Among the new models on display during the annual Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association car show is the revamped Ford Fusion, which is using the Buffalo show to make its New York state debut.
And that’s not by accident.
Ford Motor Company selected the downtown show, held at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, after its 14-area dealerships marked a record year in 2011 when their sales rose 25.6 percent. By comparison, Ford’s national sales rose 10 percent.
The reworked, sleek and environmentally friendly Fusion will be in dealerships later this year after the current stock of Fusions are sold. The Fusion is one of four models Ford has either redesigned and/or re-introduced this year, with others being the Fiesta, Focus and Taurus. Models for all four are on display at the auto show.
“We have a great success story for the past four years and Buffalo has been a big part of it,” said John Schuldt, Ford regional sales manager. “We’ve made huge strides.”
Models have been re-designed with new emphasis on looks, technology and green-friendly practices. The Fusion may be the poster child for Ford’s new strategy. The car comes in three different versions ranging from traditional gas-fueled to an electronic model that gets an estimated 100 miles per gallon in city traffic. Inside it has an eight-inch LCD, voice-controlled screen and lots of James Bond-like gadgets.
Schuldt said car shows are key towards Ford’s marketing efforts.