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Ford Fusion steals away potential Toyota and Honda owners
by Ryan Roff on October 14, 2009
In the past year, its been difficult to deny the superiority of Toyota in the hybrid arena--even for the most loyal American car buyers. By almost every calculation, the Toyota hybrids have simply been better. Ford is starting to believe, however, with the most recent Fusion numbers, that it is no longer a Toyota auto empire.
During the near collapse of two out of the three big automakers in Detroit, when things looked most bleak, Ford developed a plan and pushed through the turbulent waters knowing better days were ahead. The plan was not to back down from a previously Toyota hybrid saturated market, but instead launch a full scale attack with cars that deliver competitive MPGs and efficiencies.
The result, cars likes the mid-sized 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan that compete in MPGs and ride like an American built sedan.
The 2010 Fusion hybrid can achieve up to 41 MPGs and has seen drivers achieve up to 1,440 miles on one tank of gas, with certain driving techniques used of course. Undoubtedly, the MPG margin continues to shrink as Ford implements newer technologies that save consumers at the pump.
In fact, the margin has been cut so much that consumers on the edge are now turning to the Fusion, a car that claims to be the most fuel efficient mid-sized car on the road. Sure, out of all categories of cars it may not be the most fuel efficient model (the 2010 Prius offers 51 city MPGs), but it does appear to be appealing to a certain niche market.
David Finnegan, Ford's marketing manager, claims Ford hybrid sales are up 73% and of those buying Ford hybrids, 60% were not previous Ford owners. A huge number considering the hardest customers are often the ones switching from other companies.
I guess there is something to be said about buying a Ford. Consumers are willing to pay the extra buck and sacrifice a few MPGs for the extra room and comfort of a Ford sedan.
All Ford needed to do was compete, and sure enough the flocks migrated from other car manufacturers to Ford.
Maybe its that consumers want to support the American auto industry or maybe its the long Ford history or maybe its even that consumers believe the Ford model, from engine to interior, is just better. Whatever it is, its producing surprising sales that were once captured primarily by Toyota.