Ford stopped building the Fusion in Hermosillo, Mexico, in August 2020 to make space for the Bronco Sport. While the sedan soldiers on across the pond, where it’s known as the Mondeo, the Blue Oval announced that production for the European market will end in March 2022, and that it does not have a successor in the pipeline.
Released in 1992, and later sold in the United States as the Contour, the first-generation Mondeo stood proud as one of Ford’s most important models during the 1990s. It was particularly popular in England, where it helped the firm earn a significant slice of the local market: 118,040 units were sold in 1995, a number which put the Mondeo in third place on the United Kingdom’s sales chart, behind the Escort (137,760 sales) and the Fiesta (129,574 sales).
Fast-forward to 2021, and the Mondeo (pictured) is little more than a rounding error. Ford sold 2,400 units in 2020, according to British magazine Autocar. It told the publication that “changing customer preferences” are to blame for the nameplate’s demise, which is another way of saying that Europeans don’t want sedans any more than Americans do. They want high-riding models; 39% of Ford’s European sales were crossovers and SUVs in 2020.
Ford stressed the Mondeo will not be replaced. We know the Fusion’s replacement is around the corner: It will take the form of a tall fastback characterized by rugged styling cues. It’s unclear if the firm’s comments mean that the model will not be sold in Europe, or if it’s a hint that it will not resurrect the Mondeo nameplate. We won’t have to wait long to find out, because the car is tentatively scheduled to make its global debut before the end of 2021.
When the Mondeo retires, Ford’s European range will be sedan-free for the first time in decades. Hatchback options are reduced to two, the Fiesta and the Focus, while the only wagon left in the lineup is the Focus. As of writing, China is the Ford sedan’s last bastion; it’s also becoming the market where the Blue Oval’s unwanted nameplates go to die. Chinese motorists who want a sedan can take home an Escort, a Focus, a Mondeo, and even a Taurus.