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What Happens Now to the Town Car?

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Ford's Wixom plant ceased operations today after 50 years of building Lincolns. So while my '66 Thunderbird is now something of an orphan, I'm wondering more about the future of three very old vehicles that still bring in pretty good business for Ford.

We're talking about the Town Car, and its platform-sharing Ford Crown Vic and Mercury Grand Marquis. The Town Car, now that Wixom is out of business, is being moved to St. Thomas, Ontario - the plant where the latter two cars already are built. The problem is, Ford's still yet to announce what it will close in a final phase of its Way Forward - and St. Thomas is on that list of potential closures.

We know a little bit about the arguments within Ford to kill all three. They're fleet sellers, which means low profits, and designing a new platform only for the trio is financially out of the question. So if the circle of options only includes North America, it looks like the plan is for Ford to sell the current vehicles, update them as needed, and pull the plug when sales drip below a certain level.

There is an intriguing option we talked about earlier this year. Ford said its Australian operations would be a significant source of future products - rear-drive ones at that. Like GM, Ford is thought to be considering a new range of rear-drivers spun from an architecture developed by its Aussie arm. And as usual, when these rumors begin to float, the usual Aussie Falcon sedan has made an appearance at Dearborn HQ--likely for "evaluation purposes."

It's a do or die moment for these products - but we want to hear your take. Should Ford keep the limo builders happy and keep the Town Car alive? Should a new rear-drive lineup along the lines of Ford's Interceptor take the place of the trio? Or is there room in the Ford portfolio for both?


Ford’s Wixom Plant is History - The Car Connection
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Comments (70)
  1. I think they need keep them rolling, its one of the oldest lux cars around, keep up with times, re-style etc. I like the old late 80 models,
     
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  2. There IS a market for good value RWD cars. I would
    1) Base them on the Australian Falcon, itself due for replacement in 2008
    2) Kill the Mercury version and differentiate the Lincoln from the Ford sufficiently to justify the price premium
    3) Engineer a diesel or hybrid version from the outset
    4) Engineer AWD

    LOng term the current models have no future. They are only used as taxis, police cars or 'limos'. However with NYC announcing its plan to migrate to a hybrid taxi fleet (other cities will follow) and Dodge encroaching on the police fleet market, the numbers don't add up. For Lincoln to be viable as a luxury brand it needs to abandon the rental and airport limo market or disappear entirely. As it stands, Ford has squandered the lead it had in RWD, and given their inability to either read market trends or react consistently with quality product, we can start writing the obituaries for Ford's RWD vehicles. Shame
     
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  3. Ford Should Bring the Interceptor to market. Call it the Galaxie, and bring out Mercury and Lincoln Variants as well. In the mean time, the current vehicles should be kept available, as long as a profit can be made, until the afore mentioned vehicles can be brought into play. Ford (and Lincoln) needs a large rear drive platform to remain competitive.
     
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  4. I had one of each,Ford,Merc,Like the model T It's time to move on.
    The future is calling Ford,respond with new cars that the next Generation will
    Buy. Ford has some great cars in Europe,GET GOING! I'm waiting to drive
    a Focus convertable diesel in my garage.
     
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  5. It would be a shame to loose the names but it would be even worse to bedge engineer the names onto something less than they should be. Ford needs to wake up and see that the rest of the world is moving toward modern, rear drive platforms. What are they going to do whne GM comes out with theor new RD cars? Cadillac is on the move and Lincoln is still trying to sell a 12 year old Town Car. Ford should be feverishly working to make that new Mustang platform into something!
     
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  6. Keep 'em as long as they don't actually cause a loss. My cousin, at 76, just boiught a new Mercury Montego. He had two Grand Marqui models before. He said "I LOVE 'em -- but it's just like buying the car I already have."

    So, update them and keep them, for anyone who likes good old-fashioned value.
     
