The Ford Fusion will live by its name, at least for another generation, but in the form of a “sport wagon” to compete with the Subaru’s popular Outback, people familiar with the plans told Bloomberg today.
Although the report doesn’t mention it, its production is likely to remain in Hermosillo, Sonora, where local media has been speculating about a Ford plan to build an SUV in there. Some of them even reported that the assembly facility is already under tooling process in order to begin the preproduction phase in the last quarter of 2018.
This version has been confirmed by suppliers like Martinrea, a Canada-based manufacturer of forged and stamped metal components, which announced in its first quarter report that it was awarded a contract to supply parts for an “upcoming crossover” to be built in Hermosillo.
The main reason for the nameplate to remain in place, says the report, is because Ford auto dealers asked for it. They say the Fusion name is well placed among consumers as a symbol of quality. “The smart thing is to play on that brand equity,” said Rhett Ricart, on of the brand’s top dealers, whose showroom is located in Ohio. “There’s no doubt that we’ve built up equity in that name,” said another dealer, 89-year-old Jack Kain, from Kentucky. “We can’t let that go.”