The Indian car market had always been a gnarly tread for manufacturers from around the globe. Indian car buyer’s preferences are too distinct for the foreign auto manufacturers to perceive and often tend to make the wrong decision when it comes to featuring a new product.
Several manufacturers have tried to send in their halo cars for the Indian market but have missed their mark. Some prominent names like Suzuki, Chevrolet, Hyundai, etc, have failed to translate their internationally acclaimed models into high-grossing in the Indian market. Cars like the Suzuki Kizashi, Hyundai Tucson (first-gen in India), Chevrolet Sail-UVA, are some examples of cars that bombed in the Indian market miserably due to various factors.
One such misfortunate story came from the CBU routes of Ford Motors in India. The Ford Mondeo (also known as the Ford Fusion in America) was the typical large-size family car that the international markets were accustomed to. The Mondeo is a highly popular name in the international markets and the moniker has been on sale since 1993 in different configurations.
Internationally, the Mondeo brand until last year(2019), had been doing pretty decent numbers and the company is also planning to launch a crossover version of the Mondeo for 2021.
Discover More – Ford Mustang | 56 Years Of American Muscle
The Ford Mondeo in India
The second-gen Ford Mondeo(MK III) made its way into the Indian market in the year 2002 and stacked up in the luxury sedan segment with the likes of the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and the Skoda Octavia in India.
At 4.7 meters long, The Mondeo was this really long sedan which looked like a straight-up ‘boss man’ executive ride.
Fun fact: For those of you having a hard time placing this car, you guys might remember the car from a very popular Bollywood movie (especially amongst Indian parents) starring Amitabh Bachan named ‘Baghban’. In one scene in the movie, Mr Bachan’s character is seen taking a test drive of a Ford car from the dealership along with his wife (played by Hema Malini). Yes, the Ford Mondeo is that car!
The Ford Mondeo | Performance
The Ford Mondeo came to India with both Petrol and Diesel Engine options. A 2.0 Litre petrol engine producing 142 Bhp and also a diesel engine producing 128 Bhp both mated to 5-speed manual transmissions.
Why did the Ford Mondeo fail in India?
Despite being a comprehensive package for the segment it was launched in India, the Mondeo remained far from being a successful car in the country due to several factors:
- The biggest factor for the Mondeo’s failure in the market was its pricing. Being a CBU unit, it was ought to be an expensive offering and the segment already had various options from distinct brands. Those cars seemed like a better deal for the money back then.
- Cars like the Honda Accord, Skoda Superb, and the Volkswagen Passat were much more associated with the segment and their respective companies were more reputed than Ford for providing a premium product back in the day
- The car’s features were way ahead of its time and although that is an advantage, it just didn’t play well for the Mondeo in India. Customers were not ready to pay an extra premium for the additional features.
The Ford Mondeo was a Performance Sedan
Literally, there are very few people in our country who have sat behind the wheel of a Ford Mondeo as, during its short span in our market, Ford was able to sell only a few thousands of them in the country. But those who have driven it, remember it as a proper performance-oriented vehicle. With a high-revving petrol engine and great agility thanks to a host of features like ABS, ESP, electronic brake-force distribution system, and for safety it had front, side, and curtain airbags. All these features might sound a bit regular for today’s time but very way ahead of its time back in the day.
Just like many other glorious sedans in the country, a good example of a Ford Mondeo (if fortunately found) go for a very low price.
And if you can find one today, it will be a straight-up steal.