#IAA: Capri comeback?

Time 8:14 pm, September 15, 2011

capriA CAPRI badge may never make it on to the back of another Ford, revealed the Blue Oval’s new UK chief.

Ford of Britain managing director Mark Ovenden told Car Dealer that despite car fans pinning their hopes on the Frankfurt Evos concept car becoming the next Capri, he says it’s ‘highly unlikely’.

‘If you read the papers you’d think it WAS a Capri, but there are absolutely no plans to make it so,’ Ovenden exclusively told Car Dealer.

‘Despite the fact I think we could capitalise on that sector in Britain, I think it is unfortunately one of those vehicles which got tarnished with bad ‘Essex boy’ connotations.

‘There is a tremendous amount of nostalgia for Capri, but the trouble is it was essentially a British phenomenon and it didn’t do very well in the rest of Europe. I think Capri probably sits in the past now. It’s a wonderful memory but I think that’s about all it ever will be.’

However, the Ford boss, who has only been in the top job a few months following promotion from a sales and marketing role, still offered Capri fans a glimmer of hope.

He added: ‘Of course we never say never, but the revival of Capri is unlikely. Cars like that have to make economic sense and developing a coupe opposed to developing another, say, ultra-efficient power train is a hard argument.

‘We’ve got a lot of other things we want to do and a Capri is just not on the radar at the moment.’

evos5So what does the Evos point towards, if not a Capri? Well, Ovenden says design cues from it will appear on new Ford models very soon.

‘It highlights how our styling will evolve as we go forward,’ explained the Ford boss. ‘The clue is in the name – evos – as in evolution of kinetic design. You’ll see parts of its design in some of our future vehicles and we’re talking within months.’

However, coupe fans may take solace in Ovenden’s parting words about a certain American muscle car.

‘Clearly we have some fantastic coupes around the world,’ he said. ‘We have one that is arguably the most iconic of the lot – the Mustang – which we’ve never seriously looked at bringing here. Although there are no plans at the moment to, as a sales and marketer I’d always like cars like that here.’

Perhaps fast-back Ford fans may still have something to smile about…

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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