Ford sees its future in small cars, but it won’t have to reach far to get them. It seems that the blue oval is considering converting some truck plants to begin producing cars with better fuel efficiency. While this means spending cash to re-tool manufacturing facilities, the investment will not be as great because much of the engineering has already been worked out as these cars are already on the road in Europe. Ford is keeping quiet about which cars may make the move, but creditable rumors indicate that one car being considered is the Mondeo (pictured above). Ford is not expected to make an official comment on the full plan until after it releases an earnings report on Thursday.
Ford has tried in the past to get the U.S. to drive European Fords. In the 70s Ford imported the little Fiesta and sporty Capri, in the 80s it created the Merkur brand to sell European offerings, and in the 90s the Ford Contour/Mercury Mystique was a copy of the Mondeo. These cars never found a clear audience on these shores. Even the Mondeo, which is a bestseller in Europe, was seen as too small to be an effective family car when it was first here. Ford’s best success story for a popular car on both sides of the pond, so far, has been the Focus.
But that may also be in part because the U.S. and U.K. versions are two very different drives.
The good news for drivers is that Ford’s European offerings are known to be a lot more responsive and fun to drive. Top Gear (TV) even named the current Mondeo as one of their cars of the year.