We have continuously tried to defend the sedan segment of the automotive market, but as automakers create smaller SUVs that offer the efficiency you normally expect from a sedan, it becomes more difficult to defend this class of the market. We’ve seen the growth of the SUVs that have been built and offered with the thought that maybe the movement toward SUVs was simply a fad and would be short-lived. With the news that has recently surfaced, there seems to be a different school of thought when it comes to the sedans that we see offered.
Ford has announced there will be no next generation model of the Ford Fusion built in Mexico. This is currently the place the Fusion is built for North America with no plans to expand the production in any of the other plants that Ford has on the continent. We’re not even sure if the brand will build a new model to replace the Fusion or simply give this car the axe and move on toward the SUV models that have become a stronger part of the Ford sales plan over the past few years.
The Possibilities That Aren’t
As you look at the potential end of the Fusion production in Mexico, you might think the brand could simply bring the Mondeo from China or Spain and rebadge it as the Fusion. This is the same car and its built in two other areas of the world. It wouldn’t be the first vehicle from a domestic brand to be imported to the North American market, but this doesn’t appear to be the plan for Ford at all. In fact, the company has said they won’t import the Mondeo to the US in order to continually offer the Fusion for us to drive.
Instead of an import of the Mondeo, Ford has stated the sedan portfolio is due for a change because of the number that are offered and the waning interest in this segment. This gives us the thought the brand will move away from the sedans and toward the SUVs, which many brands have already done as well. This could make the Fusion one of the first high-volume sedan models to be deleted from the market and certainly shows a sign that the entire automotive market in the US is changing as we look toward the SUVs that will be built instead.
Does this mean the end of sedans around the world? Not at all, the Mondeo is a strong performer in both Europe and China which will continue to be built. This means if Ford chooses to bring back the Fusion in the future there will be a platform and a vehicle that will be offered that can be used to carry the name. With the desire for the SUVs that are being built, there is more likely to be smaller and more active SUVs from Ford with new names than the resurgence of the Fusion name for the future of driving in the US.