln is going to be the next American luxury brand comeback story, then their window of opportunity to make that first impression appears to be closing. Cadillac was seen as on the ropes by 2002. It had a number of notable failures from the early 80s through the late 90s, and the CTS was their last best hope. It has certainly helped them stylistically and in terms of morale for the brand, and it's the core reason they're a brand to talk about now. Contrast that with Lincoln's situation, where the MKZ is their current-day CTS, but it is shouldering the brand in a much larger way, and sales for the model have remained flat so far, despite a major upgrade. They didn't even show up to Monterey weekend with anything but a trim upgrade for existing models and a live-but-already-seen MKC when they should have been showing their vision of the future of luxury *AT* a luxury show. Meanwhile, Cadillac wowed people with yet another awesome concept that may see production. The ultimate point is, the market has changed vastly since even the original CTS, and many of us do not see where the mojo is going to come from for Lincoln. The MKC? Maybe, but they're pretty much last to get into that segment at this point, and the MKC is going to have to blow people away with more than just styling. And we keep hearing rumors of a Mustang-based Lincoln that has power, panache, and individualized luxury well in hand, but there's no substance to this yet. There was a time when I was really pulling for Lincoln, but anymore, it seems like a vain hope. Ford has, lately, seemed to be much more adept at pulling the Ford name upmarket into Volkswagen-like territory, than it has had chops for making its existing luxury brand work.
          Carpinions
          • 1 Year Ago
          @express2day
          express2day, as pointed out, Lincoln is also giving away plenty of incentives, including on the MKZ ($1750 on the 2014 model). MotorTrend's website shows that I can get $2k rebates on 2013 MKXs, and $2k in "bonus cash" as well, which adds up to $4k, on one of Lincoln's 2 decently selling models. Gee, whattya know, Lincoln is putting incentives on 2013 models to move those out to make way for the 2014s. Huh. Exactly like what Cadillac is doing. Hmm. Lincoln is not some paragon of pure sales virtue here. They have to do the same things Cadillac does to move cars. Whatever lesser impact of incentives on Lincoln cars, though, can probably be explained by my earlier point that cars like the completely ignored Navigator (which is still using the old Triton 5.4 and has seen 2 Escalade revamps) and MKT (an interesting car I actually like in a segment Cadillac isn't even in) are currently selling in the 4-6k unit range so far this year. The MKS, Lincoln's 3rd mass market car, is easily eclipsed by the MKX and MKZ in sales terms. Lincoln's only hope right now is the MKC. The MKZ will not be enough to bring them forward, especially since the MKZ has been criticized for how small it is inside. They need much more than they've put forth. Cadillac's original CTS was a much bigger splash when it arrived. Lincoln needs about 3 big splashes right now, and Ford has to stop creeping its cars into Lincoln's territory. IMO The Vignale Mondeo/Fusion is much more intriguing than an MKZ Black Label.
      Billy Farmer
      • 1 Year Ago
      LMAO , It is only a ford fusion with some very lite changes. Any fool who pays more for the same car with another name deserves that fusion confusion for a so called luxury car at a very real higher cost!
      Bernard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kill Lincoln, replaces it with vaginal or whatever it is they call it...
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Donnerfiffi
      • 1 Year Ago
      This will never ever work! 1.) The Ford brand is not accepted as connected with luxury or premium at all in Europe.This process took Audi 10 years! 2.) Ford as a company is unable to understand the premium segment. They could not deliver in premium with Aston Martin, not with Jaguar, not with Land Rover. All this companies do better without the bean counters from Ford, that honestly tried to use the air vents from the Ford Ka in an Aston Martin instrument panel! (Avoided by Wolfgang Reitzle in the very last moment these days) Ford is like a child that touches the hotplate again and again, deeply convinced that it will be cooler the next time...
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Donnerfiffi
        1) Did you even bother to read the article??? They aren't trying to compete with Aston, Rover or Jaguar. They are offering mild luxury upgrades over their Titanium level trim . 2) While not at the Aston Martin level of brand prestige (see above); Ford has a very good reputation in Europe. 3) If you were right on your other points (clearly you weren't) why would the fact that it took Audi 10 years have an impact here? The fact is that Audi IS a luxury brand, so clearly it can work, it just may (or may not) take some time.
          Donnerfiffi
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cayman
          Cayman, I never said, that Vignale competes with Aston, Land Rover or Jaguar. I named those , because they are luxury brands once owned by Ford. Ford has quite a good reputation in Europe - right! But this is something very different to premium. I mentioned Audi, because they did exactly this: Moving a midrange brand in the premium sector. (Starting with the Rally Quattro Audis in the early 80ties) It took them 10 years to be known and accepted as a premium brand.
        RGT881
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Donnerfiffi
        D - I see what you're saying, but Vignale is not here to compete with premium brands, it's there to offer additional luxury features on top of what is available on the Titanium X. Some people are willing to buy more for ST, well others are willing to same premium for Vignale because they don't really need the ST. It's the same idea, but going after different a segment. Besides Audi, BMW and MB aren't necessarily luxury brands in Europe if you look at specification and pricing of entry level products.
        JohnTaurus
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Donnerfiffi
        Without Ford, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover would all likely have been under years ago. You clearly have no grasp of what went on with those companies, or rather what was going on before Ford bought them. You could bring a (new at the time) late '80s Jaguar and park it next to the same-year Taurus and find 10X the faults on the Jag. You would be hard pressed to do the same with one from the Ford-era, the quality shot up. So, if you consider horrible build quality, rehashed dated designs, and more-than-likely bankruptcy as "better", then yes, they were better off before Ford.
          Donnerfiffi
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JohnTaurus
          I agree absolutely that all of these these three brands would be dead if Ford did not save them. There is no mistaking in this. I also agree to the fact that all of them did benefit from the Ford quality systems a lot. Some of of them used those systems better than Ford ever did. But For never succeded in making a luxury brand profitable and healthy.over a long time. Not a single one of the Ex-PAG brands. The problem is always the same: Some people at Ford look at Mercedes, BMW or Audi and think: "Ph - How hard can it be? We can do that for half the price they do it." And then it all goes wrong - and it will go wrong again.
        Lachmund
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Donnerfiffi
        sign
      Lachmund
      • 1 Year Ago
      with this interior ford will never be considered premium. this is BS
        Jesus!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Lachmund
        I agree the Fusion interior is way too bland..wait..I think Europeans like that...hmm lol
      icemilkcoffee
      • 1 Year Ago
      They are dressing up a Fusion with ......unique chrome detailing and quilted leather...... , and passing it off as a luxo car? Do they really think european buyers are that stupid?
        JohnTaurus
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        As usual, you missed the whole point. Why do you even bother commenting if you don't read the article? You just see that it's about Ford and then start your trolling. Get a life!
        Randy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        One word.... Equus!
        Neil
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        Ford's "Titanium X" trim level has been surprisingly successful in Europe. The Vignale simply builds upon that success, and ramps the luxury up a notch.
      Jesus!
      • 1 Year Ago
      What a waste of time. There are some Ford dealers that give free car washes anyway here in the Houston area. And besides that fact, no one gets to wash my vehicle but me. People half the time have no clue what they are doing. I am all for chrome(ok not too overdone), and nicer materials but for what you pay to get a Titanium you should already get that anyway. Ford needs to get Lincoln going and get Lincoln over there. Waste of time and money is all this effort is imo.
      bootsnchaps60
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh, good, an overdressed Mondeo.
      AngeloD
      • 1 Year Ago
      Isn't this what Mercury was supposed to accomplish. Why not call them Merkurs, or Mercury's?
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