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The closure of Ford's Genk plant in Belgium had major repercussions for the Mondeo, delaying its introduction to the UK by more than a year and allowing premium German brands to march further ahead in the lower medium segment.
While many volume brands have retreated entirely from launching saloons in the UK, Ford and Volkswagen's new Passat (see page 27) are still battling it out for a chunk of the corporate market not taken up by BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
However, the potential sales slice for Mondeo has shrunk massively, from a high of 100,000 sales at its peak to a planning estimate of 17,000 units a year for this new model.
Not only is the Mondeo competing against premium rivals, but it's also looking at a very fragmented market, with customers moving away from saloons to crossovers, SUVs and people carriers outside and within its own model line-up.