Ford Reportedly Cancels Plans for 2020 Fusion Redesign

If true, this is another victory for SUVs in their battle against cars.

Ford

The continuing downward turn in US sales of mid-size sedans may soon claim another casualty: . Ford has canceled plans for a 2020 redesign of the Fusion, according to the , which obtained a letter to suppliers stating as much. Although this doesn’t yet mean that the Fusion nameplate will be axed altogether, it puts its future into question as Ford reevaluates its car lineup.

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At this point, it seems most likely that the current Fusion, which has been around since 2012, will continue to be sold for a few more years without major changes. A Ford spokesperson told Car and Driver in a statement that “new fresh features” are coming for the Fusion in the future, which suggests a minor freshening rather than a full redesign. Sales have been declining recently as the Fusion ages and faces stiff competition from the likes of and . Ford’s popular Escape crossover, meanwhile, increased sales an incremental 0.4 percent, to 308,296 units in 2017, despite the fact that it, too, has gone several years without a redesign. In 2017, Fusion sales dropped 21 percent to 209,623, a far cry from the Accord’s 322,655 units and the Camry’s 387,081 total.

The cancellation of the planned redesign raises many questions for the Fusion’s status after the current model runs its course. It’s possible that Ford could be restructuring the Fusion’s place in the lineup, and the likely cancellation of could play a part in the realignment. Newly minted Ford CEO Jim Hackett suggested to the Detroit News that the Fusion could grow larger in the future to play to the American taste for bigger vehicles. This may also signal that the Fusion may eventually diverge from its European twin, the Mondeo, which is reportedly ending production soon.

Ford’s manufacturing will play a large role in the Fusion’s future as well; US versions of the sedan are currently built at a plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, where Ford has already reduced output. The for the United States will soon be imported to our shores from a new production location in China, where a new mid-size Fusion for the China market will also be built. Ford has denied reports, however, that this new Fusion will come to the United States.

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Put all this together, and it’s looking increasingly likely that the Fusion won’t exist in America past 2020 or so—at least, not in its current mid-size sedan form. We’ll keep our ear to the ground to see if we can find anything more out about Ford’s evolving passenger-car plans in the near future.

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