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Ford moves towards premium with Vignale

Date: 20 September 2013   |   Author: Tristan Young

Ford believes the Vignale spec could also be used on other models

Ford is looking to offer luxury for the masses with the introduction of a Vignale trim level, according to UK MD Mark Ovenden.

Speaking to BusinessCar at last week's Frankfurt motor show, Ovenden said the Vignale version of the next-generation Mondeo will offer user-choosers real luxury and will not just be a replacement for the now defunct Ghia badge.

"We're confident about Vignale for the UK," said Ovenden. "We already sell a lot of Titanium and Titanium X in our model mix. We also used to have the Premier Automotive Group [PAG was the part of Ford that used to own Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo]; now that we don't, we have the room to grow that way."

Ovenden denied that as the range-topping Mondeo, the Vignale would just be the fastest-depreciating Mondeo. He also denied that Ford needed a completely separate model and branding, such as that used by Citroen and DS, to make the Vignale concept sell.

"People are going to have to want the product, but they will also be buying into an experience. It goes beyond the Vignale [car]. We have to make sure they get and experience," he said. "We think the Vignale customer will be cash-rich and time-poor."

While Ford has not completely fixed how this experience will be provided, it would include both online and physical experiences.

"Showrooms will have a separate area, although not separate people. Further work needs to be done," he added.

"Vignale will democratise luxury - luxury can be for everyone. After all that's what Henry Ford did with the Model T."

After several delays, Ford is confident the new Mondeo will arrive in the UK before the end of 2014.