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For Ford, Fusion was right car at wrong time

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http://www.autonews.com/article/20180701/RETAIL01/180709981

"When that car came out, it looked like an Aston Martin," recalled Jim Seavitt, owner of Village Ford in Dearborn, Mich.

Only six years later, the Fusion is headed for the scrap heap — at least in its current form. Ford announced in April it would discontinue all sedans in North America as its lineup evolves to virtually all crossovers, SUVs, pickups and vans.

The Fusion's impending demise comes as a white flag from Ford in a segment Detroit had long been desperate to reconquer. But it's also a proclamation that winning the midsize segment no longer matters nearly as much as the profits pouring in from its pickup and utility vehicles.

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Its popularity grew when Ford began racing Fusions in NASCAR in 2006

 

:hysterical:

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Raise it up 2-3 inches, give it some "offroad cladding" and boom!! Ford Fusion 5 door hatch is your new "white space" CUV...

 

05_FordMondeo_5Door.jpg

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Raise it up 2-3 inches, give it some "offroad cladding" and boom!! Ford Fusion 5 door hatch is your new "white space" CUV...

 

05_FordMondeo_5Door.jpg

 

Well you pretty much hit the nail on the head...and raise the starting price about $2-4K

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Well you pretty much hit the nail on the head...and raise the starting price about $2-4K

 

That's been my thought for months now too.

 

I'd even argue that Fusion still is the right car (in desperate need of an update), but that it would be more accurate to say it's the right car that's a victim of poor planning.

 

If they hadn't cancelled the new Mexican plant, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now, as there'd be room to produce all these new models without having to cut others.

Edited by rmc523

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Here is one thought I had a couple of weeks ago. The big problem with Fusion right now is they're not selling many Titaniums or Sports, mostly cheaper SEs. Could that be partially a result of not updating it and not keeping it visually fresh the last few years? If they had done a more significant refresh in 2016 and a new top hat for 2019 maybe they'd be selling more Titaniums and ATPs and profits would be much higher?

 

Sales are still down and that would not have changed, but the profit margins might have been high enough to keep it and just add an "Active" version. Hard to say for sure. And yes that would present an issue for factory capacity but maybe they wouldn't have cancelled the new Mexico factory.

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I'm guessing a big reason that Ford isn't selling as many high-end models is because the basic design is no longer new. Most likely the buyers who want the latest-and-greatest are also the ones more willing to spring for the high-end versions.

 

On the one level, I can see Ford's reasoning, particularly with the Fiesta and Taurus. But I believe that the Fusion and "regular" Focus would still be viable in North America if Ford had based them on a common platform and then built them in a low-cost region, such as Mexico or even China. The Active versions could have been the icing on the cake.

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The kick is, they already make the 5 door hatch....just gotta scrape the "Mondeo" badges off it...

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Here is one thought I had a couple of weeks ago. The big problem with Fusion right now is they're not selling many Titaniums or Sports, mostly cheaper SEs. Could that be partially a result of not updating it and not keeping it visually fresh the last few years? If they had done a more significant refresh in 2016 and a new top hat for 2019 maybe they'd be selling more Titaniums and ATPs and profits would be much higher?

 

Sales are still down and that would not have changed, but the profit margins might have been high enough to keep it and just add an "Active" version. Hard to say for sure. And yes that would present an issue for factory capacity but maybe they wouldn't have cancelled the new Mexico factory.

This is it in a nutshell.

The rich product mix was ruined because Ford didn't properly refresh Titanium and Sports - they didn't keep high series buyers interested.

This decline was basically instigated by Ford years ago and IMO, Fusion was deliberately put on the skids o complete the mission.

Poor refresh, lack of competitive financing, buyers dd the rest by going elsewhere, Ford then says, "there we told you so.."

 

For all of that, Fusion's hybrid and energi sales have remained strong even in the face of heavy decline of ICE versions.

Edited by jpd80

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For all of that, Fusion's hybrid and energi sales have remained strong even in the face of heavy decline of ICE versions.

 

I think Fusion Hybrid and Energi are the best cars other than Mustang Ford currently makes. The hybrid powertrain is smooth and efficient. Even though it came out more than 5 years ago, it's still competitive unlike the 4-cylinder non-hybrid powertrains.

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Consider also that Ford may need the battery capacity for the new hybrid utilities.

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Why does the base 2.5 make the same horsepower it did in 2010? Why does the 1.5 have only 3 horsepower more than the 1.6 that was before it and get the same FE? Why does the new twin scroll 2.0 have only 245 horsepower? Why oh why did the not decide to give this thing 8 speeds in 2019?

 

These are the questions that kill me. The looks are redesign looks are subtle differences and probably should have been more pronounced. The 2.5 has received 0 updates since it has been out. The 1.5 hasn't either. The 2.0 twin scroll turbo can easily make 260/300 as it probably should but doesn't. The Sport was kinda of a good idea but half baked. I mean surely these can't be all attributed to Fields, right?

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I think most of these problems can be traced back to Fields constantly pushing back updates and holding onto cash.

