Ford Motor Company has allegedly canceled plans to redesign the Ford Fusion sedan. The cancellation of the program is launching new speculation regarding the sedan’s future in North America.
In a note sent to suppliers in November, Ford informed its partners that it has canceled CD542N, the program code used internally to identify the next-generation Fusion. The confidential note was obtained by The Detroit News, who also corroborated its content with other sources.
This news comes just a few weeks after reports surfaced that plans to produce the next Ford Fusion in North America have been nixed. Now that both production and program are dead, it casts significant doubt on rather or not the Fusion nameplate will remain in the Ford lineup much longer in North America. Plans for a redesigned Fusion for the Chinese market remain unchanged.
Sources have told The Detroit News that the Fusion has a place in the Ford lineup for the next three years or so.
It is worth noting that canceling the redesign program does not automatically mean the car is dead. It certainly means Ford CEO Jim Hackett is rethinking Ford’s portfolio strategy and may or may not have a place for the Fusion nameplate in the future. Hackett has made public comments recently suggesting consumers prefer a larger vehicle than the Fusion, but did not offer details of his thinking.
Given that Fusion sales are down over 20 percent in 2017 as consumers flock to crossovers and SUVs, it comes as little surprise that the automaker is apparently evaluating the future of its top-selling sedan.