Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ford Fusion Posts Sixth-Straight Monthly Sales Record in August

August marked the sixth month in a row that the Ford Fusion has set a monthly sales record in the United States, with its tally up 21 percent year-over-year. The midsize sedan moved 21,690 units last month and reached 181,865 vehicles sold for the year, an increase of 8 percent compared to the same period in 2011. Ford hopes to build upon its successful Fusion formula when a redesigned 2013 model starts arriving at dealerships this fall.

The updates to the 2013 Ford Fusion include a sharp focus on improved fuel economy, bringing two new optional EcoBoost engines. Using direct injection and turbocharging for a better mix of performance and efficiency, a 1.6-liter EcoBoost powerplant will generate 178 horsepower, while a 2.0-liter EcoBoost unit will churn out 240 horsepower. In addition to the optional Auto Stop-Start technology, new hybrid and plug-in hybrid models will also be available for even better fuel economy, though official EPA ratings have yet to be released for the new Fusion lineup.

"It's not surprising that, as gas prices go up, so do sales of fuel-efficient cars like the Ford Fusion," said Alan Melkonian, owner and general manager of Stoneham Ford, a Ford dealer in Massachusetts. "However, while the current generation offers an excellent balance of efficiency, power and useful features, the 2013 Fusion has improved on all fronts."

Technology upgrades are packed into the new Ford Fusion, including the addition of the latest SYNC with MyFord Touch infotainment system, which keeps drivers connected to audio, phone calls and navigation through voice controls and a touchscreen. New safety features have also been made available, including the BLIS blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert and the Lane-Keeping System, which nudges the car back toward the center of the lane if it detects drifting. Meanwhile, drivers can opt for a rear-view camera to become more aware of obstacles when backing up.

Like the 2013 Fusion, technology and fuel efficiency were also high priorities during the redesign of the 2013 Ford Escape, which is now available at dealers. A new optional hands-free liftgate makes it easier to load or unload groceries and gear, while a boost in fuel economy means owners can save more than $1,500 on gas during a five-year period compared to the previous generation. The 2013 Escape earns up to 33 mpg on the highway with the same optional 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine slated for the 2013 Fusion.

Currently the fastest-turning vehicle in Ford's U.S. lineup, the Escape also posted its best August sales ever last month. Moving 28,188 units, the Escape was up 37 percent in August sales compared to the same month last year. To keep up with demand for its compact SUV, Ford added a third crew last month at its Louisville Assembly Plant.

"Competitors that have similar fuel economy to the new Escape are SUVs in name only, but Ford's offering returns great gas mileage while providing all the versatility that the term 'sport utility vehicle' implies," added Melkonian. "The 2013 Escape can open up to nearly 68 cubic feet of cargo space, and it has the available towing capacity to transport jet skis or a snowmobile for weekend adventures in the White Mountains."