By now, it’s hardly a secret: sales of cars have been on a downward trend for several years now, due in large part to the exploding popularity of SUVs, crossovers and trucks right across North America. While compact cars have been holding their own relatively well, mid-size and larger cars have taken a significant beating on the market.
Ford has not been spared by this upheaval. Though the company is on the verge of launching an all-new Focus, things now appear less than certain for that model’s larger sibling, the Ford Fusion, which has suffered through a third consecutive year of declining sales in the United States. In Canada, its 9,736 units sold in 2017 place it well behind the likes of the Toyota Camry (14.574) and the Honda Accord (13,504), both of which benefited from updates and upgrades for 2018. Families opting for the Oval Blue on their vehicles are increasingly going the utility route: The Ford Escape (47,880), Edge (19,967) and even Explorer (17,333) all outsold the beleaguered Fusion last year.
The problem is not Ford’s alone within the industry, of course. But The Detroit News has reported that the North American revamp of the Fusion, scheduled for 2020, has been shelved by the automaker. Ford CEO Jim Hackett has been looking at reorganizing the company’s vehicle lineup and reducing production costs to take into account new market realities, and the Fusion may well become a victim of the changes to come.
In a bid to reassure consumers, a spokesperson for the automaker stated that the “Fusion remains an important part of the Ford lineup for years to come”, and that it will offer “even more new fresh features”. It is possible that instead of Ford producing a wholly-new generation of the model, an upgraded version may see the light of day, as was done in the case of the Escape in 2017.
On the other hand, it’s worth remembering that Ford decided to move production of the Fusion to China beginning in 2020, and that the vehicles assembled there will not be exported to North America. What will happen to the model then? Time will tell…
You can always check out our review of the 2017 Ford Fusion Sport!