Increase sales? Increase ride height.
It was only a couple of months ago that, to the shock of the world, Ford announced that it had taken an axe to almost its entire passenger car lineup, with only the Mustang and Focus Active spared from the purge, and focus on high-margin SUVs and utes. It was a decision made by incoming CEO Jim Hackett during a quarterly earnings call, in a bid to streamline their offerings and better address market demands going forwards.
A victim of the purge was the venerable Ford Fusion (which may be more familiar to us as the Mondeo). Once the go-to family saloon, the Fusion’s sales have dropped in recent years (along with its siblings) in light of the increased popularity of SUVs, and we were sad to see it go. However, it might not be all over for the Fusion nameplate through, if a Bloomberg report proves to be on the nose.
They’re saying that the name will be affixed to a “sport wagon,” also known as a crossover-estate to those who are less American. Suggested that it may take on the moniker of Fusion Active, the name will be sported by a high-riding Subaru Outback-esque vehicle that may just have enough in it to hop onto the SUV craze.
“They spent hundreds of millions of dollars for brand equity in that Fusion name. Not US$10-million or US$20-million, but hundreds of millions. The smart thing is to play on that brand equity.” — Rhett Ricart, a US Ford dealer
The Fusion Active, if it comes to fruition, will be built on the mould of the Mondeo estate that we’ve had since 2015. And following the mould of the Focus & Fiesta Active, expect to find generous gatherings of body cladding and a raised right height to justify its ‘Active’ suffix, with model introduction most likely sometime in 2020.