After Ford announced its new plan to slash costs and dump money into electrification earlier this year, changes are already starting to happen. EV production is moving to Mexico, the Flat Rock assembly plant will become an “AV center of excellence” and, allegedly, Fusion production will soon move to China, though Ford denies that.
Three unnamed Ford sources told Reuters on Wednesday the automaker has plans to shift Fusion production to China and then ship them to the United States and Europe. From the story:
Both models are expected to be redesigned in mid to late 2020, when Ford plans to shift their production to Chongqing, to a joint-venture plant operated with Ford’s Chinese partner Changan Automobile Co, according to sources connected to Ford’s component suppliers who are familiar with the automaker’s future production plans.
Currently, the Fusion is built in Ford’s Hermosillo plant in Mexico. (Yes, this is also the same plant where all the alleged drug-smuggling occurs.)
Yet, when asked for comment, a Ford spokesperson offered Ford’s official statement on the matter:
“We have no plans to export the next-generation Fusion / Mondeo from China to North America and Europe. Fusion / Mondeo are an important part of the Ford car lineup. We will have more information to share about the next Fusion / Mondeo at a later date.”
Despite this statement, though, you can sort of see how it would make sense for Ford to shift its sedan production to China—especially if the Hermosillo plant were to take up increased SUV production instead. Guess we’ll see in the coming years.
Updated 5:57 p.m. EST: Automotive News now reports that Ford is planning on axing North American Fusion production by 2020. Whether Ford will replace it with something else or manufacture it somewhere else is unclear.