Ford is ramping up Fusion output to cater to demand

Article by Anita Panait, on August 29, 2013

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Camry is the current leader is the race for the best-selling car crown in the United States. Ford Motor Co., however, is not taking chances as it braces to challenge the Camry’s dominance with its Fusion offering. Although the Fusion is being sold at around $2,300 higher than the Camry, Ford’s unit continues to eat away it rival’s sales lead, thanks to increasing demand for the American offering.

To cater to that surging demand, Ford has to increase the supply of the Fusion. The US carmaker is already preparing for that, as its assembly plant around 20 miles south of its headquarters in suburban Detroit will soon roll out Fusions from its production lines. But many do wonder if the increase in supply of the Fusion would lead to a decrease in price.

Alec Gutierrez, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book, told Bloomberg in a phone interview that Ford has managed to be a volume player competitive with the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord while maintaining “a far more competitive price point.”

He remarked that there might be some decrease in the Fusion’s prices, but only to a few hundred dollars. He added that Ford is not facing “any significant risk of serious price degradation,” and will be able to hold its premium spot in the segment. The Fusion saw its sales surge around 13 percent in the first seven months of 2013, allowing it trim a quarter of Camry’s sales lead.

This sales surge shows how much consumers are concerned about attractive design as well as how US carmakers could offer products in all segments. Increasing demand for Fusions has rendered Ford’s Hermosillo site in Mexico overwhelmed, as it could only produce up to 350,000 Fusions and Lincoln MKZ sedans annually.

Ford’s Mustang assembly site in Flat Rock, Michigan has increased it workforce by 1,400 people to build up to 100,000 more Fusions, allowing the carmaker to achieve production levels Toyota and Honda have with their Camry and Accord.

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