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  7. Forget the new 2008 Falcon, the car is not engineered for right hand drive and the long wheelbase Fairlane variant dies later this year.

    What Ford should be looking at is an all-new platform that converges the Australian and American requirements. It could be engineered to include the Mustang, the replacements for the Falcon and the three American Panther-based models that date back to the early '80s. The timing - probably 2012, would be reasonable for the Falcon and Mustang, not so good for the Crown Vic, Town Car and Marquis. By sharing and swapping body panels, a wide choice of body styles would be possible, including a new Ranchero.

    The basic philosophy essentially duplicates what Holden and GM are developing on the VE Commodore/Zeta platform. And why not? The Falcon is a far better drive than the Mustang...yes, I've driven both. Let the Australians do the basic engineering work.
     
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  8. Ford is asleep at the wheel. These marques MUST be maintained. A 12 year old platform
    does not cut it when the world move on and improves. Wake up Ford. The cars are not
    improved to modern standards or benchmarks. Ford needs to take the lead not just keep up. Lincoln and Mercury are proud brands with a rich history that cannot be sold short.
     
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  9. They could use the new Taurus aka 500 or the Taurus X with the biggest of the Mustang V-8s & all wheel drive as a police Crown Victoria replacement. They could also make a police interceptor version of the Mustang. If not, they can give their police business to GM & Chrysler. GM could rebadge a Cadillac CTS with the V-8 as a GMC for fleet sales with a police & taxi version, if Ford wants give up that market. It looks like a Dodge Charger in a police package might be an improvement over the Crown Victoria for police work. I suspect Ford's Escape hybrid will evolve into a taxi version, in view of the new NYC requirement.
     
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  10. Bring on the Interceptor!
     
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  11. Ford should keep the three big cars as long as they do not cause a loss. Tall guys like me do not have very many vehicles we can pour ourselves into unless we drive full-size pickups from most manufacturers, or Tahoes/Suburbans from Chevy. The "old fogie" market for those cars is not ready to go away yet either.
    If my big old Impala SS wears out completely, these Ford offerrings are the only choice to replace it, even if they are slower. Imagine how attractive they would be if they had an all-wheel drive option!
     
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  12. Does anyone at Ford actually drive their own cars anymore? They're obviously not car guys ... and looking at their balance sheets they're not accountants either!

    Lincoln used to be a distinctive and stylish brand. Now they have sunk lower than Cadillac ever was. Ford needs to invest in the luxury brands and understand the ROI will not come overnight. A new generation needs to discover it and make it theirs ... and that takes time.

    Look at Caddy. GM (never my favorite company) continues to invest in their style and engineering. Do any of my peirs drive them? Not yet, but I am starting to think they're getting closer to the European brands (can't believe I said that!).

    Ford needs to continue to invest in new platforms, technology and design. Break the rules ... or make their own rules. Lincoln needs to be their halo, not the albitros it is today. Mercury needs to develop their own identity for a full size RWD manufacturer.

    Unfortunately, they'll probably just "cut bait and run". It seems to be "the Ford way"!
     
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  13. Here in Australia the local Ford arm has had to close the idea of a long wheelbase version of the new Ford Falcon as the numbers don't stack up. But GM Holden developed their long wheelbase because they could leverage GM's international networks. Ford US and Ford Australia have a need for this kind of car and a joint market big enough for it but Ford HQ are to scarred to make a simple decision. Add to that the middle eastern markt and niche vehicles eswhere, there is the possibility to do something. Though the Ford Capri convertible built in Australia was complete crap and maybe they have long memories about that. Ford needs to get smart about its international integration. Just look at the new world Ford Focus (good) vs new US Ford Focus (awful), then look at what GM is doing with Saturn and its Opel cars. Every other manufacturing can do this, so why can't Ford?
     
