By on December 13, 2017

2017 Ford Fusion Sport Front 3/4, Image: © 2017 Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars

It’s no secret that the American buying public shuns four door sedans as if they were an especially virulent leper. Through the first 11 months of this year, the segment is off by over 300,000 units. Almost every car is down, even the spanking-new Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

Reuters now reports that three of its sources claim Ford plans to consolidate global production of midsize sedans in 2020. The cars will be built in China and shipped to the United States and Europe.

The Fusion is due for a redesign around the same time, so it’s not a stretch to imagine Ford will take the opportunity to tool up a plant elsewhere in preparation for production. Currently, the Blue Oval’s midsize sedan is built at Ford’s plant in Hermosillo, Mexico.

On Twitter, a Ford official was quick to respond. Mike Levine, Ford North America Product Communications Manager and always a quick draw on the social media platform, had the following to say:

Hmm. If one reads creatively between the lines, it could be extrapolated that they have no plans to export the next-gen Fusion from China to America simply because they’re not going to offer it here at all.

It should be noted that recently-minted CEO Jim Hackett has taken several cost-cutting measures, trimming costs like a butcher trims a steak and reducing the number of inefficiencies he has identified inside the Glass House.

Ford has already said some of its Focus production is moving to China by 2019 and, as recently as last month, announced a joint venture agreement with a Chinese company to start producing all-electric cars within the borders of China. That deal created a new entity, Zotye Ford Automobile Co. Ltd., for which the two companies will hold equal stakes. Despite the bleating on Twitter, it sure seems like the table is being set for a lot more Blue Ovals to be built in China.

The Fusion ranks fourth in its segment behind the Camry, Accord, and Altima. So far in 2017, it has found 192,179 buyers — a 22 percent decrease compared to this time last year.

[Image: © 2017 Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars]

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86 Comments on “Have You Driven a 涉 Lately? Production of Ford Fusion May Move to China...”


  • avatar
    Syke

    Counting down for the first “I ain’t buying no Chinese made crap,” comment in 3 . . . 2 . . . .1 . . . .

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    MAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

    Mark Baruth

    and

    Jack Baruth are MAAAAAGGGGAAINNNG SO HARD RIGHT NOW THE FAPP IS STRONG!!!!

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      Jack will commit to buying a domestically made vehicle for 10x the Chinese price, unless he buys one made in Germany, or Mexico, or……….

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The Baruths are all in for Trump, on their knees, so to speak.

        Mark Baruth is driving a German-made Focus (a hideous abomination,) while big bro’ Jack just purchased an Hecho En Mexico Silverado, despite his recent cries of poverty (he’s near setting up a gofundme site to raise $1,800 for web hosting expenses for Cabrini…errr, Riverside Green.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          DW, what gives? Did one of them run over your dog or drop an ATS off at your house?

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            They were idiotic enough to go full Trump in the most ironically delicious of ways (voting against their self-interests may or may not register in their brains at some future date).

            Both parties truly only work for the bankers of Wall Street, Big Pharma, Insurance Cos, Big GMO Ag and Chemco, and Tech Titans of Silicon Valley…

            …but Trump has managed to successfully and monumentally fill the swamp to a much higher degree than anything previously seen in American History.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Both parties truly only work for the bankers of Wall Street, Big Pharma, Insurance Cos, Big GMO Ag and Chemco, and Tech Titans of Silicon Valley”

            True, and no politician has the balls to go after these cartels.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Since the sedan category is tanking, it does make sense to consolidate production somewhere. Why have multiple under capacity plants building the same car? The North American plants will be switched over to SUVs, crossovers, pickups, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      You can blame those Americans who think sedans are uncool and unmanly, and they all ended up buying SUVs and trucks and CUVs. Now they turn around and blame the manufacturers for not building it here, how dare they!

      I dare to say if Chrysler 200 were also made in China the model would still be around today, at least with some US made parts or R&D headcounts.

      The Chinese bought them, that’s why they made a bunch of them in China, and offer to sell some to the US to keep the model alive instead of cancelling like the Chrysler 200. Them entitled patriots just want other people to buy them but not themselves, because sedans are beneath them.

      Meanwhile those Camry and Accord buyers are still paying for US made “imports” because they are usually better quality than the patriotic junk shoved down their throats.

      MAGA, buy a Camry.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    BLASPHEMY!!!!!!!!!

  • avatar
    vwgolf420

    I thought our Dear Leader was going to usher in a Golden Age where we’d never see a Chinese product again because everything was going to be manufactured in coal mines in West Virginia. Believe me.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Our previous Dear Leader was supposed to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and families were supposed to save money under the health care law bearing his name. While I don’t disagree in the general sarcasm, three years to go on reducing Chinese goods, while other my points are already fact.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Speaking of reducing Chinese goods, Trump’s administration is now pursuing trade remedy cases against China without the involvement of the domestic industry. That hasn’t happened since the first Bush was in office. Jack brought up aluminum foil a few weeks ago, but aluminum sheet is where it’s at.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        @28-Cars-Later

        You do make a valid point on healthcare, but it was the Republican congress that kept blocking the closing of the Guantanamo bay detention camp.

