Typically, the majority of Ford's fleet sales stem from selling droves of trucks or vans, but it appears things may be different in 2010. As the economy slowly turns around, companies are looking to replace their fleet vehicles, and they're increasingly looking at buying the revised 2010 Fusion.
"We're seeing a whole new group of clients come to us saying 'We want to buy Fusions,'" said Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president of global marketing. "We've never had that before, at least in the recent past, and that has really grown our commercial fleet business."
Part of the attraction, according to Automotive News, is Fusion's strong residual values. The Kelley Blue Book says a 2008 Fusion SE has a 36-month residual value of 45 percent; a similar figure for the 2010 model jumps to 47 percent.
Although fleet sales to rental car companies are rarely profitable, selling fleets to other corporate entities can help put an automaker into the black. These clients are more likely to spend a little extra on optional amenities, and many are increasingly looking at purchasing "green" vehicles, like the top-end Fusion Hybrid.
In December 2009, Ford saw its fleet sales jump 74 percent over the previous year, a growth of 27,000 vehicles. George Pipas, Ford's chief sales analyst, says the company expects another increase in total fleet sales for the first quarter of 2010.
Source: Automotive News