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  14. This sounds like the usual Ford M.O. They use the same basic car for a decade or more with any significant updates, and then they complain that they are losing sales and will have to kill a car. The Escort, Ranger, and the Crown Vic/TC were three very high-selling lines that Ford let wither on the vine. The Mustang used the same chassis from 1979 to 2004! They need to put some money into R&D to give their cars more significant updates after 4-6 years to keep up with the rest of the industry.
     
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  15. The age of a vehicle's platform is not as imortant as many might think; the current Chrysler full-size lineup is on the '90s Mercedes 300E chassis. Furthermore, every time a new Ford is mentioned, the Aussie Falcon is mentioned, and while it seems to be a good car, we could be suffereing from the greener grass syndrome.

    American auto workers ae not second class citizens; they still know how to build quality cars. If the Falcon is brought over and it doesn't sell, all the hoopla would be for naught.

    I remember Ford marketing the Merkur Scorpio at about the same time they were rolling out the first generation Taurus and Sable, and that car, as lucious as it was had two shortcomngs no one seeme to catch before its U.S. debut: it was a beautifully constructed hatchback,which worked in Europe, but as a luxury car in the American market, it was a major strike against it; second of all, it appeared in the same showroom as the Sable, which in the minds of many consumers, was a better looking, better performing car at a friendlier price; and so it was.
     
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  16. Update the styling, improve the existing platform and spend the money developing an alternative fuel version for fleet sales (big city taxi's and livery). While fleet sales might be low profit, there is nothing better for real world testing of emerging engine technology.

    But I see no reason for the Grand Marquis and Crown Victoria. A vinyl seat Crown Vic for fleet, with cloth and leather for civilians should be enough if the styling is updated every 3-4 years.
     
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  17. Poor old Ford still seems to lack direction. The three rear-wheel drive cars (Town Car, Grand Marquis, and Crown Victoria) the company currently offers were outclassed by the competition years ago. They are, at best, rental fleet darlings with absolutely zero appeal to today's customer.

    Ford has shown signs of possessing the talent and vision to rise above the antiquated "badge engineered" mess they are today. Unfortunately, they never seem to be able to maintain the vision pass the show car and talking stages. The Interceptor and MKR concepts were both interesting and individualistic designs that could truly help Ford with their "way forward". If Ford follows its misled historical path, we will never see these two beautiful automotive visions become realities. These concepts are truly "BOLD MOVES".

    Also, Ford needs to differentiate their marquees. The reason Mercury and Lincoln are so invisible in today's market is because their products are gussied-up Fords. Changing the grill, headlamps, tail lamps, and fascias or offering more equipment at a higher price does not fool the public into thinking it has bought something more special than a Ford. For example, it is obvious that these nameplates are the same car; MKZ & Milan = Fusion, MKX = Edge, Mariner = Escape, Grand Marquis = Crown Victoria, Sable (Montego) = Taurus (500), etc. I understand that platform sharing is a way to lower costs, but everything the customer sees and feels in a car must be more upscale to sell a premium brand; not just superficial badges, grills, lights, and trim.

    Here's one way Ford could reposition their brands to make them meaningful:
    * Ford: affordable, yet sporty American brand.
    * Mercury: premium Eurocentric brand. This could be the opportunity for Ford to sell some of their European products over here (Mondeo, etc.). It would also raise Mercury above its current image of slightly modified Ford clone.
    * Lincoln: American luxury brand. Restore Lincoln to the place it once held in the public's eyes. Offer cars that have zero resemblance to Ford or Mercury products (exterior or interior). The cars must offer standard all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive to compete with other luxury marquees (I understand that rear-wheel drive is preferable, though). I also believe that to stand out as an American luxury manufacturer, Lincoln should revert back to actual car names instead of the meaningless letter series (MKX, MKZ, etc.). Incorporate some good ideas from the foreign luxury competition (distinctive styling, all-wheel or rear-wheel drive) with some American attitude (distinctive styling, brand names such as Continental, etc.).

