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Ford boosting incentives to clear out Fusion inventories

by Drew Johnson

Now is a good time to buy the Ford Fusion.

Just six months after starting Fusion production at a second North American plant, Ford is raising incentives on its mid-size sedan to help clear out mounting inventories.

Around many parts of the country Ford is now offering 0 percent financing and $1,000 offer its stylish Fusion sedan. The Dearborn-based automaker is also offering 0 down lease deals on the Fusion, as well as $3,000 cash back for buyers that decline the financing deals but are trading in another vehicle.

The discounts are the deepest Ford has offered since the redesigned Fusion went on sale in 2012.

"The car is selling, but not as fast as they're building them," Larry Taylor, the owner of Beau Townsend Ford in Vandalia, Ohio, and a former member of the Ford dealer council, told Automotive News. "They've buried us."

Fusion inventories have ballooned to a 97-day supply, up from 84 days a month earlier. Fusion sales dipped by 8 percent in January, but that decline was partly to blame on harsh winter condition across much of the U.S.

Ford is now spending about $2,900 to sell each Fusion, up from $2,200 during 2013. However, Ford is still putting less cash on the hood of the Fusion than the Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima.

Ford began building the Fusion at its Flat Rock, Michigan, plant in August 2013, but has already had to halt production to keep a lid on growing supplies. The sedan is also built at the automaker's factory in Hermosillo, Mexico.

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