Say Goodbye

Report: Ford Fusion production (finally) ends in July

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford's assembly plants are just getting back to work but from the sounds of things, the workers at Ford's Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly plant in Sonora, Mexico won't be making the Fusion for much longer. Ford Authority was the first to share the news.

Reports indicate that Ford will cease production of the Fusion on July 21. The last day dealers could submit orders for the model was February 29. However, the Fusion will not be gone forever. Ford has tapped the forthcoming Fusion Active crossover to replace the model. It's set to debut in 2022.

2020 Ford Transit ConnectFord is moving production of its Transit Connect van to the Mexico plant.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Lincoln MKZ is made alongside the Fusion and production of that model is also slated to end this year. The eventual winddown in production has been years in the making, following Ford's announcement that it's revitalizing its lineup and looking beyond its Focus, Fusion, and Fiesta models.

The plant won't go unused. Ford has opted to move production of its Transit Connect van fromValencia Body and Assembly in Valencia, Spain to the Mexico plant. When assembled in Spain, the model was subject to the so-called Chicken Tax, a 25 percent tariff on light trucks, as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Models built in Mexico that consisted of 62.5 percent or more parts were sourced from North America not subject to a tariff.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) replaced NAFTA with its final ratification on March 13, 2020. In that agreement, 75 percent of the automobile's value must come from within North America in order to retain its "tax free" status.

Ford is slated to have the next-generation Ford Transit Connect be produced at the facility, starting with the 2022 model year. Ahead of that move, Ford will need to retool the facility.

Earlier this year, Ford announced that it was adding an all-electric version of the Ford Transit to its lineup. That model is part of Ford's $11.5 billions investment in the electrification of vehicles through 2022.

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Lincoln will not make a performance variant to compete with Cadillac.

Lincoln

TheLincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade have been duking it out at the top of luxury SUV rankings for decades, but there’s one area of the Caddy’s development that Lincoln won’t touch. In a recent interview, a company executive told Ford Authority that it has no plans to create a performance variant of the Navigator to compete with the upcoming Escalade V from Cadillac.

2022 Lincoln NavigatorThe new Navigator features several upscale touches and excellent tech. Lincoln

That means the Navigator will stick with the powertrain it’s carried for years, which is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a smooth ten-speed automatic and either rear- or four-wheel drive. While there’s more than enough power to get the hulking Lincoln moving, it’s not a powertrain that inspires excitement or engagement, and though beefy, it’s tuned much more for comfort and quietness than drama.

Though more than adequate, those specs are a far cry from the numbers we expect from the Escalade V. The full-size bruiser from Cadillac is expected to get a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the unit seen in the CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We don’t know power numbers yet, but the engine should deliver horsepower and torque numbers in the high 600s.

Cadillac Escalade VThe Escalade V will be massively powerful. Cadillac

That Lincoln is taking a different approach isn’t surprising. The automaker has already announced its intention to go all-electric, so pouring more time and resources into creating a performance gas-powered SUV isn’t in line with its goals. Company executives have also expressed a desire to avoid imitating rivals, so the decision to leave a performance Navigator behind is not surprising.

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First-year Ford F-150 Lightning production numbers doubled
Ford

Ford has begun serial production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, marking what could be one of the most important days in recent automotive history. The first trucks rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan today, so America's best-selling truck has finally gone electric. Ford wants to sell two million EVs per year by 2026 and have half of its global sales volume to be electric by 2030.

Ford F-150 LightningPast meets future: Ford's new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightningautomotivemap.com

Ford has seen extreme demand for the trucks, with 200,000 reservations since the books opened. To deliver, the automaker plans to increase production to an annual rate of 150,000 units by next year, which involved huge investments in the Rouge Center and created hundreds of jobs. Ford's total investment for the F-150 Lightning crests $1 billion across Michigan alone, and has created 1,700 jobs across various facilities in the state.

Ford F-150 LightningThe first production trucks left the factory today.
Ford Motor Company

Though the Lightning starts around $40,000, the most mainstream models will cost much more than that. The F-150 Lightning Pro, while affordable, is a stripped-down truck intended for commercial buyers. It's still a forward-looking electric truck with amazing capabilities, but it lacks much of the creature comforts and features that everyday drivers expect. Higher trims get the latest driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, which is Ford's semi-autonomous hands-free driving assistant. A 12-inch touchscreen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

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