Ford Motor Company set bigger goals for its Fusion model, targeting even further than just outpacing the crowned Toyota Camry, all that while being rather expensive in regard to its competitor.
The Fusion’s sale surge – 13% so far this year – has cut a quarter of Camry’s sales lead, demonstrating how much consumers care about attractive design and has also shown how aggressively U.S. carmakers can now compete in all segments. Now, Ford is testing with additional supply the staying power of a more than $2,300 per-sale premium that Fusion has commanded this year over America’s longtime best-selling car, the Camry.
“Ford has managed to be a volume player competitive with the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord while still maintaining a far more competitive price point,” said Alec Gutierrez, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book. “You might see prices come down a few hundred dollars, but I don’t think they face any significant risk of serious price degradation. They’re going to hold their premium spot in the segment.”
The Fusion is Ford’s best shot at eventually reclaiming the car-sales crown it last held in the 1990s heyday of the Taurus. The good sales have also overwhelmed capacity at the only plant where the model has been made. In Hermosillo, Mexico, the assembly plant couldn’t make more than about 350,000 Fusions and Lincoln MKZ sedans. The Mustang assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, has now hired 1,400 employees to produce as many as 100,000 more Fusions.