Ford Inside News banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,893 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ford Unveils S MAX Vignale Concept in Milan
Ford


Shows Vision for ‘Vignale Lounge’ Retail Experience at Salone del Mobile

​MILAN, Italy – Ford unveiled the new Ford S MAX Vignale Concept today in Milan as it continues to expand its vision for a unique upscale product and ownership experience for European customers.

The new Ford S-MAX Vignale Concept follows the introduction last year of the Ford Mondeo Vignale Concept and expresses the premium design, craftsmanship, and exclusive specification customers can expect from Ford Vignale. A production version of the Mondeo Vignale will be available to customers next year followed soon after by a production S-MAX Vignale.

“Spacious and aspirational, the S-MAX Vignale Concept goes beyond traditional automotive design and speaks to customers who value aesthetics,” said Martin Smith, executive director, Design, Ford of Europe. “Our Vignale designers were inspired by trends from furniture to fashion to create this new expression of Ford.”

In addition to revealing the S-MAX Vignale at the storied Palazzo Reale in Milan, Ford is showcasing its vision for the Vignale consumer experience this week at the Salone del Mobile, the world’s leading furniture design expo. The design of the Ford stand at Salone del Mobile is a preview of the “Vignale Lounge” retail experience that will be rolled out in select Ford retailers throughout Europe. Ford also will display a Vignale lifestyle collection, including a bespoke travel bag that was awarded an iF Design award.

The personalized experience customers can expect when Vignale launches in Europe in 2015 will include a dedicated relationship manager, as well as VIP collection and delivery services.

Unique product execution

The new S-MAX Vignale Concept features dedicated 21-inch Vignale alloy wheels with fine detailing and high quality finish; jewellery-like appliques and chrome mirror caps; a distinctive hexagonal Vignale grille design; and unique “Milano Grigio” paint colour. The S-MAX concept also offers exclusive Vignale-embossed seating with hexagonal quilting and high-quality and soft-touch leather enhanced with woven texture-embossed aluminium detailing.

Technology highlights include advanced car-to-car communications, tablet device-docking stations for second row seats and an intelligent flexible seating concept with thin seat technology.

The S-MAX Vignale Concept delivers a new take on S-MAX’s sharply styled, sleek exterior, characteristic profile and dynamic roof arc.

The new Vignale colour, “Milano Grigio”, a pearlescent jewel-like tone, is directly influenced by rose metallic tones evident in furniture and fashion designs on display at Salone del Mobile. The attention to colour runs throughout the vehicle with Dark Rose Grey detailing in the exhausts, hexagonal air-vent surrounds, and the lower front fascia.

The technical grille application with hexagonal design first demonstrated with the Mondeo Vignale Concept is again present for the S-MAX Vignale Concept. The grille features a darker matt metallic finish with polished aluminium surround.

“We can see from the designs around us at Salone del Mobile and Milan Design Week that modern luxury does not need to be loud,” said Stefan Lamm, exterior design director, Ford of Europe. “Lighter tones and careful application of detailing have helped us deliver a level of sophistication Ford customers have not seen before.”

Tailored design

The light exterior is matched with a darker interior scheme taking inspiration in part from current menswear trends. Further colours and design have been inspired by eclectic takes on furniture – including high-end sofas – which offer sleek, contemporary lines and hand-stitched pearlescent leathers.

Leather extends from the dashboard and instrument panel to sweep past the glass roof to the rear luggage compartment in a single colour that creates a lounge-like environment.

Metallic textures are applied in warm tones. Woven texture-embossed aluminium behind the steering wheel and across the passenger side dashboard is indicative of the craftsmanship applied throughout, further demonstrated by a directional, brush-painted panel above the central display that features aluminium Vignale lettering.

The seats feature a new variation on the quilting effect first demonstrated in the Mondeo Vignale Concept. Front seats and outer rear seats feature hexagonal quilting bordered with square quilting that stretches across the centre-rear seat and front armrest. “Tone-on-tone” stitching with thick dark red thread highlight the seat centres and is complemented by lighter exterior thread at the seats’ perimeters.

“The tonal connections and the quality of craftsmanship and detailing inject a sense of tradition into the S MAX Vignale Concept,” said Sonja Vandenberk, chief designer, Colour and Material, Ford of Europe. “The design language itself is on the cusp of the latest fashion and furniture trends, reflecting inspirations in terms of fabrics, leathers, colours and detailing.”

