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Vignale - Ford's New European Brand?
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Ford S-MAX Vingale

After reading an article about Ford's entrance into the European luxury car market with a higher trim level version of new Ford models called Vignale, it had be wonder not just launch Lincoln in Europe. But logic states that in Europe's recovering auto market, launching a new brand would not work. Which made sense for Ford move specific new Ford brand models into the luxury market with a new brand.

But the question was why Vignale? I I never really heard of the brand before. But after doing a quick search on the web and help from wikipedia, it all became clear.

Vignale was an Italian automobile coachbuilder company. Carrozzeria Alfredo Vignale was established in 1948 at Via Cigliano, Turin by Alfredo Vignale (born 1913) in Grugliasco, near Turin (Torino). The first body on a Fiat 500 Topolino base was made in 1948, followed by a special Fiat 1100. Most customers were Italian firms such as Cisitalia, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Maserati, Lancia.

In 1952, Vignale collaborated with Briggs Cunningham to jointly produce the Continental C-3. In 1968, Vignale designed the body of Tatra 613. Vignale designed and built cars, usually low volume variants of the main production cars of these automobile manufacturers. Amongst them were 850, Samantha, Eveline and the Vignale Gamine, based on the Fiat 500.

A close cooperation was maintained with Giovanni Michelotti.


And here is where it all began to make sense....

Vignale was taken over by DeTomaso Automobili (owned by Ford) in 1969 and ceased to exist in 1974. Aston Martin(which Ford owned and sold) produced a concept car called the Lagonda Vignale at the 1993 Geneva motor show. Aston were, at the time, owned by Ford who in turn also own Ghia which is how the name came to be revived. Also Ford used Vignale name in Ford Focus Vignale concept car introduced at the 2004 Paris Motor Show, the production model was named as Ford Focus Coupé-Cabriolet.

In September 2013, Ford of Europe announce plans to resurrect the Vignale name as an upscale luxury sub-brand of Ford. The cars will be visually distinct from regular Ford products and have an improved dealership experience. Exclusive services, such as free lifetime car washes, will be offered as well. The first Ford model to receive the Vignale name will be the 2015 Ford Mondeo.


Ford's larger plan seems to become more clear. What appears to be happening is that the Vignale 'trim' level is being offered in Europe based on new Ford models is only phase one.

With the next phase to launch the Vingale sub-brand of luxury cars in Europe, with Vignale offering the luxury performance cars that Europeans expect of a luxury brand, with more aggressive luxury/performance styling. While in the US and China Lincoln offers more understated, true luxury cars with new sheet metal.

Which is why it is expected that a Vignale version of the Mustang for Europe would be a more aggressive looking performance coupe and convertible, very much like the Mustang. While in the US and China, a Lincoln version would offer all new sheet metal, lower hood, more elegant lines for a coupe and convertible.

That could be until Vignale gains traction and is able to offer it's own models under it's own Brand separate from Ford.

And it would be the Vignale brand that would be better positioned to take on the more upmarket European competition head on. Pushing into the $75k+ price range where Ford needs to have a brand.

There are currently 500 Ford dealers in Europe that are qualified to sell Vingale. Ford is starting with the Mondeo Vingale and S-MAX Vingale. Mustang Coupe/Convertible Vingale should follow, and then the new 'Taurus' as a Vignale ONLY model in Europe targeting the other European large cars.

However it shakes out, Vignale may be on it's way to being more than a trim level, and a much bigger deal than what most think.
 

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Ford is the only marque of its size to not have a global luxury marque and I think they are just trying to find ways to keep some of those customers. It's really hard to establish a luxury brand from scratch, especially with Ford attached to the hood. It would be interesting however to see if Lincoln and Vignale could end up co-developing original products.

But I can't help but think people are going to ridicule Vignale in Europe.
 

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Loaded up Ford vehicles sell like gangbusters in Europe. Vignale will sell easily.

Certainly far more than bringing Lincoln over there.

And for the record, Cadillac has tried and only sells about 30 cars in ALL OF EUROPE…per month.

I bet Vignale easily trumps that, offering substantial ROI.
 

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Completely agree. The best part is, that the Ford Vignale brand could cover every model in the range, meaning that if they implement this well, it could prove to be a very successful gameplan.
 

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Besides Mondeo, S-Max, and Edge...what other car would make sense for the Vignale treatment? I don't think you'll get many takers on tarted up Focus, Fiesta, C-Max, etc?
 

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Maybe, in the future, Ford could sell some Lincolns in Europe under the Vignale name... or sell both brands in different stores to Ford dealers. The Lincoln's performance in China can open new opportunities for the brand.
 

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Quite a smart approach, actually... Ford is already pushing upwards, and Vignale will take that a step further with minimal investment, to test the waters. If it catches on, it will be a perfect entry point for Lincoln models in Europe, even if they decide to call them Vignale in the end. Makes too mush sense!
 

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WOW... That car is a surprise for me. Is a good concept, even for this days... That "simulated" spare tire bulge at the rear of the car is a nice design touch.
 

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Maybe, in the future, Ford could sell some Lincolns in Europe under the Vignale name... or sell both brands in different stores to Ford dealers. The Lincoln's performance in China can open new opportunities for the brand.
This makes perfect sense given Lincoln has no real history on that side of the pond while Vignale does. Vignale may not have as great of a history as Lincoln does Stateside but given the right product it could give Ford a toe in the door!!
 

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Ah thanks guys, I didn't know about any of those handles, it helps create a smooth look.

The other decent solution was how Chevrolet did the Beretta handles! Too bad they were so flimsy and always broke, because it was quite a neat idea.
 
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