The Detroit News has gotten its hands on a letter Ford sent to suppliers in November announcing the cancelation of the Fusion's planned mid-life refresh, originally scheduled for 2020. The Fusion itself has not been canceled, but if this letter is to be believed, it will continue to be produced in its present form for the remainder of the current model's lifecycle.
In light of rumors of production ending in the U.S. which we reported on last month, this is not good news for the Fusion as we know it. Sales of the Fusion decreased consistently throughout 2017, putting it on track to be outsold by both the Explorer and Expedition for the year.
It's old news that crossovers and SUVs are outselling sedans across the industry, not just at Ford. With Ford moving Focus production to China and dropping the Fiesta in the U.S. entirely, it sets a precedent that the Fusion may be on its way out, as well as the Taurus which The Detroit News previously reported could be discontinued as early as 2018.
But Ford is holding its cards close to its chest. Product Development Communications Specialist Austin Stowe told The Drive, "Ford Fusion remains an important part of the Ford lineup for years to come with even more new fresh features on the way. We will have more news to share in the future."
If Ford is to keep any of its sedans, the Fusion would be the best choice. Most Fiesta and Focus customers have opted for the more practical hatchback versions of the car. The Taurus has not been particularly popular, perhaps because most people wanting a vehicle that large might as well just get a crossover/SUV. Law enforcement agencies seem to agree, with most choosing the Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility instead of the Taurus-based Police Interceptor.
So while the Fusion isn't dead yet, Ford may have removed it from life support. The lack of a refresh will only make it that much more outdated by the early 2020s when the facelifted Fusion was supposed to arrive. Hopefully the "new fresh features on the way" will be enough to allow it to remain competitive in an ever-shrinking sedan market.