Meeting customer demand
Ford said half of its large cars are sold in high series specification; and that 10 to 15 percent of customers want an even higher level of specification and customer service.

“We know that many customers are looking for a Ford that’s more exclusive and upscale than we currently offer in Europe,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “The other key trend is the desire for a more memorable and personalized ownership experience that is tailored to individuals and respects their time. Vignale will meet these needs in a fresh way.”

Ford research shows more than one third of premium brand car buyers consider high levels of customer service a key difference between a mainstream and upscale experience. The research also revealed that sales staff competence and efficiency are the two biggest influencers of customer satisfaction. And showroom appearance and quality of hospitality are two of the top three factors that influence customer expectations of a brand.

Ford will provide a specially-trained relationship manager as the single customer contact throughout the Vignale purchasing experience. Reflecting the notion that for Vignale customers, time is the most valued resource, Vignale will offer collection and delivery for vehicle servicing alongside servicing scheduled to suit the owner.

“Vignale Lounges” in select Ford retail outlets, mostly in metropolitan locations, will be dedicated to delivering a personalized service. The “Vignale Lounge” will offer stimulating, secluded environments to sample exclusive materials and colours and discover exciting features and technologies. It will reflect the quality to be found within the product and provide customers with a relaxing environment.

“Vignale offers a special product and the intangible qualities that allow the customer to feel differently about the experience,” de Waard said. “The convenience offered by personalized delivery, collection for servicing will make Vignale a valued part of customers’ lives.”

Check out Autocar for more high-res images
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,893 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
With Vignale 'currently' being Fords Premium/Lincoln offering in Europe, it makes sense that the Lincoln would have a version of the sexy, sleek, S-MAX as well for the US.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,042 Posts
Well said, Bloggin; I was just going to make a Vignale / Lincoln association myself. At some point who knows, maybe a healthy Lincoln in a few years can be introduced in Europe, but until then, I think that Vignale-ized Fords could adequately fill the role in Europe. It allows Ford to push into the (high profit) luxury market with minimum investement and test the waters. Plus in reverse, it could provide Lincoln with some interesting ideas and even models for the US and China, where they are apparently gobbling up Citroen's DS lineup.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,893 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
And then there is the Ford version of the S-MAX. Ford wanted to bring it to the US earlier, but the current model was cost prohibitive. With the new design on a shared platform made in the US, it would fit right below the larger Flex. According to Ford, the Flex will carry over for MY2015 since it had a refresh for MY2013, which means we should see something new for MY2016.

The Flex a true 7-passenger is a bit larger than the S-MAX (5+2) so it wouldn't be a replacement. Which works for many older, larger consumers who don't find it easy to climb into the big SUVs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
And then there is the Ford version of the S-MAX. Ford wanted to bring it to the US earlier, but the current model was cost prohibitive. With the new design on a shared platform made in the US, it would fit right below the larger Flex. According to Ford, the Flex will carry over for MY2015 since it had a refresh for MY2013, which means we should see something new for MY2016.

The Flex a true 7-passenger is a bit larger than the S-MAX (5+2) so it wouldn't be a replacement. Which works for many older, larger consumers who don't find it easy to climb into the big SUVs.
So could that mean keeping the Flex for Ford and replacing the MKT with a Lincoln version of the S-Max? Works for me (although I do like the Ford grill on the S-Max).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,893 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
So could that mean keeping the Flex for Ford and replacing the MKT with a Lincoln version of the S-Max? Works for me (although I do like the Ford grill on the S-Max).
I would think a Lincoln version of the 5+2 S-MAX would be added, and the bigger 7-passenger MKT would be redesigned and sit with the new Aviator SUV and Navigator.

Many think the MKT sales are really bad, but looking at 2013 sales...

MKT: 6014 vs Cadillac ESV = 7950

MKT outsold the Cadillac ESV in March. 556 vs 508

The big MKT actually outsold the big Lexus LX570 for 2013 at 4,625, and the big Land Cruiser at 3.802. The MKT was actually right behind the Navigator and Navigator L combined at 8,613.

So it seems as a big luxury 7-passenger SUV, the MKT is holding it's own. It just needs an updated design and go aluminum with the rest of the big SUVs.
 