    Come on Ford; show us that you still have some fight and vision left in Dearborn!
     
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  18. I agree, the age of the platform is not an issue. This platform, known as the "Panther", dates back to the 70s. The platform produced many profitable variants through the years. Not only were the Town Car, Grand Marquis and Crown Vic part of product mix, but as well the Thunderbirds, Cougars, LTDs and Montegos of the mid to late 70s. At that time Ford was on top of its platform sharing game.

    Ford needs this platform. Ford needs to recast the overall design and expand the utilization of a solidly engineered and real-world proven platform like the Panther.
    This can be done by implementing the following strategy:

    1. Drop the worn "squished jelly bean" look. Bring into play an aggressive stlye similar to the Interceptor. For the Mercury, differentiate the car by making it a 2 door sedan that has rear access doors for easier rear seat entry, in the same manner as Ford's pickups, but maintains the character of a 2 door... no one else offers a full-size 2 door these days. For Lincoln; revisit the regal style of the late 80s - early 90s, again, the squished jelly bean look sucks.
    2. Bring the interior designs into the current era, the plain "park bench" style with flat and un-inspiring dash layouts is mind-numbing. I bet Ford's bean counters love them though... flat is cheap.
    3.To improve fuel economy, innovate... use carbon fiber materials and LED lighting to reduce weight where appropriate.
    4. Integrate AWD, and diesel powered powertrains.

    These measures will inject new life into a time-tested platform that is still profitable and relevant in Ford's line up and future.
     
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  19. Has anyone rode in any of these cars lately. They are well past their prime. Brand new these cars feel 20 years old. They are only hurting their brands imaging while providing very little money. Kids today hate these cars more than just but about any other. They let the cars age to much, and have killed these great names in the process. Mybe 20 years from now they could use the names again once everyone has forgotten had bad they had got.
     
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  20. Every car Ford builds that makes money should be kept until they can profitably be replaced. They should spend some money to update these cars, soon. I agree with BJ Wilson, and have long felt that Ford should make these cars better "Drivers" cars. I rented a Grand Marquis a few years ago and loved it. I'm 45 and just traded my Audi A6 Quattro for a Mercedes E500 4-Matic. Again, I loved the Grand Marquis, and thought, if these cars handled better I think they'd sell alot more of them. A redo of the Town Car, to look like the classy and classically beautiful 60's Continental is a winner. It will be instantly recognizable and if done right will bring new buyers. Blow the cash and do suicide doors. Make a statement! Ford absolutely must look to its overseas arms for other products to sell in NA. The killer Mondeo could be a Lincoln it’s so pretty (See it in the latest James Bond movie). I mean James Bond in a Ford Mondeo, yes it’s that sweet! This car should be in America, period! I also understand the economics behind the decision to do a European Focus and a US model, but in the end you're spending money for 2 cars that can do the same job. Find a way to make it work! A good way of looking at this done right is, give Mercury a Cougar in a notch-backed luxury, hi performance coupe clone on the Mustang platform. The Challenger is coming, so is the Camaro and probably a Firebird. Ford can get a head start and pump life = product into Mercury. The sports coupes are coming back, so you’ve got the platform, expand it to a sport/Lux version. There is a coupe market, see how many 3-Series BMW’s are sold? They’re pretty small though. Also, why dump the Lincoln LS platform? Use it for something for heavens sakes! I would also add one more comment and that is make a wagon version in the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/Town Car redo. No one else has a full sized wagon; everyone has SUV's and Crossovers. If you make a great looking wagon, (no paneling please) people will buy it. Rumor has it GM may do one off the Lucerne Platform. See the trend back to cars.... My other advice to Alan is find a Bob Lutz Clone ASAP. Mark Fields is in over his head especially for his salary. Good grief, more than Bob Lutz AND Rick Wagoner combined!
     
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  21. Keep the Crown Vic for government duty.
    Keep the Town Car for Limo duty.
    Keep the Grand Marquis as the only retail car for traditional buyers.

