One of the cars that got the most attention at the NAIAS this year was the Ford Fusion. A lot of people compared it to Aston Martin. Baruth said it’s a better looking Aston than the Rapide. Ford spent a lot of money on A-M when they owned it and Ian Callum was paid well while Ford owned A-M and then Jaguar, so if anyone is entitled to borrow this look, it is FoMoCo. With the new Fusion, Ford is clearly the styling leader in the midsize segment, the heart of the market. Toyota just introduce the new Camry and GM is slowly rolling out the new Malibu, starting with a hybrid, and the new Fusion makes them look old-fashioned. If Ford can get their act together in terms making MyFordTouch more user friendly (and giving basic HVAC and audio controls knobs and switches) they’ll probably sell every Fusion they can build, about 400,000. Toyota can build about a half million US market Camrys a year, so Ford isn’t shooting for the segment leadership. Ford says they are focusing of profitability. If demand outstrips supply the new Fusion should start getting higher average transaction prices.
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