Ford is set to phase out its once best-selling Mondeo from next year as the brand looks to prioritise its SUVs and electrified models instead.

Announced yesterday as part of a change of operations at Ford’s factory in Valencia, Spain – where the Mondeo is currently produced – the firm said this large model would be phased out in March 2022 “as a result of a growing change in customer preference”.

The decision to axe the model has come as a result of Ford’s expanding range of SUVs, with many former Mondeo buyers now opting for the firm’s Kuga SUV. This body style now accounts for 39 per cent of Ford’s sales – up eight per cent in the last 12 months.

Though the current Mondeo is available with a hybrid powertrain, it uses Ford’s older 2.0-litre petrol-electric setup, rather than the new 2.5-litre option, which features in the Kuga and updated S-Max and Galaxy MPVs.

The latter people carriers are too made in Valencia, with Ford saying these models would continue in production at the plant. This Spanish facility will also soon produce the new hybrid setup, as opposed to in Mexico where it’s currently manufactured.

Ford introduced the Mondeo 1992 and it proved very popular for many years, with around five million being produced to date, though sales have continued to fall in recent years.

Ford is set to switch its full range to be ‘zero-emission capable’ by 2022, before becoming an EV-only firm in Europe from 2030. Its first battery-powered model produced in Europe is also set to debut in 2023.