The next-generation Ford Mondeo appears unlikely to reach Australian showrooms before 2014.
Ford Australia's Sinead Phipps told CarAdvice continuing hold-ups at the Mondeo's European production plant in Genk, Belgium mean the blue oval's all-new medium car is now only an outside chance to arrive here in late-2013, and will most likely join the line-up during the first half of 2014.
The delay means the local launch of the new fifth-generation Mondeo is likely to take place more than two years after the car was originally unveiled in production form at January’s 2012 Detroit motor show, where it debuted in the form of the almost-identical Ford Fusion.
The Fusion has since gone on sale across North America, and is set to reach European showrooms as the Mondeo in the second half of next year following the start of production in Genk around the middle of 2013.
Last month, a Ford spokesman told reporters in Belgium the company was “working through various issues to ensure a robust, high quality launch” for the new Mondeo.
The delay is a blow for Ford Australia, and means the current Mondeo will be forced to soldier on in the competitive medium car segment for around another 18 months.
The Mondeo has been in production since 2007, and will have been on sale in Australia for more than six years by the time it is replaced by the all-new model.
Sales of the Mondeo are down 23.3 per cent across the country so far this year (3057 versus 3981), and its market share has slipped from 12.4 per cent to 7.8 per cent on the back of significant gains from the likes of the Honda Accord Euro, Volkswagen Jetta and Passat, and the Toyota Camry.
Competing in the medium class isn’t going to get any easier either, with the all-new third-generation Mazda6 locked in for our market from early next year and the new Holden Malibu scheduled to join it in the second quarter of 2013.