·
Mercury C557
Joined
·
22,734 Posts
With Vignale 'currently' being Fords Premium/Lincoln offering in Europe, it makes sense that the Lincoln would have a version of the sexy, sleek, S-MAX as well for the US.
So could that mean keeping the Flex for Ford and replacing the MKT with a Lincoln version of the S-Max? Works for me (although I do like the Ford grill on the S-Max).
just-imho
FoMoCo has several possible scenarios in mind BUT won't make a firm decision until
-- more trend data is gathered
-- imho ^markets are changing/in flux = moving target
-- until they have to = production timeline
&
they must have a better idea of where
- China
- US/N.A.
- western Europe
- eastern Europe/Russia ... are heading
(assuming they'll even STAY in Russia/be able to keep ownership of their investments there)
(imho, FOR NOW, that^s gotta be on-the-table)

personally, for the US
there's only a NEED for one Lincoln CuvSuv between the MKX & Navi - so far.
Whether it's a 5+2 or full(tho lighter) 7-8 passenger vehicle is yet to be determined...
...tho with CD4+ looking more flexible than previous platforms, MAYBE there could be an MKX+ (5+2) AND a distinct 7-8?? OR could those 2 be unified to
-- Aviator & Aviator-XL or
-- Aviator-Sport & Aviator(LuX)
??

Imho, the first big clue we'll get is how the S-Max / Galaxy are handled!
 

·
Mercury C557
Joined
·
22,734 Posts
continued...
I would think a Lincoln version of the 5+2 S-MAX would be added, and the bigger 7-passenger MKT would be redesigned and sit with the new Aviator SUV and Navigator.

Many think the MKT sales are really bad, but looking at 2013 sales...

MKT: 6014 vs Cadillac ESV = 7950

MKT outsold the Cadillac ESV in March. 556 vs 508

The big MKT actually outsold the big Lexus LX570 for 2013 at 4,625, and the big Land Cruiser at 3.802. The MKT was actually right behind the Navigator and Navigator L combined at 8,613.

So it seems as a big luxury 7-passenger SUV, the MKT is holding it's own. It just needs an updated design and go aluminum with the rest of the big SUVs.
imho
it might boil-down to R.O.I.

balancing the least investment (# of models) that can achieve relatively-max profit/Sales
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,674 Posts
Best thing about the S-Max is how nice it is to drive and also great vehicle to be in as a passenger.
 

·
Mercury C557
Joined
·
22,734 Posts
it's hard for me to keep up but
did Carscoops say that the dial at the bottom of the console in picture #5 is the shifter?

&
Ford Vignale brand could cover every model in the range - AutoExpress.co.UK
8 Apr, 2014


,,,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...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,214 Posts
I'm seriously hoping we don't get the S-Max. The -Max vans are so unattractive. How could you possibly go from something as stylish as the Flex to an S-Max?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,799 Posts
The S-Max is a very unusual car for the US which has historically rejected MPVs for larger minivans, crossovers and SUVs. The MPV is still a cramped 7-seater that overtly broadcasts it's van-like form. It's a segment with questionable customer acceptance here in a market now very crowded with equivalent crossovers. It makes sense that Ford would treat this as a larger Hybrid only vehicle in the US with it's unusual not-quite-identifiable form factor, although I have a hard time picturing how this vehicle will swallow the batteries without sacrificing utility. In the end I like the S-Max because it's mostly a luxury option, it's a vehicle with utility that isn't necessarily utilitarian.

As for Lincoln....I don't see how a Lincoln MPV would make any sense for them...that would be an extreme anomaly in the market just like the already unsuccessful MKT. I have hard time seeing a customer who wants to buy a Lincoln van.

A successor to Flex and MKT, if there is one, will likely take very different forms since the current cars have been unsuccessful. The S-Max may be part of that strategy. Ford can only split it's 7-seater customers so many ways. And Lincoln still needs a proper 7-seat crossover like the Explorer, and I doubt they'll retain two such vehicles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,674 Posts

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,214 Posts
Was that sarcasm?
Flex is unique, but this S MAX is very stylish. I would love to see it.
No, I genuinely hate the -Max vans. Americans haven't responded well to the segment in the past, and I doubt Ford can change that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,799 Posts
I don't think US customers will respond well to getting behind the wheel of a car with a massive greenhouse in-front of them. The last time we saw something like that, came in the form of this.

 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top