With a strong showing from the Fusion Hybrid, Ford has moved up to number three in sales in the midsize sedan segment.

The Fusion still trails both the number 2 car the Honda Accord and the leading Toyota Camry, but it is making up ground quickly.  Ford has pointed out through advertising that the Ford Fusion is the most fuel efficient midsize car in America and buyers have been coming in drove.

Surprisingly, Ford says that some 60% of the Fusions sold are what they call mark up models.  This term refers to a vehicle that is a higher model line, or highly optioned rather than just a base model.  In the case of the Fusion, 60% of buyers opt for either the hybrid model or more than $1,800 in options.

The hybrid version was introduced in March and immediately sparked sales of the Fusion model.  For those interested in mileage numbers, the hybrid version returns a combined 39 mpg.  Since March, Fusion sales have increased on a regular basis.  June saw a 26% increase over May and has lifted the Fusion to the number 3 spot.

Ford has not had a strong selling midsize sedan in the last 10 years, but now they are making in road and sales have actually increase despite a slumping market.  Both the Camry and the Accord have seen a drop in sales in the past months and Ford may be able to catch up.

Current sales numbers for the year put the Fusion at 85,146, the Accord at 131,043, and the Camry at 150,242.  Though Ford still has a long way to go to gain the number one spot, they attribute most of the recent sales increases of the Fusion model to the stellar hybrid version with sales that have been much greater than anticipated.

Source:  Detroit Free Press (print edition)