Ford is expanding Fusion incentives to clear out inventories

Article by Anita Panait, on February 24, 2014

Ford Motor Co. is offering increased incentives on its Fusion sedan to help clear out the rising inventories. Ford is now offering the Fusion with zero-percent financing for 60 months plus $1,000 cash back. Ford is likewise offering leases with no money due at signing and no first payment; or discounts of up to $3,000 for buyers who refuse the financing and make a trade-in.

According to dealers and analysts, Ford’s latest offers are the most generous deals on the Fusion since the current generation was rolled out in 2012. "The car is selling, but not as fast as they're building them," said Larry Taylor, owner of Beau Townsend Ford in Vandalia, Ohio. "They've buried us."

Taylor remarked that he has sold only 17 units so far this month, and still has 90 on his lot. In addition, the dealership will receive 100 in the near future. Ford had a 97-day supply of the Fusion as of Feb. 1, up from 84 days as of Jan. 1, according to the Automotive News Data Center.

Fusion sales dropped 8 percent year-over-year in January, but still outsold the Honda Accord by 113 units. Sales of the Fusion as well as mid-sized cars have slumped in the past six months, coinciding with when the carmaker started output of the model at its Michigan site to ease inventory shortages.

The mid-sized car segment exceeded 200,000 units a month from February through August 2013, but has since failed to reach that figure each month.

Snowstorms and cold weather also slowed down sales in January, allowing inventories to grow. Ford's chief sales analyst Erich Merkle remarked that he is confident that Fusion inventories will drop as the weather warms up. He also remarked that Ford plans to be disciplined with incentives, yet "maintain a competitive position." He noted that despite the incentives, the Fusion still commands the segment's highest transaction prices.

Having a sleek profile and a new design, the new Fusion will be the latest from Ford’s series of vehicles developed to meet the needs of customers worldwide that prefer vehicles having game-changing appearance, helpful technologies, and excellent fuel efficiency. The new Fusion follows the 2012 Focus small cars and the 2011 Fiesta subcompact.

With a commitment on high visual quality, the new Fusion is able to meet this objective through the use of enhanced materials, putting in attention to detail, and high level of craftsmanship. This latest offering from Ford will surely bring alive the brand’s next generation of vehicles that are more expressive. It will also be the first sedan to offer three versions, gas-powered, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid.

Each version is projected to offer a more engaging driver experience along with exceptional fuel economy. Group Vice-President of Global Product Development Derrick Kuzak said that the brand put together a global team to develop a midsize car from scratch. It needed to have fuel economy that was clearly exceptional with a design that is truly groundbreaking, he continued.

It was also important, Kuzak said further, that the new model would be equipped with technologies that would allow for better drivers and safer customers. This car was the result, he said. For the North American market, the Fusion will come in the S, SE, and the Titanium variants. It will also point to the Mondeo especially for the world markets.

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