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I think Fusion Hybrid and Energi are the best cars other than Mustang Ford currently makes. The hybrid powertrain is smooth and efficient. Even though it came out more than 5 years ago, it's still competitive unlike the 4-cylinder non-hybrid powertrains.

In March of this year, I finished my research to prepare for ordering a 2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid next year after the lease on my current vehicle expires in March 19, even to the extent that I had gone (twice) to a Lincoln dealer and checked out 18 models (color, interior, features) and brought Darling Wife into the picture to get her input and seal of approval. That was going to be my next car.

 

However, all that came to a screeching halt when we learned that Ford was going to stop making sedans.

 

It seems unclear to me whether Lincoln will or can continue to make the MKZ (under that name or another moniker) by itself. It seems unlikely the math adds up to make it possible for Lincoln (only) to continue making a vehicle of that basic type/design without the greater number of Ford Fusions also being produced.

 

Does anyone here really think Lincoln would continue making the MKZ (by that name or another name) by itself? I am interested in knowing what the people on here think about that.

 

Another question for the people on this board with far more in-depth knowledge of the auto industry than I have: Is it ever a good idea to buy a car that is being totally discontinued (presuming that Lincoln does NOT keep making MKZs after Ford quits making Fusions)? Will I have service/support problems in the out years under this scenario?

Edited by 1984Poke

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Ford management insists that the Fusion hasn't been cancelled and will be availble for at least another 3-4 years. In the meantime, the only 2019 Fusions available for stock in the New York Region (and Boston & Philadelphia Regions) are Hybrid & Energi models with all gas models restricted to retail and fleet orders.

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Why does the 1.5 have only 3 horsepower more than the 1.6 that was before it and get the same FE?

 

The 1.5 liter Ecoboost 4-cylinder engine was created mainly for tax reasons in China. Engines between 1000 cc and 1500 cc are taxed at 3%. 1500 cc to 2000cc tax rate is 5%. https://www.globalfueleconomy.org/transport/gfei/autotool/case_studies/apacific/china/CHINA%20CASE%20STUDY.pdf

 

Both 1.5 and 1.6 liter engines are based on a design that's more than 20 years old now. That's why it lags similar sized engines from other automakers in performance and fuel efficiency.

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Thank you, ice-capades. I am not sure that I had heard that.

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The 1.6 is on its way out anyway

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This is it in a nutshell.

The rich product mix was ruined because Ford didn't properly refresh Titanium and Sports - they didn't keep high series buyers interested.

?

 

This is only the third model year of the Sport.

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The Sport model looked like the 2013 Fusion when it was introduced.

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Raise it up 2-3 inches, give it some "offroad cladding" and boom!! Ford Fusion 5 door hatch is your new "white space" CUV...

 

05_FordMondeo_5Door.jpg

The Venza didnt sell worth beans while Toyota sold tons of Highlanders and RAVs

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The Venza didnt sell worth beans while Toyota sold tons of Highlanders and RAVs

 

Venza was ugly and a different vehicle type (more wagon like than a sportback).

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I don't think people quite understand what Ford (Farley particualrly) means when they say they are getting away from the sedan profile. Selling a raised Fusion sedan with a Hatchback does not suddenly make it an appealing utility, it still looks every much like an undesirable traditional sedan. It has to look and package like a 2-box utility with the height, space, and design of a tall utility. There really isn't that much interest in the in-between as we've seen already, at least at Ford's scale. It might work for a few thousand units at Buick, but Ford can't be bothered with that customer. People want a utility that looks like a utility, they DEFINITELY don't want a sedan that looks vaguely like a utility when there are countless other real utilities for the same money.

 

I think Fusion might have succeeded better if it was developed for the US market first instead of the global market. It's a great vehicle to look at and drive but it's also not the most spacious and poshest midsizer, especially for its price. I appreciate Ford's approach but it's not the best for the traditional midsize audience. The stylish Fusion targets more fickle trendy consumers more likely to graduate to utilities, while Camy and Accord target the loyal and profitable customers (barely) while Nissan gives them away. It doesn't help that Fusion was developed when the midsize customer was more profitable so the Fusion wasn't designed to cost as well as it really needs to be now for the bargain bin shoppers. And Ford simply needs factory space which is expensive, like FCA they have to make decisions based on priorities and profits.

Edited by Assimilator

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They won't sell a lot but they will be able to get higher ATPs and higher margins since they won't face the same stiff price competition as they do with Focus and Fusion today.

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Here is one thought I had a couple of weeks ago. The big problem with Fusion right now is they're not selling many Titaniums or Sports, mostly cheaper SEs. Could that be partially a result of not updating it and not keeping it visually fresh the last few years? If they had done a more significant refresh in 2016 and a new top hat for 2019 maybe they'd be selling more Titaniums and ATPs and profits would be much higher?

 

Sales are still down and that would not have changed, but the profit margins might have been high enough to keep it and just add an "Active" version. Hard to say for sure. And yes that would present an issue for factory capacity but maybe they wouldn't have cancelled the new Mexico factory.

youngest just bought a Sport a couple of weeks ago, loves it

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