        Your hate is misdirected.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Not so much hate, just another promise unfulfilled which I happened to agree with him on. Wiki explained both Democrats and Republicans passed laws preventing the terrorists from being transferred to onshore prisons, and the Obama admin started transferring them to other nations or let them go. I don’t know what the Congress thought the White House would do with them. I would have deferred to DoD and implied to disappear them as C-i-C. The entire episode was a farce in my opinion.

          “The camp was established by President George W. Bush’s administration in 2002 during the War on Terror. His successor, President Barack Obama, promised that he would close it, but met strong bipartisan opposition, with Congress passing laws to prohibit detainees from Guantanamo being imprisoned in the U.S. During Obama’s administration, the number of inmates was reduced from about 245[3] to 41;[4] most former detainees were freed and transferred to other countries”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guantanamo_Bay_detention_camp

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      He’s busy undoing 8 years of damage by the previous Dear Leader.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Turning Libya from one of the wealthiest countries in Africa into a failed state with literal slave trading in the city squares is all on neo-liberal Obama/Clinton my friend. Does not excuse Bush’s war mongering by any means, but more so points to a consistent trend of us sowing chaos in the world, whether it’s Blue or Red team in charge.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Disband the federal executive branch. Military can’t be deployed outside US borders without 2/3 vote in both houses. Supreme court justices are chosen by popular vote election.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            National Security Act of 1947 created the current national security state. All foreign and military policy flows through the NSC by design. The national security advisor is in fact the third, or I argue second, most powerful position in the world.

            If you like your country, you can’t keep your country.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      So far, everything our dear leader said was true. Like fake news. And he can easy do a trick on Ford by installing some ban of their Chinese-made cars

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        “”He’s busy undoing 8 years of damage by the previous Dear Leader.””

        If you study the facts and fairly, impartially make a judgement, you will find the above is TRUE !!!!

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Vwgolf420,
      From what I’ve read on TTAC many of the “lets isolate America” Trumpeters (& Baruthers), to make America great again are incorrect with some of the fallacies they hold;

      1. Make those cheap and nasty manufacturers be like us. Have the same or similar wages and work conitions.

      Will the US enter into a deal like this? Like the EU everyone will have input. Look at the foolish move by the UK and you can witness the slow degradation of their economy because they are becoming more isolated. Like Trump will do to the US.

      2. A more competitive market geared towards protecting the consumer/user/taxpayer in lieu of industry will create real jobs and economic activity that will improve standards of living. Again, look no further than the UK to witness standard of living decline.

      3. More real and not subsidised competition will see greater advancement of the consumer via investing in technologies that are needed, not wanted by a handful of industrialist and politicians feathering their own nests.

      I’m a capitalist, but the way the game is played now large business (incld politicians) are protecting themselves first at the expense of the consumer/taxpayer. This increases costs to the consumer at the expense of standard of living and all round progess.

      Countries need to open up.

      To make America Great again the above must change and Trump and the Dems will not be able to make the changes.

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    Not sure what the big advantage would be in producing all Fusions in China.

    Seems like the cost of Mexican labor is roughly the same as Chinese labor(???) Perhaps someone here knows the average auto wage paid in both countries?

    Also, Mexico enjoys many free trade agreements across Latin America, so why not just keep building them there?

  • avatar
    Fighter835

    I don’t care if I sound like an old man, I’m not buying a Ford made in China. Period.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Just out of curiosity, where was the computer or mobile device from which you posted this comment made?

      • 0 avatar
        N8iveVA

        There’s a big difference between a $300 item and a $30,000 item. Many small Chinese made items are hard to find a non Chinese made alternative, but as long as there are automotive options that are not made there, then that’s what i’m buying.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        South Korea but thanks for playing.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        And before you come in with the “but your computer” know that I have a Mac Pro. And all of my stereo equipment is either vintage Pioneer (Japan) with some 40s RCA stuff. I’d be crazy if I said I don’t have any Chinese stuff (I’m sure at least one TV and my projector is) but I do make an effort because I’m just not a fan of Commies.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        I’m a proud member of a demographic many are pulling for to become extinct – older white males. I $m a vet too. I too will never wash and wax a Chinese made car in my driveway. They can kiss my National Anthem-standing ass!

        • 0 avatar
          Michael Briggs

          Sir may I say if you look into where the parts of your current automobile is made you may find that quite upsetting give it a good overall look.