    I'm not sure I'd even update them much other than for meeting government regulations. They kept building the original Beetle in Mexico up till a few years ago..... yeah, it's like that.
     
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  22. Once the deep thinkers at Ford decided that "Lincoln won't be chasing Cadillac upmarket" [ a quote from a news article here on TCC], I knew it was all over for Lincoln.

    It doesn't matter what they do, they haven't a clue how to make Lincoln compete with Cadillac let alone Lexus, Infiniti or Mercedes.Right now what they've got is essentially a line of pimped out Mercurys. Where else is Lincoln supposed to go but further upmarket unless Ford plans on dropping Mercury completely.

    Of course they could follow their usual business model and put a Lincoln style grille and a red reflector between the tail lights of a 500 and call it a Continental.

    Oops have I given something away?

    Until Ford pulls the gloves off and allows Lincoln something besides leftovers shared with lesser lines, it's going to go nowhere but down hill, and imported product badged as a Lincoln is not going to cut it either, as Cadillac learned with the Catera and Pontiac the GTO.
     
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  23. If they can still squeeze some profit out of the platform, they should continue doing so until they have a replacement ready. That being said, this is all a case of Ford focusing too much on trucks and not enough on cars. Now that fuel prices have gone up, it's time to pay the piper. Add to that, they totally neglected Lincoln which had a strong brand up until the 90's. Remember the Continental? That had some advanced features for its time. It's a total shame how they ruined Lincoln, especially when premium brands tend to be more profitable. Recently, the MKZ and MKX are nice competitive products with a great art deco theme to the grill and beautiful interiors, but besides the Navigator, nothing all-new or good came out from 1998 to 2005.

    Atul
    http://www.thingsivenoticed.com
     
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  24. This may sound wacky...and probably is, but why not use up some of that exess truck capacity and spin a "limo" off the F-150 chassis on a scale similar to the Rolls Royce Phantom, but targeted specifically to the livery trade. Talk about road presence for self important business execs and politicians!
     
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  25. Ford missed the mark when they developed the current Five-Hundred/Taurus platform. There should have been no justifiable reason to have two large-car platforms, one on a front-drive/AWD platform, the other being RWD body-on-frame. So, that money is already wasted. Since the sales of the Taurus and Taurus X will likely never reach targets regardless of what they are named, they should just admit their mistake and roll all the Tauruses, Crown Vics, Marquis, and Town Car into one decent, justifiable RWD platform.
     
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  26. "John Doering Says:

    June 1st, 2007 at 1:05 am
    Ford should keep the three big cars as long as they do not cause a loss. Tall guys like me do not have very many vehicles we can pour ourselves into unless we drive full-size pickups from most manufacturers, or Tahoes/Suburbans from Chevy. The “old fogie” market for those cars is not ready to go away yet either.
    If my big old Impala SS wears out completely, these Ford offerrings are the only choice to replace it, even if they are slower. Imagine how attractive they would be if they had an all-wheel drive option! "


    I am also a tall guy (6ft5) and never found enough room in the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis. My current '06 Impala has more than enough room. The Chrysler LX cars are also roomy AND have available all-wheel drive. The upcoming Pontiac G8 and redesigned Impala look promising as well. Ford needs to bring on the Interceptor or at least stuff a V8 in the Taurus(500)/Sable(Montego) in the meantime.
     
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  27. Why would I spend $30-35K on a fully-loaded Mercury that looks like a stripped Ford Taxi, or $45-50K for a Lincoln Airport Car...

    ...when I can go on eBay today and spend $20K on an immaculate 1968 Mercury Park Lane Convertible with Yacht Deck Paneling and low miles, or $25-30K for a restored 60's Continental Convertible?
     
