Is The Ford Fusion America’s Best Shot At Unseating The Camry?

Despite suffering losses in numerous foreign markets, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) still has reasons to be proud and remain optimistic, at least domestically: its Fusion model has taken the front-runner position among American cars in the top five best-seller list in the U.S., for the midsize sedan market.

The latest Fusion — a sleek, refreshed approach to Ford’s mid-range sedan — represents a growing force in the American auto industry. The vehicle is giving foreign car manufacturers a run for their money as auto sales continue to pick up after a multi-year slump. Ford’s flagship offers numerous options and perks that historically have been found in more premium brands, and its hybrid sibling brings superior fuel economy to the segment. The Fusion has been selling for higher prices than the other vehicles in its price bracket, but still far less than the luxury divisions, situating it neatly in between.

The Fusion still falls short of Toyota’s (NYSE:TM) Camry, the number one selling vehicle in the U.S. for the past 11 years, and Honda’s (NYSE:HMC) Accord. However, the success that the new Fusion has brought in its short life has sparked cautious optimism that American manufacturers will be able to compete against a weaker yen.

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Higher prices and faster rates of sales over the Camry and Accord have caused Bloomberg analyst Kevin Tynan to believe that the model is more than just a two-month wonder, and that its performance may be more sustainable. “Ford’s turning them faster, they’re doing it at higher transaction prices and lower incentives, and the volume’s there,” Tynan said. “If volume was there but you see a decreasing trend in pricing or increasing trend in incentives, that would suggest maybe this isn’t sustainable.”

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