          The number one selling truck in the entire world is all an American name only…but is totally made by foreigners, and they are the Mexicans so the American dollars are supporting the Mexican families, when MOST.. Ford products are being sold.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Computer is apple. Car is woman. If the apple gets spoiled I throw it away and buy another one. If the woman is high maintenance, not loyal or unreliable, you don’t go into long-term relationship with her. In fact, I build my own machine, so mine is not made in China. And not single component in it is made in China.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        I expect a car to last longer than a phone or computer that’s junk in 2-3 years.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      This.

      And to answer DrZ, AKSHUALLY my 4 year old Moto X happens to be made in Fort Worth Texas. Sadly that plant was shuttered fairly quickly as the Moto series never quite fetched the prices or sales they thought they might.

      If the Chinese want to try and sell cars here, let them do it under their own brand names. Domestic nameplates with foreign production just gets under my skin. Conversely I’m happy when the Japanese or Koreans or Germans set up shop to manufacture here locally.

      Companies can most definitely make cars and the parts they are made of here in the US and still make a profit. I suggest that more so it is this constant drive to return maximum returns and maximize growth at the behest of activist investors looking for a short term payoff that is driving us to an outsourcing singularity. I just bought a fantastically well assembled and finely finished Remington 870 Express, made in Ilion NY not too far from where I grew up. If a factory in New York State of all places can still make a fine product like that and sell it at a very reasonable and competitive price, the same could be done for a whole bunch of other products (IMO). I looked at a cheaper Maverick 88 (assembled in Texas with Mexican-made parts) and while it’s a perfectly functional firearm, it was much cruder finished and felt nowhere as ‘tight.’ The Remington at $50 more was an easy choice to make.

      I think most of us assume prices would skyrocket many fold, but no I think the gap is nowhere as large as we are led to believe. Are the Envisions and Fusions going to be sold for half the price they are now? I don’t think so.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        “I suggest that more so it is this constant drive to return maximum returns and maximize growth at the behest of activist investors looking for a short term payoff that is driving us to an outsourcing singularity.”

        Which is exactly why this BS trickle-down tax plan isn’t going to suddenly create jobs or increase wages for everyday folks.

        Any publicly-traded company puts laborers at the absolute bottom of the food chain. If they could get the same work done without a single laborer, they would in a heartbeat.

        When times get tight, who gets laid off? 25 line workers making $25,000 or one VP making $500,000? It’s the same money, right? But it will always be the peons who lose their livelihood.

        I know where I work will benefit to the tune of tens of millions of dollars annually. But no one below the upper management level is gonna get a pay increase or a bonus if/when it happens.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      I bought a very reliable car assembled in Thailand 20 years ago. Don’t see why china can’t make a reliable car now.

    • 0 avatar
      ra_pro

      “Drumpf” you one, I am not buying a Ford period. Never have never will (BTW the same goes for Toyota).

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    1. The changeover in 2020 implies that Ford is going to try to ride the current Fusion for another two model years, by that time, the redesigned Camry and Accord (which have already been redesigned) will be halfway to their NEXT redesign.
    2. I’m not going to say I’ll NEVER buy a Chinese-made car, but made-in-America is important to me, so the odds of it happening are slight.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    And yet “foreign” car companies like Toyota and Honda can profitably build the same class of sedan here in the United States.

    But the “American” car companies have to use Chinese labor. Because of the UAW.

    American consumers will notice, its not the same as an iPhone.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      I suspect the Japanese are forced to build here as they have no choice due to whatever taxes are placed on them.

      However the Americans have a choice so they take Mexico and China.

      Also I would think that because so many parts are made in China then there’s synergies for the parts AND asembly to be at the same place rather than be shipped seperately accross the waters.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      And yet both Honda and Toyota have said no more significant US expansion because it costs too much here now.

      How quick the #maga set forgets.

      http://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/2017/01/05/trump-toyota-faces-big-tax-if-it-builds-corolla-cars-for-u-s-in-mexico.html

      https://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/05/toyota-honda-say-no-immediate-plans-to-curb-mexico-production.html

      Hint:

      UAW is evil because workers are paid $35ish an hour.

      Non-UAW plants in the south aren’t evil because they pay $27ish an hour, but alas those plants have done nothing to move the needle on poverty in those states. Oh wait a minute…

      Mexican autoworkers make on average about $5.50 an hour — hmmmm….

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        So you’d rather they build them in China than the “horrible” wage of $27 an hour in the United States?

        Who cares if Honda or Toyota doesn’t expand, still beats Ford moving production to China and closing plants.

        I guess now some are so enraged with politics that they are actively rooting against the American worker and manufacturing here because they are afraid it might be used in a campaign slogan.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Well you should go ahead and warn Subaru to stop expansion in Lafayette (planning on making 400k cars annually soon), and I guess Toyota and Honda should listen to you and reverse the recent openings of lines to produce the CRV in Greensburg IN and the big expansion of the Camry plant in Lexington (700 new hires IIRC).