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  28. Ford needs a car the same size as the current Crown Vic/Grand Merc/Town Car. If Ford uses a smaller size car about the size of the 500 err Taurus but smaller then the current Panthers then they will lose business to the Cady DTS! Wake up Ford we want a high performance 10,000 horsepower rear drive car like the Caddy 16! I know Ford could build a car like the Cady 16
     
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  29. 1979 technolgy is not good enough for you? Cuba uses technology from the 1950's and its good enough for them
     
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  30. I think the next Crown Vic should be a retro mobile based off the 1979 model!!!
     
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  31. let the ford crown vic be treo (1979 look)
    let the Mercury Grand Merc be Futuristic
    let the Town Car be American Chic!
     
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  32. For the Crown vic put in the Mustang V8 Engine and the six speed trannny from the Five Hundred. Add advanced cylinder management. Drop a little weight by adding aluminum in the trunk and hood and door panels and improve the sound deadening. make the back seat fold down. Change the front seats to they have some support and get an entirely new dash. Now people will actually pay $28,000 for it without rebates.
    While they are at it make a Mercury Cougar from the mustang platform with different sheet metal independent rear suspension , quiet interior, and 3.6 liter Vg. A refined sports car to go with Mustang muscle car.
    Ford has the Edge andthe Flex give the Freestyle to mercury and call it the messenger instead of the Sable X.
    I thought Lincoln had a good car with the LS just too little power in the V6 and fuel economy too low with the V8. They can drop the town car and come up with a good rear drive lux car to go with the MKR
    by the way I will consider buying a new Focus if they make it with stability control
     
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  33. With higher CAFE imminent, Ford should not waste money developing a new RWD platform. Let Panther run its course. 10 years from now, most cars will the size of the Focus, with sub-2.0L engines, many hybrid.
     
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  34. I doubt if many of the experts who post here own, or have even driven, a late model Lincoln Town Car. The attraction to these cars by people who actually buy them is that nothing else rides as smooth. Nothing, not even a 100 large Benz or Beemer.

    It certainly wouldn't hurt to update the styling every few years, but it is the body on frame construction that is unique about the Town Car, and if they go to a unitized chassis for their flagship model, they will have nothing to offer their loyal Town Car buyers. That would be damn shame.

    The Town Car demographic is an old man with lots of money to spend. It seems like that is a customer you would want to keep.
     
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  35. Ford USA has to spend the money and get Ford Australia to develop their RWD platform for left hand drive applications. In it's current build, it is a great car (the Falcon). Comfortable, with great engines. Strong, plenty of torque (especially the 4.0 litre 6 cylinder turbo - 362hp). They do tow great, handle well, drive smooth, plenty of space.

    Now in doing so, jobs don't need to be lost, and the platform and cars can be built in the USA. Win win situation.

    When the G8 is available, you will see what the Falcon's main competition is like.
     
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  36. Though these cars may not directly lose money for the companies, i think it is obvious that they create an image problem for the companies as a whole. If the Town Car is the "halo" Lincoln, there is a serious problem. They have a live rear axle for god's sake. My Dad was just visiting me and had a Grand Marquis rental car with just about five thousand miles on it. the ride was absolutely horrendous. you could feel the car get jittery if the tires were on uneven surfaces. and the leather interior had to have come from the most horribly treated cows in the world. it was harder than any i have ever come across. these cars are old and don't belong in the companies' current line-up. the answer to whether or not they should bring a proper rear wheel drive platform (Ind. Rear Susp.) is most definitely yes. the Five Hundred cum Taurus should have had it. well, i could go on and on, but with the amount of time it takes fomoco to make decisions it seems like they will be in a world of hurt in not too long. i truly hope this is not the case as my uncle and grandfather worked for them and i hate GM, but it don't see how it is avoidable when they make decisions like their most recent face-lift of the focus and poor engine in the F150. you, ford, won't get bailed out by producing four hundred special editions of the mustang. you will get bailed out if you actually build cars people want to drive.
     
