Ford’s new luxury sub-brand, Vignale, could eventually cover every model in the range, if the formula proves to be a success. The hi-specification Vignale brand was first introduced with the Mondeo Vignale concept last year, and that’s now be joined by the S-MAX Vignale concept, revealed at the Salone del Mobile in Milan this week.
“We are looking at all cars in the range, and we will execute Vignale where it’s appropriate,” said Martin Smith, executive director of design for Ford of Europe. “First of all we’ll concentrate on the larger cars, then we’ll take a look at the others. If the our Titanium trim is anything to go by it should be a big success.”
Ford has confirmed that the new Mondeo will go on sale in the UK before the end of 2014, with the Mondeo Vignale available from early 2015. The new S-MAX will go on sale later in 2015 followed closely by an S-MAX Vignale. But Ford is keen to stress that the Vignale brand isn’t only about the products.
“With Vignale the product is only half the story – the customer experience is just as important,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president marketing and sales. “We are planning to launch 500 new flagship ‘Ford Stores’ across Europe, mainly in metropolitan areas.”
Ford S-MAX Vignale's party piece... https://t.co/t5rtX7EwgR
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Between 60 to 70 of these Ford Stores dealerships are planned for the UK, aimed at the most densely populated areas. From early 2015 they will be the only outlets selling the Vignale range and the new Mustang, although they will also carry the rest of the Ford range.
The full Vignale ownership experience, which will only apply to the first owner of the car, will include use of a plush Vignale lounge in the dealership and a dedicated Vignale manager who will be a point of contact for any requests or problems related to the car.
When your Vignale is due a service, for example, you simply call your Vignale manager and have the car picked up from your choice of location. You will receive another Vignale model as a courtesy car and have your car dropped back to you fully cleaned, with any minor scratches and dings buffed out and the wheels fully refurbished.
Ford bosses wouldn’t reveal the price premium a Vignale will carry over a Titanium X Sport (the current Mondeo Titanium X Sport 2.2 TDCi costs £30,065), but Smith played down the fact it will competing with Audi, BMW and Jaguar. “It still won’t be in the premium price range – are aim is to offer everything you’d want from a premium product, but at a Ford price,” he said.
Can the Vignale sub-brand propel Ford into the territory occupied by BMW and Audi? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below...