Ford Motors (NYSE:F) is gearing up to launch the new Ford Fusion 2013 as it seeks to replace Toyota Camry as the highest selling car in the country. The mid-size sedan segment is highly competitive in the U.S. with Camry, Accord, Altima, Sonata, Malibu and Passat in the fray. The segment has traditionally been dominated by the Japanese automakers, but the American, German and Korean automakers have upped their games.
Mid-size car sales are up 26% this year as compared to a 15% growth in the U.S. auto industry. Besides Fusion, the newer versions of the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Chevrolet Malibu will also be out this fall. Camry is the highest selling mid-size sedan in the U.S. in 2012, so far, with Accord in the second place. Ford’s existing Fusion is at the fourth spot with sales of a little more than 180,000 through August. Ford’s North American operations have been solid in 2012 with total vehicle sales up 6% in the first eight months of the year. 
The design is significantly different from its existing version which is part of the automaker’s ‘One Ford’ strategy in which the company aims to develop cars which are truly global in nature while reducing costs by sharing technology and platforms. The 2013 version of Fusion will be the same as Ford Mondeo in Europe. Indeed, if Ford is able to close the gap on Camry and notch up an extra 150,000 sales (on an annualized basis), this could boost Ford’s market share in the North American car market by as much as 1.5 percentage points.
Ford has created a lot of buzz with its new styling, better mileage and features like automatic parallel parking. Fusion will be offered in five different engine variants with the lowest priced model starting from $21,700; similar to that of Accord and Altima’s but less than Camry’s. Ford Fusion’s Hybrid version has an industry best mileage of 47 mpg. The 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine gets up to 33 mpg while the new 1.6 liter EcoBoost claims to have a mileage of 37 mpg. Focusing on fuel efficient cars is one of the main factors contributing to Ford’s turnaround. By the end of the year, Ford will have eight cars in its portfolio with mileage in excess of 40 mpg.