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  37. I've never cared much for the Crown Vic - it looks like a cop car, no matter what they do to it.. I've rented both Grand Marq's and Town Cars before, and while the styling could use an upgrade, both inside and out, what both cars really need is a massive handling upgrade. Even the newest models have far too much softness in the ride; Cadillac has been able to do it, why not Ford?
     
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  38. The platform may be a decent taxi, but many patrolmen wish their fleet buyers had spent some time behind the wheel of those understeering gas gulpers. Most other primary fleetsales cars from other makes have been correctly pulled from the market; they normally hurt the company image despite the loyal fans. Anyway, with the facts out there, no one need say save those "American-built" cars.
     
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  39. C'mon INTERCEPTOR!!!!!!! And FORD, while you're at it, a complete remake of the RANGER is long overdue. C'mon boys, wake up!
     
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  40. I think they should keep them. The police like them, the taxi drivers like them, the limo business likes them, and many elderly people like them. Also I feel that GM should not have killed off the Caprice, Road Master, and Fleetwood. I have alway's been a fan of the "boats".
     
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  41. By the time the management at Ford figures out they need a rear wheel drive, the high-style, American V8-RWD sedan fad will be over! The Chrysler 300 is already, what, three? four years old? And Ford is "studying" a new RWD sedan to replace the Crown Vic/Town Car? Puh-LEEZE!!

    First priority should be a Lincoln flexible Rear Wheel Drive car platform that can go from a BMW 5-Series size to Town Car size. And the MKR should be first (by 2010 Calendar year), THEN a new Town Car 6 months later, and then maybe a replacement for that dreadful V6 front wheel drive MKS sedan they will be launching in 2008.

    A production version of the Interceptor or a new Ford Galaxie might not be a bad idea, but will it make sense with gas at $4/gallon? A RWD for a luxury brand-Lincoln--is a no-brainer, but for the Ford brand, a RWD sedan is going to have to be very lightweight and efficient. A RWD for Ford would therefore only be a niche product, and for the Ford brand, they should therefore prioritize figuring out how to make the FWD/AWD Five Hundred/Taurus into sales successes with the retail customers again.
     
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  42. About a month ago, I rented a 2007 Lincoln Town Car while travelling for business. Well not the most up-to-date styling, after driving one I can see why this car has one of the most loyal owner groups. This car felt so comfortable! Still a nice car but the dash layout could benefit from some significant updating. When it's time to replace my current car, I'll be looking at the Lincoln.
     
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  43. Keep all three with these much needed updates: 3V 4.6L with 6 speed auto (Explorer) in all models. Reduce weight by several hundred pounds but keep body on frame. Up date interior, and move styling closer to '92 thru '97 Town Car. Stay away from the "jelly bean" look that nobody likes!
     
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  44. The Falcon is the most logical way to go, as years of development and proven reliability has been established. The Orion model due in Australia in 12 months has already been engineered for both left & right hand drive.
     
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  45. The shame is Ford did have an outstanding updated version of the Panther chassis in the Mercury Marauder and because the suits did not know how to run the company, it ceased production after only 11,000 units. Tight front suspension, rear air suspension from the Town Car, the DOHC 300 hp V8 from the Cobra, comfy Lincoln-like leather buckets w/console and great exterior styling touches like the old gods-head logo, big shiny wheels and rear exhausts. I thought they had a winner there but they killed it off after only two years. Just take a look at the resale of a nice one of those.
     
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  46. Now listen here Ford, "ya gonna drive me to drinkin", so you better start making a real Hot Rod Lincoln!
     
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  47. Reinvent Lincoln. Adopt a true, focused vision of Lincoln as a modern American luxury brand and forget the past styling "heritage", which is a mish-mash of different ideas and trends, mostly bad, over the past thirty-plus years. They only need four vehicles, a full-size SUV, a crossover, a mid/largeer RWD car (Continental or Town Car), and a mid/sporty 2-door RWD coupe (Mark IX)! Coupes are going to be big over the next few years, and Lincoln could lead the way instead of following. What a concept!
     
