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Ford will launch its Fusion with discount

Automaker plans 3.9% rate for car

August 27, 2005

BY SARAH A. WEBSTER
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Ford Motor Co. will launch its most important car since the Ford Taurus -- the 2006 Ford Fusion -- with incentives in September, a top company executive said Friday.

"It will have an incentive," said Steve Lyons, group vice president of sales, marketing and service at Ford.

While Lyons said he didn't expect the Fusion will be launched with a cash-back rebate, he did say it would likely be sold with a discounted interest rate of 3.9%.

There also will be a program on the Fusion that will match a customer's down payment up to $500 and another $500 in bonus cash for customers who finance the vehicle through Ford Credit, said Ford spokesman Jim Cain.

The 2006 Ford Fusion starts at $17,795, and the potential discounts bring the price down $1,000.

The midsize Fusion sedan replaces the Ford Contour, which was phased out in 2001, and to some extent the larger Ford Taurus.

As such, it is viewed within Ford as the most important car launch in years and it will be a direct challenger to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, two of the most popular sedans in America. Consumers purchased 813,760 of those two vehicles in the United States last year.

"It's the car equivalent of the F-150," Lyons said, comparing the Fusion to the company's popular pickup truck, which is the best-selling vehicle in the country. Consumers purchased 534,659 F-150s through July this year, about 4.2% more than last year.

Robert Hinchliffe, an automotive analyst for UBS Inc. in New York, said the discounts on the Fusion were probably necessary because of employee pricing in the market. Employee pricing on the Ford Five Hundred large sedan pushes the price within just $2,200 of the Fusion's base price. The Five Hundred starts at $22,840 but is now selling at $19,995 under the Ford Family Plan.

"With employee pricing pushing the price of the Five Hundred down, I think it probably pushes the price folks are willing to pay for the smaller vehicle down as well," Hinchliffe said.

Ford has not decided whether to extend its employee pricing beyond the Sept. 6 end date.

Contact SARAH A. WEBSTER at 313-222-5394 or [email protected].
 

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It may seem pathetic, as in: how good can a card be if it's introduced with incentives, but they brought up a good point. Why buy the smaller car for so close a price? The negative impact on sales would be used by the press as signs of the Fusions failure. Ford cannot afford that with such an important vehicle. After all, 1k with conditions attached isn't much. I come away from it thinking I don't have to win as much money at the lotto to get his car already! :D
 

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Looks to me like it's just an incentive for people to choose Ford Credit instead of their local bank, nothing to do with the car really.
 

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I don't think this car will be the success Ford thinks it will. I think the incentives spell that out, no consumer interest or orders.
 

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[quote author=88asc link=topic=28135.msg413869#msg413869 date=1127234951]
I don't think this car will be the success Ford thinks it will. I think the incentives spell that out, no consumer interest or orders.
[/quote]

I think it'll be a success, but not the massive raving success that Ford needs. Still, I like the vehicle.
 

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Sat in one yesterday, overall I liked it but just didn't seem like the home run they need. Rear seats were tight, and I'm 5'9". Quality left a lot to be desired. Everything had a cheap look and feel to it. Inside looks a lot like the 2006 mazda6, which is lightly updated from the 05. The 05 Mazda6 has $4000 in rebates and the Fusion is a lot like the 6...........
 

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$3000 I see right now ($2000 cash + $1000 MNAC)... but you can't really compare rebates in an EOL model with a brand new car. Next month we'll see how the rebates compare.

But yeah, the Fusion is a lot like the 6. My concern is that it looks cheaper than the 6. If it is like the 6, it'll be good.
 

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Dealer called me Friday and said they have an additional $1000. I don't know if that was the dealer just trying to sell me a car or a Mazda promotion.
 
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