DETROIT — With U.S. gross sales of greater than 1.6 million this yr, the midsize household sedan is under no circumstances useless. However relatively than idly watching to see if the tip occurs, Ford Motor Co. is making ready to halt North American manufacturing of its top-selling automobile on this nation, the Fusion.
The automaker advised suppliers final week that it was canceling plans to construct the next-generation Fusion, beginning in 2020, on the plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, that makes the present model of the automobile, sources with information of the discussions advised Automotive Information. It is unclear whether or not Ford would cease promoting the Fusion within the U.S., exchange it with a distinct car or construct it elsewhere. A Ford spokesman declined to remark.
The transfer could be in keeping with Ford and different automakers’ pivot towards utility automobiles to capitalize on shifting shopper demand and prioritize extra worthwhile automobiles amid plateauing U.S. gross sales. Though some outliers, akin to Toyota and Volkswagen, proceed to put money into sedans, different automakers are offshoring manufacturing or dropping nameplates.
Within the U.S., Ford plans so as to add 5 crossover nameplates by 2020, whereas most of its mass-market automobiles are being pushed apart. The Fiesta, in-built Mexico, probably can be discontinued right here someday after the EcoSport small crossover arrives in 2018. Focus manufacturing is shifting from Michigan to China; C-Max output ends subsequent yr; and Ford is anticipated to kill the U.S. model of the Taurus.
Ford’s strikes come after Fiat Chrysler Cars stopped making the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart and Common Motors’ Buick model axed the U.S. model of its Verano compact final yr.
The Fusion could be the highest-volume automobile to exit of manufacturing in North America because of the crossover growth, marking a dramatic twist within the lifetime of a nameplate that was key to Ford’s turnaround after the recession almost a decade in the past. As lately as final yr, Ford was constructing the Fusion in each Michigan and Mexico to fulfill demand.
Ford is within the midst of reviewing its product portfolio underneath new CEO Jim Hackett. Executives stated in October that Ford would supply fewer automobile nameplates however didn’t supply specifics.
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