And Now For Some News

This is a short round-up of items that aren’t worth a whole article: news from Ford, Hyundai and Citroen.

2016 DS4 Performance: source
2016 DS4 Performance: source

First, Ford have announced a V6 version of the US version of the Mondeo. The Fusion boasts 325 hp and all-wheel drive. The car has adaptive damping and, as usual with Ford, disappointing seats. Will Ford Europe make this motor available? This academic study indicates what matters to customers, regarding seating. And this item from TTAC also shows the value of good seats. The one thing I remember from my time in a Citroen Xsara: the excellent seats.

Speaking of Citroen, they have added a new trim line called Performance which does not improve performance of the DS cars: “Available on the DS 3, DS 3 Cabrio, DS 4 and DS 5, Performance Line comes in two-tone black with a specific palette of body colours and new gloss black wheels,” writes Autocar. Performance indeed.

2016 Mitsubishi XM concept: source
2016 Mitsubishi XM concept: source

And speaking of Citroen, here is one for the lawyers. Mitsubishi have announced a concept crossover called the XM. “At the Indonesia International Auto Show 2016 Mitsubishi is unveiling the XM Concept, a crossover with a design based on the 2015 eX Concept”, write Carbodydesign. We’ll have to see how offended Citroen get as a result of Mitsubishi daring to trade on the name of their renowned large car of 1989-2000.

Genesis have announced the prices of the G90 saloon. Interestingly, you still need to attach “Hyundai” to the search term to get a clear result. $68,ooo to $72,000 is the asking for a car that comes with a 3.3 litre V6 or a 5.0 litre V8. As we have said before, if Hyundai Genesis can make a rear drive V8 for the American market, why can’t Ford and GM?

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

14 thoughts on “And Now For Some News”

  1. A V6 Mondeo for Europe would be lovely, although an almost certain commercial disaster – but you know that already. A DS ‘Performance Line’ would, in better times, have been considered a ridiculous oxymoron … and now is surely just ridiculous, or moronic, or both. Finally, I hope PSA does fight for the XM moniker, or we might take it as a final indicator of decline and admission of defeat.

    1. It’s not necessarily a commercial disaster if the Fusion/Mondeo is sold worldwide. The EU sales are icing on the cake if viewed globally. If Ford can make the car for one bit of the market they can make it for another. Of course the cars for Europe come from a different factory than the US cars. However, the lines must be very similar.
      And I was thinking that the Vignale needs more than nice paint to justify itself: the V6 is that sales argument made metal. There are thousands of police cars in use across Europe. A V6 4×4 Mondeo might be a competitive vehicle in that market.

  2. I know a few people that would be interested in a V6 4×4 Mondeo, but sadly only when depreciation has eaten a huge chunk out of the sale price. Me, I wonder what a high performance diesel 4×4 Mondeo would be like? Certainly more interesting than standard, especially in estate trim.

    1. It’s that depreciation thing again. Catch-22 kills the economic viability of anything deemed to lose value quickly. Eventually the variation in depreciation should minimise. Has it?

    2. Incidentally, Bark M at TTAC published a super article about US used car prices climbing relative to new car prices. The most salient passage is quoted herewith:

      “There is a flood of lease returns coming back into the marketplace now… If used cars sit, most dealers get scared and actually raise prices… The fewer cars they sell, the more money they try to make on each car. Hence, used car pricing stays high.

      “So because lease returns have high residuals, they actually cause used car prices to go up, not down. And since we know that used car prices are higher in relationship to new car prices than they’ve ever been, we also know that more shoppers are going to buy new than ever before, too, which means that used car managers and general managers will continue to get nervous and try to hold gross on the front end.”

      Given the increasing prominence of PCP and lease schemes in the UK, plus a number of record years for new car sales, I believe the market here is heading in the same direction. Basically the whole of the UK car market, from bottom to top, is heading towards the German prestige model of leasing / PCP new, bolstering residuals for finance packages by keeping used prices high through hogging inventory.

      Bark M also has this to say about how it will all pan out: “It’s a horrific long-term play — you can’t keep borrowing from yourself forever — but in the short-term, it keeps metal moving and money factors low.”

    1. Given the progress made in non-hydraulic suspension, this could be good. Autocar gave the set-up a good review when they tried it.

    2. It’ll be a shame for Citroën to lose the other advantages of hydropneumatic suspension such as self-levelling and adjustable ride height. Admittedly a simple mechanical setup has many advantages if it’s superior to what other manufacturers are doing; chief amongst them cost.

  3. Chris: the leasing thing is not going to do marginal manufacturers many favours. We´ll see a further turn to the car as kind of hotel room: anonymous and bland and ready for the next person to use. Silver, black, white Audi/BMW/Mercedes. At the same time, doesn´t this temporarily make the residuals for non-prestige models stay a bit higher?

    1. It does, certainly in the case of Ford who are wading into leasing in a huge way. Looking for a nearly new Fiesta for my mother recently, I was surprised recently how stiff Ford’s used prices were. Notably there was no movement on price for a cash sale; trade in and dealer finance presented the only negotiable parameters. With her battered and almost worthless eight year old Fiesta as trade in and up front cash to spend, her chance of snagging a good deal on a nearly new car was perversely almost non existent. In those circumstances, and with her almost clinical aversion to finance, I advised her to hold on and register her interest for an ex-demo in the months leading up to Ford rolling out the new Fiesta.

  4. A Mondeo V6 4×4 estate sounds like tailored for the Swiss market. Alas, people eager to afford this today will most certainly opt for ‘premium’. A performant diesel version might have some chances with cost-aware customers.

    1. Is everyone going to choose less for more instead of more for less? I’m quite sure GM sell a decent number of 4×4 Insignias in Alpine regions.
      I thought having a global vehicle meant “niches” could be bigger. Wierdly as BMW/Audi/Mercedes create niches you’d not expect the others abandon them. All I’m suggesting is Ford sells the V6 somehow. Remember MB don’t offer a six in the C. Nor do Audi in the A4, to my knowledge.

      John: the demise of HP suspension has been a decade in the making. I’m resigned to it now. It seems customers don’t see the point (because Citroen stopped educating them). Chicken/egg. That said, the advantage has reduced markedly and, while talking of Ford, other marques have offered adaptive systems of comparable quality (that Fusion we were discussing for example).

    2. In fact, it seems that Insignias are more common here than Mondeos. Though not as common as Opels used to be – in the eighties, Opel sold more cars in Switzerland than VW. The Golf was already on number one, but Opel had a much broader range. How many of these Insignias are 4×4 I don’t know. I guess a lot…

      Regarding Citroën, I won’t comment too much. Resignation is a common feeling. I was at a C6 meeting that weekend. Most participants will keep their car as long as possible and then look elsewhere. I also met a couple who now have a Cactus as their main car.

  5. What does one buy after a C6 becomes too tricky to live with? For all its faults is it the last interesting car of its type? Would one go back in time to find something simpler like a CX? But these are now pretty costly, as far as I can see. That´s a discussion: the last interesting car. There´s a reason the Insignia is a more common car than the Mondeo. It does not seem so very bulky. It´s no tiddler but it is seems sleeker. And the interior is a lot nicer. I would say that, wouldn´t I?

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