DEARBORN, Mich.—Ford hopes the redesigned Fusion will finally be its Camry killer.
The Fusion has become Ford’s bestselling car since it went on sale in 2005, and it’s one of the top sellers in the U.S.
But Ford hopes the sexier styling, improved fuel economy and features like automatic parallel parking on the 2013 version will help it trounce the perennial leader, the Toyota Camry.
Ford is enlisting ‘American Idol’ host Ryan Seacrest to introduce the redesigned sedan alongside CEO Alan Mulally in New York’s Times Square.
It also is holding events in Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco, and on the lawn of its headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.
The publicity blitz underscores the importance of the Fusion to Ford, which is rolling out the car to dealerships in the fall.
The midsize car segment is the biggest in the U.S., making up half of all car sales so far this year.
It’s also one of the most hotly contested.
Three of the Fusion’s biggest rivals—the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Chevrolet Malibu—are also new this fall.
The Fusion starts at $21,700, which is less than the current Camry and in line with the new Altima and Accord.
But the price rises quickly.
A top-of-the-line Fusion with Ford’s automatic parking system, lane departure warning, navigation and other goodies is $34,580.
An Altima with similar features is $31,950.