MSNBC Commentator Calls Ford Fusion a Mistake
July 14th, 2007 12:59 PM Share
Poor Ford Motor Company! Even when FoMoCo produces a good car, the product is still weighed down by the stigma of Tempos and Escorts of yore. In his latest column, MSNBC 's Roland Jones takes stock of the Ford Fusion's dismal sales in June 2007 (12,435 examples sold), what it means for FoMoCo, and how they can generate Impala-like numbers (35,489 examples sold). In this bread-and-butter segment so thoroughly dominated by Camcords, Jones asserts that people don't want an import-clone from a domestic automaker. He's right. Fighting Toyota and Honda on their own turf is a losing battle for Detroit. The market has shown a willingness to buy boldly-styled, rear-wheel drive Americana from America. That's what Ford should build.
Published July 14th, 2007 12:53 PM
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I wonder how much profit Ford has made selling Fusions this year. I bet it is hardly enough to keep UAW in Viagra or the Execs in Jet-A. Ford cannot compete in low-profit production…Not even if they win a 30% pay-cut from the UAW. Ford’s legacy costs and debt service costs are, um, really costly. It's like De Beers selling Cubic Zirconia.
I mentioned it before, but I'm thinking about it more now, and I wonder... Is it viable for Ford to drop the Fusion from it's line and use the Mustang based Interceptor in it's place as their sedan offering? Leave the FusilanKZ model to Mercury and Lincoln and use the Interceptor to go after the "American Bad Ass" sedan loving crowd? The folks that want a Ford snoozer sedan can buy a Taurus and there would be a compelling reason for family types to consider the Mercury (which I have yet to see on the street here)
I like the Fusion and would have bought one but for the lack of headroom. It's a nice car but has room for improvement. Hopefully Ford will keep tweaking it rather than leave it alone for 7 years and wonder why it doesn't sell... The numbers surprise me. I see these things quite a lot in Louisville.
I enjoyed all the replies. I believe that historically the big 3 have waged a catchup marketing response over the past 15 years to Honda and Toyota in the sedan market. More recently, they are in the same position with small and midsize trucks and suv's. Ford's offerings in particular have been unremarkable. Toyota and Honda have incrementally built brand loyalty over decades, something I'm not sure our current crop of Jack Welch wannabes would understand. They deserve to reap the rewards of that investment, namely higher sale prices and profits. I owned a 1st gen Subaru Legacy wagon because my son played travel hockey and we lived in the snowbelt of upstate NY. Although there was nothing about its performance or styling that was earthshattering, I was impressed by its overall build quality, content level and balance of the AWD powertrain. In the winter, it was a hoot to drive, actually a challenge to induce it to lose traction. The current Subies are all refinements to this original powertrain and chassis, once again an investment. To me the Fusion is a great start, Ford needs to stick with it, refine it, morph it into cuv and wagon variants. I have driven rental Camrys and the package does not impress. If Ford can keep the content level and quality high at a competitive price and warranty, I would consider buying it for the overall value. At this time, I will not pay the premium that Camcords enjoy in the marketplace. I personally don't care where the components in the car are from, as long as they are of high quality. The soccer moms are the ones to impress. They want security and looks (no minivans). Actually they have moved over to suv's for the "command' seating". I am pulling for Big Blue.