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by Tim Beissmann

Production of the next-generation Ford Mondeo has reportedly been set back by up to three months, potentially delaying the launch of the blue oval’s new mid-sized sedan in Europe and Australia.

Industry journal Automotive News Europe reports that production of the new Mondeo was due to start on April 6, 2013 at the company’s Genk plant in Belgium but has since been postponed until closer to the middle of the year.

A Ford spokesman confirmed the delay, telling local media in Belgium the company was “working through various issues to ensure a robust, high quality launch”.

Ford Australia’s Sinead Phipps told CarAdvice the team in Genk is working hard to minimise any flow-on effect of the delay to overseas markets. Ford Australia is yet to lock down timing for the launch of the new Mondeo, which is expected to hit local showrooms in the second half of next year.

The all-new fifth-generation Ford Mondeo is still scheduled to make its world premiere at the 2012 Paris motor show in September. The new Mondeo will be almost identical to the second-generation Ford Fusion – the North American version of the car – which was unveiled at January’s 2012 Detroit motor show and goes on sale in the US in the coming months.

The 2013 Ford Mondeo is set to feature two four-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engines, including a 133kW/233Nm 1.6-litre and a 177kW/340Nm 2.0-litre (similar to that found in the Ford Falcon EcoBoost), as well as a four-cylinder diesel.

Automotive News Europe reports production in Genk is 16 per cent below its usual capacity as the current-generation Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy near the end of their lifecycles.

Despite Australia’s medium-car segment growing 26.7 per cent so far in 2012, Mondeo sales are down 24.3 per cent, slipping from 3419 units to 2587 after the first six months of the year. The Mondeo has dropped to fourth in its class behind the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord Euro and the Mazda6 as its share of the market has fallen from 12.6 per cent to 7.5 per cent.




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