Ford Buffs Green Image With Fusion

The highly anticipated hybrid will start appearing at dealerships this spring
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jan 5, 2009 8:34 AM CST
The company sign hangs over the tailgate of an unsold 2008 F-350 pickup truck at a Ford dealership in the southeast Denver suburb of Centennial, Colo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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(Newser) – Ford’s 2010 Fusion hybrid will debut this spring with an EPA rating of 41mpg city and 36mpg highway, writes Joseph White in the Wall Street Journal, but reaching those underwhelming numbers could be a tough ride for most consumers. Complicating Ford's tough sell are anemic gas prices, writes White, but the Fusion represents the direction Ford—and other American automakers—will need to take to compete with foreign carmakers' more accelerated leap into the green segment.

Ford, while better-positioned than its US rivals, is not expecting the moon from its foray into the eco-friendly market. "The most important thing," says a Ford exec, "is that millions of people think of Ford as a fuel-efficient carmaker."