Ford Fusion Shooting for Camry

How confident is Ford that its re-designed Fusion will be able to beat the Toyota Camry head to head? Very.

Today, the company released pricing for the new Fusion and Fusion Hybrid, and both will have a MSRP slightly higher than the Camry and Camry Hybrid. Typically, an auto maker fighting to win over customers will price their model below the segment leader, but Ford thinks the higher MSRP will not scare off buyers.

The base model Fusion (including delivery and destination charges) will start $19,995 compared to the base Camry at $19,145.

The Hybrid Fusion (including delivery and destination) starts at $27,995 while the Camry Hybrid is $26,150.

Before we make too much out of these figures, keep in mind the MSRP means less and less in a market where little is selling, and auto makers are running incentives on almost every model. So the sales, or transaction, prices for these models could, and likely will be much different than the MSRP. That said, the fact that Ford is listing the Fusion at slightly more than the Camry and not taking the marketing approach of trying to "undercut" the industry leader speaks volumes about where this company is right now.

When Ford starts pushing the '10 Fusion during American Idol Tuesday night with ads titled "We Speak Car", the company will be touting the new model's fuel efficiency, technology, and styling. Who knows if "We Speak Car" will connect with potential buyers, but it is clear the company thinks Fusion and Fusion Hybrid have the guts and design that people will want.

Last year, according to the research firm AutoData, Ford sold 147,569 Fusion models, while Toyota sold 436,617 Camry models.

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