A fresh report out of the United States suggests that Ford will kill off its Fusion sedan, but retain the badge for use on a new crossover.

According to Bloomberg, the Blue Oval brand plans to affix the Fusion badge to a "high-roofed hatchback" similar in concept to the Subaru Outback. This new crossover will likely, the report adds, retain the Fusion sedan’s basic underpinnings.

"They spent hundreds of millions of dollars for brand equity in that Fusion name – not $10-million or $20-million – but hundreds of millions. The smart thing is to play on that brand equity," said Rhett Ricart, a top Ford dealer in Ohio.

Ford spokesperson Mike Levine confirmed to Bloomberg that the automaker will “likely continue to use the name because of its awareness, positive imagery and value with consumers”.

In April 2018, Ford announced plans to abandon the sedan segment in the US to instead focus on SUVs and pick-up trucks. At the time, Jim Farley, the automaker’s president for global markets, explained that Ford would offer a “growing variety” of “utility body styles” rather than simply traditional hatchbacks and sedans.

In South Africa, of course, the slow-selling Fusion sedan was discontinued towards the end of 2017.