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      whitworth,
      Appliance type car manufacturing in the US is not as profitable as you would like to think.

      Large vehicle manufacturing is, ie pickups, due to lack of competition from imports. To a lesser degree larger SUVs, also based on protected pickups.

      Where there are any imported products the US must compete globally, not regionally in NAFTA.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Well that’s one way to keep production out of Mexico I guess.

  • avatar
    V16

    Looks like the “Chinese stream” will become a river in the next few years.
    Buick Envision, Cadillac CT6 Hybrid, Ford Focus/Fusion, Volvo S90, with more to come.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    The move towards Chinese industrial dominance began in the 70’s and will continue to increase due to corporate greed and no president will be able to stop or slow it down. I started with trinkets and soon it will involve even aircraft and such.

  • avatar

    I will never buy car made in Japan.

    I will never buy car made in Korea.

    I will never buy car made in Mexico (only I just did).

    And rumour comes from … Fake news!

  • avatar
    dusterdude

    I guess it should have been MCGA?

  • avatar
    dusterdude

    I guess it should have been MCGA?

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    I wonder if Chinese made sedans could be sold cheaply enough to reverse the sales volume trend.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      When has corporate America given up shareholder equity when finding cost cuts by lowering consumer prices?

      Basically – never – unless the competitive pressure of supply and demand cause it. Airline prices didn’t go down when fuel costs were slashed in half, and seat occupancy rates didn’t change, they are making record profits. One small example but there are plenty of others, like the iPhone X, or a Denali trim GMC, or…

      The name of the game for a publicly traded company is shareholder equity, and institutional investors demand it.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Spot on analysis APaGttH.

      • 0 avatar
        Daniel J

        Lets not forget though, that the Airline struggled for years. Their net margins are now about on the scale of Walmart. For Example, American Airlines, from 2005 until about 2014, was at zero or negative profit margin.

        • 0 avatar
          ra_pro

          In fact I read 1 report a few years ago that said that the airline industry as a whole lost money since it started in the twenties and thirties. That means all airlines combined for all the years of their existence combined lost money. The authors didn’t have a good explanation why then there are always new airlines starting and more importantly why there are always investors willing to put their money in an industry that’s been a proven money loser.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      The price won’t go down. Not a chance. Shareholders aren’t the least bit interested in “passing savings on to the customer.”

  • avatar
    RS

    Will Ford be selling the Fusion after 2020? Maybe it will go the way of the Chrysler 200.

    But, if gas prices go up…

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    It is a bit comical to see many of the folks who whined about Mexican auto plants now complaining about off-shoring manufacturing from our friends south of our border to areas in Asia. I say okay then, build all American-branded vehicles, from bottom-of-the-line to top-line, in the US at the prevailing UAW wages in American assembly plants. Ensure that all parts included in building the vehicles are US-sourced. There will be a big (?) win by reducing the current shipping costs of the RO-RO ships bringing the new vehicles into coastal ports from factories in the Far East. Are the prices for these now 100% American-sourced vehicles increased pretty high due to supporting American-brand pricing that covers the fair costs of providing a negotiated living wage for American labor as well as the costs for the associated safe and eminently reasonable American workplace rules while observing reasonable and smart American environmental rules? Well then, consider Foreign-branded vehicles as a less expensive alternative. WHOOPS! The foreigners raised their prices to match the higher market prices for similar motor vehicles. Okay, now let’s work on shoe and garment manufacturing repatriation. Then, electronics. American made is a fine bullet-point. Living it might be somewhat difficult. Even the “whiners” I referred to in the first sentence will have problems.

  • avatar

    boycott Commie Cars. I’ve killed many, many Envasion deals,by educating the public and refusing to sell one.

  • avatar
    NN

    American car makers importing volume models from China sounds like bad business, no way that political bullet gets dodged. Sales will collapse further and Honda and Toyota will be rewarded further.

    Only way it works out is if they really think car sales are done, that tastes won’t change again, that crossovers/trucks will be the only private sales for eternity. That’s the bet FCA seems to be making, and Ford has made on the Focus already.

    Actually, there’s another way this works out. If all future generations starting in about 5 years never even take up driving, but instead are transported in automated electric vehicles via an uber like phone app. If this is really the complete future, then people won’t care if the electric pod picking them up was made in China or America, as it wasn’t their purchase. Then the whole supply chain might move to China.

    After all, with the thousands of new factories that have opened there in the past 20 years, the entire supply network already in place for the world’s largest market, and the armies of engineers their universities graduate; they have the most modern, cost effective, and capable workforce and industrial infrastructure. Even if their wages are higher than Mexican wages, or even ultimately American wages, the rest of the puzzle pieces are all there.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Is this the trump version of auto reporting? This article defines fake news.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    They took er jerbs!!!!

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