Why Is Ford Testing China-Only Mondeo Sedan On American Roads?

Scoop / 22 Comments

Surely Ford isn't going back on its no-sedan policy already?

Ford has discontinued all sedans in the US, pursuing a lineup entirely made up of crossovers and sports cars. So why has a China-only Ford Mondeo - the new version of what was discontinued as the Ford Fusion in 2020 in the USA - been spotted on manufacturer plates driving around the USA?

CarBuzz reader G. Mitchell from Evergreen, Colorado, spotted this Ford Mondeo driving on the I70 in Denver, bringing into question whether Ford is contemplating a change of strategy in its no-sedan policy.

The Mondeo you see here was revealed at the start of last year and was confirmed to be a China-only model on the Ford C2 platform (shared with the Bronco Sport and Maverick), developed in conjunction with Chinese automaker Changan. It spawned two sister models - also for China - in the Ford Evos coupe crossover and the Lincoln Z.

Gary Mitchell Jr.
Gary Mitchell Jr.

Powered by a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, the Mondeo produces 235 horsepower sent to the front axle via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Those are decent figures that would suffice for a standard model in the American market. But when VW has killed the Passat, Chevrolet is killing its various sedans, and only a few class leaders like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry remain, why would Ford contemplate this model for the US?

It was developed in China, designed in China, and is part of an arm of Ford that largely operates independently of the US mothership - standard practice for automakers in China. It's also very clearly a Chinese import, as the badging on the rear is in Chinese.

Gary Mitchell Jr.
Gary Mitchell Jr.

One possibility is that Ford HQ is benchmarking the car for quality control. China is the world's largest car market and buyers are less brand-biased than they are in the US. They will readily change brands if a better car presents itself. Ford has been suffering from plenty of quality issues in the US, with CEO Jim Farley admitting as much and saying action needs to be taken.

Whatever your political or personal stance is on China, it has regularly shown it knows how to ramp up production without impacting quality. That's the reason Elon Musk handed the reigns at Tesla to Tesla's Chinese head of operations Tom Zhu, at the start of the year.

We're not suggesting Farley will be leaving his post anytime soon, but perhaps he's hoping to learn a thing or two from Chinese Fords.

We've contacted Ford for comment on the matter, but let us know if you have any other suggestions. If you spot anything unusual, you can email us at tips@carbuzz.com.

Gary Mitchell Jr.
Gary Mitchell Jr.

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