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Farley: Vignale Staying Put in Europe; Ford May Expand ST, RS Lineups

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Ford S-MAX Vignale

Ford’s President of Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Jim Farley, seems to think that his company can do more to get as much juice as possible out of its RS and ST performance badges while simultaneously building up its luxury-minded Vignale sub-badge.

Speaking with Motor Trend, Farley looks to Daimler’s work in building the AMG brand in saying that Ford could do more to promote its own history in performance.

“Our performance heritage is so strong, and we have real credibility,” he says. “I think it’s high time for us to give more people that experience.”

Ford has been rumored to be expanding the RS and ST lineups in Europe for some time, with possible inclusions ranging from the Mondeo to the Kuga. Both badges have also enjoyed a fair amount of success Stateside, where the Focus ST and RS and Fiesta ST have become a hit with lovers of hot hatches.

Farley also talked about the Vignale brand, which recently expanded to include the Edge, Kuga, and S-MAX, but will not be expanding to the American market any time soon. Ford created the Vignale badge to capitalize in markets (Germany in particular) where luxury vehicles account for high sales percentages, but the presence of the Lincoln brand in the United States means that its presence here is not necessary. What’s more, Farley makes it sound far more likely that Lincoln would be brought to Europe to replace Vignale than vice versa.

“We surveyed [customers who purchased the top-tier Kuga Titanium],” he says, “and a lot of them said they would like to buy something nicer from Ford.”

News Source: Motor Trend