Ford Motor Company is allegedly nixing plans to produce the third-generation Ford Fusion sedan in North America. The news comes as the automaker is informing suppliers it has no plans to produce the car here, which is spurring speculation of the sedan’s possible death.
The report comes from Automotive News citing supplier and other unnamed sources. The sources state that during discussions between Ford and Fusion suppliers the automaker has mentioned it is no longer planning to produce the Fusion in Hermosillo, Mexico. Hermosillo is currently producing the Fusion.
Ford also publicly confirmed on Wednesday that it is not planning to import the next-generation Fusion from China. The confirmation came after a Reuters report suggested the company would consolidate Fusion and Mondeo production to China.
“We have no plans to export the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo from China to North America and Europe,” Ford said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
Ford has already confirmed plans to consolidate Focus production to China for the next generation. The plan reverses a previous decision to produce the next Focus at a new $1.6 billion assembly plant in Mexico. New Ford CEO Jim Hackett halted plans for the new plant and opted to shift production to China.
It is not yet clear what Ford plans to do with the Fusion sedan. Assuming today’s report is accurate that North American production will end, and there are no plans to export the car from China, it is possible the car is on death row. It is also possible it could be replaced by a new model of some kind.
The next-generation Fusion is due out in 2020 as a 2021 model.
Ford is on the record as stating that pruning some sedans from its lineup may be necessary going forward as the company feels consumer shifts to crossovers and SUVs are permanent. Will the Fusion be pruned from the lineup? It’s sounding like a real possibility.