Number one can be a blessing, and a curse – just ask Toyota, who quickly fell the top spot. Manufacturers who chase volume exclusively often find it comes at the expense of quality and profit margins. The better choice is to make more money on each unit, thanks to profit-enhancing options. Unfortunately a lot of manufacturers set their goals according to volume. Ford in recent times has taken a more quality over quantity approach than ever before.
The newest models are now positioned as more premium entrants – examples being the current Taurus and the Focus. The Focus in particular is more upscale and includes a myriad of technology and luxury options. This is helping to increase profit margins per model. The 2013 Fusion looks to follow in the footsteps of these cars.
The current Fusion, which was updated in 2010, has set a torrential sales pace. Last year a record amount of Fusions were sold, despite it being at the end of its life-cycle. You would only assume the 2013 Fusion, which is on a whole other level inside and out, would continue this record.
In fact with all this momentum, taking the top spot in the mid-size sedan sales race wouldn’t seem to be a stretch. Ford says this isn’t their goal though – and even if it was, it may not even be attainable. That’s because Ford says they can produce a maximum of about 400,000 Fusions a year. We think they could push a bit more than they if they really wanted to, but Toyota on the other hand has 500,000 units of capacity at its two plants in Indiana and Kentucky.
The current Camry isn’t running at capacity though. This year, Toyota expects to produce about 414,000 Camrys. Ford, on the other hand, projects that the 2013 Fusion will reach 310,000 units. The final total will probably be north of that. Ford’s head of marketing, Jim Farley, has this to say:
“Between price and volume, we’ll sort out the right mix. I don’t think we’re very enamored with being number one just to be number one. We’re much more enamored with the right price point and right kind of people to buy the car.” Bottom line is Fusion is expected to continue to set sales records. That is as good of a place to start as any.