The debut of the 2013 Fusion has all but killed consumer interest in the current car.
Ford's all-new 2013 Fusion sedan was one of the biggest stars of the 2012 Detroit auto show, but some of the automaker's dealers are concerned the Blue Oval may have tipped its hand a little too early.
Despite its January debut, the 2013 Fusion won't actually hit Ford showrooms until this fall. That timing has put Ford dealers in an awkward spot, forcing them to sell the 2012 version of the Fusion to customers that want to buy the latest 2013 model.
"I'm kind of worried about it. I've got quite a few of the '12s. That car's not going to be here until September," Larry Taylor, a Ford dealer in Ohio, told Automotive News. "As a member of the dealer council, I warned them about pre-advertising and promoting things we don't have. Ford has had a problem building up things that aren't on sale yet."
Ford sold a record-setting 248,067 units of the Fusion in 2011, but that mark will likely be missed in 2012 as customers hold out for the launch of the new model. Some dealers have reported a decrease in interest in the current Fusion since the new model bowed in January and Ford has already begun offering deep discounts on the 2012 Fusion to keep them rolling off dealer lots.
The 2013 Fusion has all the makings of a hit, but it will be interesting to see how Ford dealers cope with the car's long lead time.