Fusion sales in the United States are down 22 percent through November 2017.
It looks like Ford will be sending more vehicle production to China. Reuters reports that the Blue Oval is planning to build the mid-size Fusion sedan in China when the model gets redesigned, a move that’s expected to occur in 2020. Currently, Ford builds the Fusion and its European twin, the Ford Mondeo, in Mexico and Spain. The move would consolidate the company’s global production of mid-size sedans in China.
It’s certainly not the first bit of news Ford has made this year in regards to production. Just last week a report surfaced about Ford shifting production of its forthcoming electric crossover to Mexico – a vehicle that was originally slated to be built in Flat Rock, Michigan alongside a new commercial autonomous car. That move was said to save the company enough money to further invest in the autonomous program at the Flat Rock plant, creating 170 new jobs in the process. On the flip side, the EV production was expected to bring 700 jobs to the Michigan facility.
Earlier this year, the company announced in a press release that Ford Focus production was moving to China from Mexico for the 2019 model year. In that announcement, Ford said the shift would not result in any U.S. jobs being lost, and would in fact help support a $900 million investment in the automaker’s Kentucky Truck Plant.
It seems China is becoming the new location of choice for automakers seeking to lower manufacturing costs. Since assuming control of the company in May, Ford CEO Jim Hackett has taken steps to cut costs while also expanding electric and autonomous development, two areas where the automaker has trailed other manufacturers. The company is also shifting away from sedans, with plans to trim production sharply while investing heavily into SUVs and crossover vehicles.
Through November, Ford’s total sales are down by 1.3 percent. That’s not a huge decline by any means, but the real story is that car sales overall have dropped 15.8 percent, with Fusion sales off a whopping 22 percent. Meanwhile, SUV sales have risen 2.4 percent and truck sales are up 4.9 percent.