nick coury

In this electric age of developing the car industry, the quest for the best vehicle is never-ending. With new models and innovations, Ford Motor Company still stands as a forerunner in the battle.

On Monday in Shell Beach, Ford presented the “Fusion,” a new model for the 2006 lineup geared toward college graduates.

According to a Ford press release, “The all-new 2006 Ford Fusion breathes a fresh attitude into the highly competitive mid-size car segment… the Fusion delivers excellent fuel economy, advanced safety, low emissions and generous interior space – all at an affordable price.”

“It is very stylish and well engineered to make it fun (and safe) to drive,” said John Clinard, the western regional manager for Ford public affairs. “From a standpoint of working as a place to be for hours, it is the best.”

This is the first model introduced by Ford to competitively compare in the inexpensive luxury genre with such cars as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

“We are the world’s leader of best-selling vehicles on the planet and the best-selling vehicle in California is the F-series Ford truck.” Clinard said. “The other half of the world buys cars, not trucks, and we wanted to get into that market as well.”

Much of Ford’s manufacturing technology for the Fusion is designed to meet both the environmental and fuel-efficient wants of the consumer.

“(The Fusion) is very low in terms of emissions, which is, in fact, cleaner than a lot of hybrid vehicles that are on the road,” Clinard said.

For the buyers looking for the loaded vehicle without spending a lot of money, Ford has equipped its base models with more luxuries.

“We didn’t want anyone who buys a (Fusion) to feel like they were a second-class citizen by what they were getting. This car is luxuriously loaded,” Clinard said.

“The Fusion offers a whole lot more functionality where you have got more room and style,” said Dan Smith, senior account executive for the Pacific Communications Group. “You could almost say it was a sedan for the college setting.”

For most carmakers, the 20-year-old age bracket stands as one of the more important consumer groups.

“One of the goals for auto makers targeting the 18 to 30-year-old crowd is what is called “apparitional buyers,” Smith said. “They (auto makers) want people to start in a lower-level vehicle and in the case of Ford, eventually move into one of their higher-level vehicles, and get consumers to drive their brand.”

Along with the Fusion, Ford also introduces an improved 2006 Explorer. For more information on both vehicles, visit

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