Ford is reportedly hanging on to the Fusion nameplate – one it has spent years and millions of dollars cultivating.
The news that Ford plans to kill off nearly all its sedan models in favor of trucks and crossovers is still ringing in our ears. When the news broke in late April, we knew the Mustang and Focus nameplates would survive. Obviously, Ford knows better than to discontinue one the Mustang, and the Focus name will live on as a crossover. However, the C-Max, Fiesta, Fusion and Taurus would inevitably perish, as would the Focus sedan and hatchback. However, those in the know on Ford’s plans see a different future for the Fusion, according to a Bloomberg report.
The Fusion sedan will still exit the market, likely by 2021. However, the company now reportedly will attach the Fusion name to a sport wagon instead of killing it off completely. The idea is to create a new competitor to the Subaru Outback, a model which has enjoyed enduring popularity through the years. Bloomberg states the Ford will replace the Fusion sedan with “a high-roofed hatchback built on the same mechanical underpinnings”, referencing two people knowledgeable of the company’s future product plans.
Back in February, Ford invited TFL and a range of other journalists to their “Ford Uncovered” event. During that event, we saw plans of a new Explorer, a new Escape, a new small off-road SUV and, of course, the return of the Bronco. Ford updated the Fusion for the 2019 model year, but didn’t mention any new derivative model at the time.
Cultivating a brand
The future of the Fusion has been a bit foggy these past few months. Ford recently introduced a new Hybrid Taxi model, which seemed a bit weird if the company planned to cull the name from the marketplace. They’ve also been testing Fusions as self-driving cars within the past few months. Ford unequivocally mentioned the Taurus will cease production in March 2019 and the Fiesta will follow shortly behind it in May. Those two make sense: the Taurus’ sales have languished, and the Fiesta has already been redesigned, but not for the U.S. market.
Ford has spent years and many millions cultivating the Fusion name. Now, they seem to be keen on keeping the nameplate around. Wagons are regaining some share in the marketplace, so it makes sense for Ford to reimagine a new Fusion as a wagon model. There, it may compete against the likes of the Subaru Outback as well as the Buick Regal TourX and the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.
Trucks, SUVs and even crossovers enjoy better sales and higher profit margins than sedans. A wagon may split the difference between the crossover rock and sedan hard place, but we’ll see if the Fusion wagon comes to fruition. Ford has yet to officially confirm any news of a new Fusion. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more updates!