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 Connect Ford 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 from Valencia 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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The Bronco will get two new colors for 2022.

Ford

The new Ford Bronco was in such high demand that buyers were in for a long wait, even before the pandemic and microchip shortages wreaked havoc on automotive supply chains and production. Even now, with little hope of a speedy vehicle delivery, buyers are still lining up to get the new SUV, and to reward those whose dreams will have to wait until 2022, Ford is debuting two new colors: Eruption Green and Hot Pepper Metallic.


2022 Ford Bronco Eruption Green and Hot Pepper Metallic will be available. Ford


Ford revealed the colors at this year's Woodward Dream Cruise. The first-generation Bronco, which ran from 1966 through 1977, was the featured vehicle at the cruise, which presented the opportunity to introduce new colors for the upcoming model year. The two new colors won't join the Bronco's existing color catalog until order banks open for the new model year later in 2021. Ford says that the current color catalog which includes Antimatter Blue, Lightning Blue Metallic, and Rapid Red Metallic will be available through the end of the 2021 model year.


2022 Ford Bronco Many Bronco buyers will have to wait until 2022 to get their new SUV.Ford


The new colors may end up being the shades of choice for many current hopeful Bronco buyers. Along with pandemic-related delays, Ford's rollout of the new Bronco has been plagued by hardtop-related cosmetic issues. The problem is big enough for the automaker to replace the top of every hardtop Bronco built so far. This includes vehicles already purchased, the rare few sitting on dealers' lots, and even recently produced vehicles still hanging around the factory. Buyers still waiting for their Broncos to be built will be waiting a while, to the point that Ford says many orders will be pushed into the new model year. Ford is offering Bronco-related merchandise and promises a price lock for all buyers whose orders have been pushed, and now it appears they'll have two new colors to choose from as well.

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Three two-women teams will compete in a new Bronco or Bronco Sport.

Ford

As the pandemic ramped up last summer, auto event organizers were canceling left and right to avoid gathering groups of people to spread the virus. A few events went on, especially outdoor racing events such as the Rebelle Rally. The all-woman off-road event covers desert terrain in Nevada and California, and this year Ford Motor Company is sending three teams to compete in different versions of the Bronco and Bronco Sport SUVs.

All three teams will compete in some sort of Bronco SUV. Shelby Hall and Penny Dale, who drive a Bronco Sport in last year's Rebelle Rally, return to the competition in 2021, this time with a Bronco two-door. Pro off-roaders Melissa Fischer and Cora Jokinen will pilot a Bronco Sport in the X-cross class and novice racers Kathryn Reinhardt and Victoria Bundrant from accessory supplier 4Wheel Parts will drive a four-door Bronco in the 4x4 class.


2021 Rebelle Rally Two Broncos and a Bronco Sport will compete. Ford


The Bronco Sport and Bronco four-door are both Badlands models. The two-door Bronco is a Wildtrak model. All of the SUVs have been decked out in special Bronco 4600-inspired race livery. The two-door Bronco will enter the competition equipped with the Sasquatch package, but will otherwise retain is factory stock configuration. The Bronco Sport will also remain stock, other than having its back seat removed. Ford says the 4Wheel Parts team will accessorize the four-door Bronco.

The Rebelle Rally is the first women's off-road navigation rally in the United States. Teams are not allowed to use electronic maps, such as in-dash navigation or mapping tools built into smartphones. Ford says its teams will disable the features in the Broncos they'll be driving in the event.


2021 Rebelle Rally The Bronco Sport will remain stock, but will have its back seats removed.Ford

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