Pour one out for the Ford Mondeo. The Fusion was finally discontinued last summer, and now the Blue Oval announces that it’ll pull the plug of one of its UK mainstays in March 2022. The Mondeo is no more.
This isn’t surprising. I mistakenly thought the Mondeo was already dead, given that The Grand Tour basically recorded a half-hour eulogy for Ford’s sedans almost two years ago. That was surely off the back of the news that the Fusion would be dying a painfully slow, drawn-out death beginning in 2018. Maybe for a minute, though, it seemed like Europe might get to hold onto the Mondeo — merely a Fusion by another name.
However, with small cars vanishing left and right, and crossovers proving to be a global phenomenon rather than only an American one, the Mondeo’s historical significance wasn’t going to be enough to carry it forward.
For an idea of how drastically the market for sedans — or more appropriately, saloons — has shrunk in Europe, look no further than this bit of data quoted in an Automotive News story. “The market segment in which the Mondeo competes has been dwindling for years and is down about 80 percent since 2000,” a Ford spokesman told the publication.
But what will replace the Mondeo? Ford has been seen testing a mule with crossover-esque proportions, going by spy shots published over at Autocar. It seemed as if that vehicle would inherit the nameplate. But with Ford announcing the Mondeo will be “phased out,” it now appears that car will be given a different moniker.
This sort of reminds me of when Ford initially announced its plan to discontinue all sedans, coupes and hatchbacks in the U.S., save for the Mustang and the then-upcoming Focus Active. The Focus Active looked like a neat, hardened version of the Focus — even if all its “rugged” qualities amounted to nothing more than window dressing and a slight ride-height bump — but at least it would’ve kept the Focus on our shores. I personally leased a 2012 Focus for two years, and I happened to like it quite a bit.
But the Focus Active never showed up here. So instead, our cheapest, smallest Ford is the EcoSport — one of the most tragic vehicles on sale in America today. In the UK, Ford buyers at least have the Puma as an alternative entry-level crossover. Here, we don’t even get that.
Ultimately, it’s another depressing development in an already depressing saga, and it’s hard to find a positive takeaway. European Ford customers — particularly those in the UK where the Mondeo name was a household entity — are losing a family-sedan staple. Us Americans have been mourning this loss for about two years now, so to our friends on the other side of the pond, know this: It never gets any easier, just different.