American carmakers, Ford Motor Co, could extend their new luxury sub-brand Vignale across every model in their range. This will only occur if the current Vignale versions of the S-MAX and Mondeo prove a success.
The high spec Vignale brand was first introduced with the Mondeo Vignale concept last year and is now to be joined by an S-MAX Vignale concept which was revealed at the Salone del Mobile in Milan this week. 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 and will be followed closely by the S-MAX Vignale. But Ford is keen to stress that the Vignale brand isn’t only about the products.
Martin Smith, executive director of design for Ford of Europe commented, “We are looking at all cars in the range, and we will execute Vignale where it’s appropriate. 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.”
Roelant de Waard, vice president of marketing and sale, commented, “With Vignale, the product is only half the story, the customer experience is just as important. We are planning to launch 500 flagship 'Ford Stores' across Europe, mainly in metropolitan areas.”
Between 60 and 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 have yet to reveal how much of a price premium a Vignale will carry over the regular models but Martin Smith played down the fact that Ford's new sub-brand will be competing with Audi, BMW and Jaguar.