Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally said that the elegant new Fusion sedan is claiming superiority over the sales of Toyota Motor Corp.'s Camry. Executives said that this isn’t actually what Mulally wants. Researcher IHS Automotive said that Ford couldn’t possibly build enough Fusions to sell more than the Camry, the No. 1 car in the U.S. for the last 10 years.
What Mulally is aiming for with Fusion is to strike a balance between getting top dollar for each car and achieving higher sales.
In an interview, Jim Farley, Ford's global marketing chief, said that the “right mix” will be attained between price and volume. He said that instead of targeting the No. 1 position, the company is actually more concerned about “getting the right price point and the right kind of people to buy the car."
The approach that Ford has taken with Fusion is a stark contrast to the industry’s goal to get the highest sales. General Motors Co. took back its global sales top rank last year after beating Toyota.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen AG aims to take the lead by 2018. Mercedes-Benz and BMW battled to replace Lexus as the leader in U.S. luxury sales even as they continued to fight with Audi for the global title.
The Fusion shows the critical line between maximizing sales and maximizing profits. Right after the Fusion was presented at the Detroit Auto Show, it received a lot of praises. Its sleek redesign, which is reminiscent of the styling from the Jaguar and Aston Martin brands Ford once owned, is credited for having increased the interest in the Fusion on the Edmunds.com car-shopping website by 49%.