From contests to sponsorships to ad spots, Ford has sunk a
shit ton rather large amount of advertising dollars into hyping the Fusion Hybrid and the result has been, well, successful. Admittedly, they are playing with the home team advantage but as both Chrysler and GM can firmly attest to, American consumers are not so blind with nationalism that they’ll shell out upwards of $20k for a sub-par product. So contrary to the theory commonly discussed in many Toyota forums, the Ford Fusion Hybrid did not earn its seemingly overnight popularity solely because of some simpleton patriotic uprising, but rather because, to be quite frank, it doesn’t suck…and because whoever Ford’s got running the PR department is batting a perfect 1.000.
Even before its grand unveiling at the 2008 LA Auto Show, the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid had already landed its first gig as the official pace car for the Ford 400, the NASCAR Sprint Cup season finale and the final race of Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, making it the first hybrid electric vehicle ever to lead the field to the green flag at a NASCAR race. In January, Ford gifted a brand new Fusion Hybrid to the Drumm family on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and shortly thereafter launched the “We Race You Win” contest offering Nascar fans the chance to win a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. A few weeks later, the Fusion Hybrid managed to snag another win after the federal government announced that, as per the terms of the new hybrid car purchase incentive program, both the Fusion Hybrid and the 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid qualified for a $3,400 tax credit, the highest currently available. Ford’s crowning media-whore moment, however, didn’t come until early February when Ford CEO Alan Mullaly personally called to thank a customer who had cancelled his plans to purchase a new Prius and plunked down a deposit on a 2010 Fusion Hybrid instead.
Incredibly, despite the fact that we generally view hybrid’s as the dregs of automotive society and usually harbor a distinct dislike for heavy media coverage, we have still yet to generate any sort of loathing or disgust for the Fusion Hybrid, and could possibly even be persuaded to buy one with negligible physical torture.