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Is Toyota Next to Pare Back its Passenger Car Line?

US CEO “taking a hard look” at model mix in the era of the SUV.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.06, 2018

No longer #1; the Camry is just one of the Toyota passenger car models losing momentum.

With the exception of the Mustang, Ford is winding down production of passenger cars. Fiat Chrysler has eliminated almost all of its sedans and coupes, as well. In an era when SUVs have come to rule the roads, could Toyota be far behind?

While we’re not likely to see the Camry or Corolla nameplates vanish anytime soon, the Japanese giant is also rethinking its model mix and could toss some of its sedans, coupes and hatchbacks as it puts more of an emphasis on sport and crossover-utility vehicles, according to the head of its North American operations.

Beyond the Headlines!

“We are taking a hard look at all the segments we compete in, to make sure we are competing in profitable segments and that products that we sell have strategic value to the brand,” Jim Lentz told the Wall Street Journal.

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2019 Fusion to Be Ford’s “Most Technologically Sophisticated Sedan Ever”

But is the Fusion nameplate going to be around much longer?

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.20, 2018

The 2019 Ford Fusion Energi will boost its EV-mode range from 21 to 25 miles.

There’s been plenty of speculation in recent months about the long-term fate of the Ford Fusion but, at least for now, it will remain an anchor of the automaker’s sedan line-up and get some major new technologies for 2019.

The emphasis will be on safety, the 2019 Fusion introducing Ford’s new Co-Pilot360 driver assistance suite, company officials revealed during a background session ahead of the midsize model’s official debut at the New York International Auto Show next week. They also confirmed a big increase in EV-mode range for the plug-in hybrid version of the Fusion.

Stay Plugged In!

“The 2019 Fusion will be the most technologically advanced Ford sedan ever,” said Corey Holter, Ford’s Car Group Marketing Manager, during a media briefing in Detroit on Tuesday.

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First Drive: 2017 Ford Fusion Sport

Midsize function with sports-car performance and handling.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Aug.31, 2016

Ford took the wraps off the 2017 Fusion Sport revealing a snarling beast under the hood.

When Ford Motor Co. pulled the wraps off the 2013 Fusion sedan, it sent heads turning. It was as striking and game-changing a design as any the automaker had rolled out since the launch of the original Ford Taurus nearly three decades earlier.

The midsize model was handsome and distinctive in a segment largely known for look-alike styling. And it was reasonably well-equipped, as well, offering a range of high-tech gear as part of Ford’s strategy of “democratizing” advanced safety and infotainment systems. What it needed, however, was a little more muscle.

Product News!

Now, the carmaker has addressed that shortfall. The 2017 Ford Fusion Sport packs a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 under its nicely sculpted hood. But instead of just upgrading the sedan’s powertrain, the new model also boasts major suspension enhancements as well as some well-conceived tweaks to both its interior and exterior styling. (more…)

Spy Shots: 2016 Ford Fusion

by Paul A. Eisenstein on May.11, 2015

Ford doesn't plan to tinker too much with the success of its current Fusion design for 2016.

Few cars have scored such a big hit with an all-new design as the 2013 Ford Fusion. With its coupe-like silhouette and Aston-influenced grille, the sedan helped put Ford back on the list of serious midsize contenders. It even forced Toyota, long proud of its plain vanilla designs, to get serious about styling with the 2015 mid-cycle refresh of its Camry model.

Don’t expect to see anything nearly as radical from Ford next year. In the old days, they called what’s coming for Fusion a mid-cycle “refresh,” but this facelift is modest, at most, and really little more than a nose job.

Our Spies Work for You!

What you can see, and what you will get is an almost carryover body for the upcoming midsize Ford, including same-same in roof, doors, hood and other major body panels. Changes to the headlights, taillights and rear bumper might be modest enough to be missed by anyone but an owner of the current Fusion model.

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