Ford Mondeo Vignale
Ford have recently debuted a new luxury sub-brand which they hope will appeal to their customers that like their cars to deliver that little extra in terms of quality, ownership and all round brand experience. The Vignale brand will first appear in a new Ford Mondeo at a cost of £32,000. Yes, that is £32,000 for a Ford Mondeo. But is the new Vignale brand and ownership experience worth the money? Lets take a look.
What is Vignale?
The Vignale sub-brand is a mark of luxury and quality delivering a ‘premium car and premium service’ that will be arriving in the UK in September 2015. The Vignale experience goes beyond the car where all owners will receive a dedicated relationship manager and space in the newly revamped Ford Stores which are due to be opening across the UK in 2015. Ford have identified the lifestyle aspects that will appeal to a potential Vignale audience. A premium service will come as standard with dedicated areas in the showroom, a 24 hour hotline, delivery & collection options and a range of Vignale apparel. From what we have seen this includes subtle pieces like weekend bags, money clips and iPhone sleeves, not, Joey from Friends in his Porsche get-up. These little touches and extra levels of services is what Ford are hoping will create a sense of brand loyalty which will be important when Vignale
That’s Quite A Lot Of Money For A Mondeo
It is quite expensive especially when you look at the other cars available in this price-range. Ford has purposely waded into Audi, BMW, VW et.al territory with the Mondeo Vignale backed up by its strong sales of the Mondeo Titanium X and many other models in the Ford range performing well at the top end of their scale. This fierce market has been dominated by the German manufacturers for several years and this is in part down to the excellent build quality and loyalty/perception of the badges. Overcoming this badge-snobbery will be a big hurdle that will need to be overcome and will require some strategic and clever marketing from Ford HQ.
Why Would I Buy One?
Moving on from the price aspect it is important to remember that Mondeo is still a pretty decent car to drive. We drove a 2.0 litre (178bhp) around the beautiful streets of Rome and it is a very pleasant place to be (the car and the city). We found the handling to be okay and the engine a little sluggish which does leave it a little short when compared to the German models in the market. The ride is smooth and incredibly quiet thanks to its active noise cancelling technology and this leaves a very refined and relaxed driving experience. The interior has been upgraded so that almost every surface in the cockpit that the driver is likely to touch is adorned with some high quality leather. Electric seats with massage and climate control, touchscreen entertainment system and even a plug socket means that you won’t be feeling shortchanged in the equipment department.
Away from the car you will have access to a range of services that include a complimentary car wash, premium valet (additional cost), Vignale OneCall and home delivery while tailoring everything (services etc) around your lifestyle. The sole aim is to save the customer time and effort leaving them to get on with their incredibly busy and incredibly important lives. This added service is a nice bonus and certainly makes a change from the distant feeling you get when parting with your hard earned cash and driving off the forecourt.
It’s a nice concept and it has the potential to work when you look at the Vignale brand across different models within the Ford family. Creating loyalty by delivering a lifestyle service alongside the car is nice to see and could be a sign of things to come as the way we buy cars and our increasingly busy lives change. However, it will be difficult for the typical car buyer, looking at cars in this price range, to overlook the established German badges in favour of a £32,000 Mondeo.
To summarise, the Vignale Mondeo is the equivalent to VIP entry at Tescos with your car bought round to the front when you exit the store. Handy, yes, but if you had the money and the choice you’d still like to be shopping at Waitrose.
For more info head over to the Ford Vignale site.