Ford resurrects Vignale name in an attempt to add premiumness to mainstream modelsWed, 04 Sep 2013
Ford is resurrecting the name of renowned Italian design house Vignale in an attempt to bring its mainstream models up market in Europe. Of course this isn't Ford's first experience of using a defunct carrozzeria for its range-topping models – remember Ghia?
The first of these new models will be the Mondeo, which will appear with Vignale badging, lashings of chrome and quilted leather in Frankfurt next week. It also serves as a distraction from the fact this model won't arrive in Europe until 2015, despite going on sale in the US as the Fusion last year.
As well as the visual changes to the cars, apparently the Vignale ‘experience' is "inspired by exclusive services from beyond the world of automotive. These include VIP air-travel services that offer chauffeuring, dedicated check-in and security and clubhouse access". This will manifest itself in Vignale ‘lounges' in Ford dealerships and a free car cleaning service for the lifetime of the car. Posh indeed.
We'll be very interested to see if Ford manages to ‘add premiumness' to its mainstream models, rather than creating a genuine sub-brand of specific models as per Citroën DS.
Call us cynical but this seems like a half-baked strategy on this initial evidence and certainly not one that lives up to the name of the great Carrozzeria Alfredo Vignale.
By Owen Ready