Friday, April 27, 2018

As Ford Pulls the Plug on Fusion, Taurus, Another Tire Drops in #DeathOfCar

2018 Ford Fusion
With Ford's decision to pull Fusion and Taurus from North American Dealerships, the Fusion may now be truly riding off into the sunset. Photo: Ford media website.
First, let's put things in perspective.

The Ford Fusion is a car that we have spent a lot of time ragging on lately as an example of what's wrong with passenger car design today—those look-alike body shapes that are supposedly driven by safety requirements and other regulations, and those awful, awful grilles.

So we're not exactly sad to see the Ford Fusion go, at least not its current generation.

What we are sad about is seeing the category that the Ford Fusion represents go: the mid-size to full-size sedan, that classic format that for so many decades was a defining feature of the American highway.

Yes, the market does seem infatuated with crossovers right now. So crossovers, along with trucks, SUVs and the occasional sports coupe, are going to be the dominant sight on domestic dealership lots, for the time being, at least.

But does the market's infatuation with crossovers really tell the whole story of #DeathOfCar?

Or is it really just a lazy excuse for American automakers to use to explain why the passenger cars they have been making in recent years just aren't selling anymore?

Remember: even after Chevy's killing of the Impala and now Ford's killing of Taurus and Fusion, there are still plenty of sedans being made. Japanese automakers are still making plenty of sedans. Korean automakers are still making plenty of sedans. European automakers are still making plenty of sedans.

So maybe it isn't a matter of the American motorist giving up on the passenger car format. Maybe, instead, it's really a matter of the American automaker being, for whatever reason, unable to make passenger cars that American motorists want.

Apparently, American automakers are not making passenger cars that excite consumers enough to motivate them to reach for their checkbooks. Maybe that is the real story here.


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