Have You Driven a Lately? Production of Ford Fusion May Move to China
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:
Ford has no plans to export the next-generation Fusion / Mondeo from China to North America and Europe. We will have more information to share about the next Fusion / Mondeo at a later date.
— Mike Levine (@mrlevine) December 13, 2017
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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They took er jerbs!!!!