Ford Fusion challenges Toyota Camry and Honda Accord
The 2007 Ford Fusion emerged the winner in key areas like “styling,” “handling” and “fun to drive” after a head-to-head comparison test with Japanese sedans organized for subscribers by Car and Driver magazine. Now, Ford is making the results the centerpiece of a major, national marketing campaign for the car.
“In its first year, the Ford Fusion has been recognized by third parties like J.D. Power and Associates, Smart Money magazine, Strategic Vision and the New York Times for its styling, handling, quality and value, and that’s helped turn it into a sales success” said Barry Engle, general manager, Ford Division Marketing. “Now, the Fusion is an even better value and has class-exclusive new options like all-wheel drive, so we’re going directly to consumers to show them just how good the car is.”
More than 600 magazine subscribers participated in the first ride and drive, which was designed and presented by Car and Driver magazine in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area in mid-December 2006.
Consumers drove three vehicles: a 2007 Honda Accord EX-L V-6, a 2007 Toyota Camry XLE V-6 and a 2007 Ford Fusion SEL AWD V-6 on a closed course.
Before the drive, consumers rated the Honda and Toyota vehicles higher than the Fusion. But after the drive, opinions of the Fusion improved dramatically, leveling the playing field with the competition. Fusion also emerged as the clear winner in key areas including “Styling,” “Handling,” “Fun to Drive” and “Performance.”
The results of the event will be featured in a marketing campaign breaking today in variety of national media, including newspapers, cable and network television, radio and the Internet. The first television ad, titled “Fusion Challenge,” touts the Fusion’s winning results against the Accord and Camry. The second television spot, “Something Different” will offer enthusiastic reactions from participants in the drive and other ads will follow. The print ads use the headline “This test had a lot of turns. And one big twist.” The campaign was created by Ford’s agency, JWT Detroit.
Results of the consumer polls and other information will be available on the Web site: www.fusionchallenge.com. The site will also feature current sales and marketing offers, Fusion product reviews from MSN Autos, Yahoo!Autos and Edmunds.com, and video commentary from Fusion Challenge participants. The second ‘Fusion Challenge’ will take place at the end of January on the West Coast.
“Over the past several years, we’ve conducted numerous subscriber ride and drive events and the results from this program confirm the Ford Fusion’s well earned place among the segment leaders,” said Rob Houghtlin, vice president and publisher, Car and Driver. “The dramatic increase in brand perception amongst the attendees was significant.”