Ford keeping Fusion badge for Outback rival
The Ford Fusion will be axed soon in the US, but the badge will live on in an Outback-rivalling wagon.
Automotive News reports that the underpinnings of the current Fusion will also carry over, while the appearance will transform into a jacked-up wagon.
The decision to retain Fusion comes, in part, from the dealers. Ford’s boots on the ground aren’t entirely convinced of the decision to kill all traditional cars other than Mustang, and by continuing the Fusion name, salespeople can at least offer a familiar sounding product.
"We'll likely continue to use the name because of its awareness, positive imagery and value with consumers," Ford spokesperson Mike Levine told Automotive News.
Targeting the Outback makes sense, given it was Subaru’s best seller through June, moving 90,978 units and 188,886 through 2017 in the US.
The Fusion received a minor rehash for 2019. It got a new grille, LED driving lights and a lot more safety tech, including standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and a rear back-up camera.
Subaru’s wagon also got a refresh for 2018, updating the cabin and adding more angular styling. The company has been spotted testing a new Legacy, and given the two models share a close mechanical relationship, a new generation of Outback shouldn’t be far behind.