Ford has allegedly admitted that the new Mondeo will be delayed by six months, possibly until September 2013.

According to Autobeat Europe, the launch, which was expected to be in March, then in June, has been delayed by unspecified quality and type approval issues.

Normally, delays aren't hugely important because the public has not yet seen the new car and does not know when it is due anyway. However, the new Mondeo was shown at the Detroit Show at the start of 2012. Dealers are now facing a total of 20 months of selling a model that Ford has publicly said is obsolete.

Announcing a new model before it goes on sale is always a tricky matter of timing. It is quite common for an announcement to be made six months ahead (e.g. yesterday's story about the Vauxhall Adam), but nearly two years ahead is verging on the ridiculous. Ford's problem is that all model announcements are now made globally, and the American Mondeo (called Fusion) goes on sale much earlier than our Mondeo. Until model cycles get in sync, Ford's European dealers have to watch Detroit telling the world that our Ford models are obsolete – but no replacements are available for the moment.

The next Mondeo will be mechanically similar to the current one, although there is likely to be the option of a petrol/electric hybrid version as well.