DETROIT — In April 2018, Richard Bazzy, who owns Ford and Lincoln stores in the Pittsburgh area, placed a frantic call to Mark LaNeve, Ford Motor Co.'s head of U.S. marketing, sales and service.
The automaker had just announced it would cut all of its sedans, including the Fusion, which was Ford's fourth most popular nameplate. The way the news was delivered — two sentences toward the bottom of an earnings release — caught many retailers off guard, and some were angry that Ford's dealer council wasn't more involved in the process.
"I didn't think it was a good idea; it scared me," Bazzy recalled last year. "Mark said to me at that moment, 'Relax, it will all be OK.' As I've started to see the plans develop, he was right, it's more than OK."