Registrations of Ford Mondeos fell below 5,000 in 2019. It is a far cry from the circa 100,000 registered back in 1998, when Mondeo was the staple of company car fleets , with drivers often referred to as ‘Mondeo Man’.
So what happened to demand?
In the early 2000’s, ‘Mondeo Man’ was fast becoming ‘BMW 3-series Man’. The reality was that all mainstream manufactures of the time lost market share to German premium brands. Ford Mondeo was a top seller in the Upper Medium D-segment, so the decline is significant as shown in the following chart.
Data courtesy of SMMT
In reality, it is possible that ‘Mondeo Man’ actually became ‘Focus Man’. Ford introduced the Focus in 1998, coinciding with Mondeo’s reduction in registrations. The graph below shows that in the first full year of production, Focus sales hit over 100,000 and continued to climb. In 2002, Ford exceeded 150,000 registrations, no doubt helped by consumers beginning to downsize their cars.
Data courtesy of SMMT
Downsizing has not been the only change that has affected this market. The advent of new market sectors has also contributed to a change in traditional segment volumes. In late 2006 Nissan introduction the Qashqai, which enjoyed incredible success, allowing consumers the look and feel of an SUV without the price tag associated with the large SUVs of the time. Wishing to cash in on this emerging demand, other manufacturers followed, introducing a plethora of models on what felt like a monthly basis.
This is now having an impact on sales of C-segment - Lower Medium favourites like the Ford Focus and no doubt further affecting D-segment offerings like the Mondeo. Ford were early to this market with Kuga in 2008 however, and by the end of 2019, had an impressive line-up of SUV and Crossover models.
Quite simply, a wider variety of models on offer and a more diverse range of body styles has turned the tide for what was a traditional market of hatchback and saloons in the UK. Thankfully, Mondeo still has a place and its latest incarnation is as impressive as ever, offering consumers a variety of body styles as well as comprehensive drivetrains including hybrid.