The comeback story at Ford (NYSE:F) rolled out another chapter earlier today as “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest, along with Ford Chairman Allan Mulally, introduced the new 2013 model year Fusion in New York’s Times Square.
The Fusion, Ford’s best-selling car since it was introduced in 2005, features improved fuel economy, automatic parallel parking, and a sleeker styling along the front. The car is also being unveiled today at events in Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco along with its headquarters in Dearborne, Michigan.
The Fusion is a critical release for Ford as it tries to pass Toyota‘s (NYSE:TM) best-selling Camry line in sales. The Fusion, which is tagged as a midsize car, enters the fray in the biggest and arguably most competitive segment of the car market. Fusion rivals include the Honda (NYSE:HON) Accord, Nissan (PINK:NSANY) Altima, and the Chevrolet (NYSE:GM) Mailbu.
Ford’s already sold 182,000 Fusion’s this year, and as one of its most profitable lines per unit, it is a critical money maker. Ford has been making slow but steady progress in its profitability and outlook, as Mulally, who came to Ford from Boeing (NYSE:BA) cut labor costs and focused on product quality.
However its competition remains fierce, and revenues and margins are under pressure from a struggling European unit that sucks the air out of North American profits.
-Written by Marc Bastow, an Assistant Editor at Investorplace.com. As of this writing Mr. Bastow does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.