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  48. There are several excellent ideas in all of these postings. FIRST, Lincoln has to stay as the premier vehicle but it does have to chase Cadillace up-market. 3-4 years ago Ford had a Mercury convertible concept at the Detroit show which was a dynamite looking car. With a Lincoln nameplate it could have sold immediately. Lincoln needs to be re-invented as a true American luxury RWD car with a Town Car, a new Mark coupe/convertible, the Navigator and a cross-over for as long as that market exists. I currently have an '03 Aviator (which is a real hot-rod) and an '03 TC Cartier. Both will be up for replacement soon and the MKX is not the replacement for the Aviator. As for the TC, I won't replace it until I see something truly special. None of the Cadillacs ride at all like the TC and I won't even think about any European car. Most ride like tanks. Japanese cars are finally catching up to us in quality problems and they don't have the Lincoln ride quality either. Absolutely, Lincoln TC's need better handling and MORE POWER. Why couldn't the Aviator/Mustang engine/tranny be put into the TC with better handling and an up-dated interior? 300 HP is the absolute minimum for "braggin rights."" Just a comment, my first Lincoln was a 1970 2-door and I've bought new TC's about every 3-4 years since then. I've driven/owned all of the variants and, for my money, the early 90's styling truly said "Lincoln". But, I wouldn't want to go back to that styling, I just want styling that makes the vehicle unique. The sillouhette of 95% of the new cars is identical so they all look the same. Lincoln needsto be different. The current platform is "bulletproof" which accounts for its longevity and market acceptance but the Crown Vic should be a government service vehicle (they must sell enough of thoseto be profitable), the big Merc needs to be the "hot rod" vehicle line and the Town Car has an extremely loyal market. Don't throw it away. FINALLY, GET RID OF ALL OF THE IDIOTIC LETTERS!!!! There is absolutely nothing wrong with Town Car, Continental, etc. MKLT means "Mark Light Truck"??????? MKX means "Mark Cross-Over"???????? If they don't stop soon the "Mark" won't ean anything important. "Lincoln" shouldn't mean "Barnad recognition", it should mean "brand insistence" because it's America's best.
     
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  49. Like with every other Lincoln, they continually grow unattractive. Lincoln's only successful (my opinion) vehicle was the Navigator, now look what they've done to its looks... appalling! I actually wrote them asking why they had to ruin their best looking vehicle (Navigator) with the awful looking taillights being used on their cars! And those headlights.. God-awful ugly!
     
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  50. the orion falcon is being engineered in left hand drive.tom gorman also stated that the fairlane can be revived as a model in the future..
     
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  51. All 3 are fantastic cars. They are extremely reliable, cheap to operate, and reasonable fuel efficient. Like everyone says, they just need to be updated. They are a great platform, we still need body on frame cars, youll note that the Lincoln Town Car is ranked among the safest cars in the world, this is a huge selling point!

    I say, reskin them with the looks of the Interceptor, MKZ, and 2002 Continental concepts interior/exterior. Make the powertrain more competitive, and all of a sudden youve got a ot product. The police/taxi market makes these cars creditable, they just keep running. Ive owned 2, and they are great cars.
     
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  52. Honestly, I am not the biggest fan of American cars. And I really can't stand Japanese cars and the bs quality stigma that goes with them. Three months ago I started working at a Ford dealership. Now, I must say, in the past few years Ford has really improved their products. The Fusion is an excellent car that can truely compete head on with Camry's, Accords, and the rest. Last week our dealership bought out a Lincoln Mercury dealership so we had to go and pick up all the cars on their lot. This was my first drive in an MKZ. Besides some questionable interior styling, this is a really nice car. Tons of power, comfortable seats, and a great ride that actually had some handling. My only complaint was about the stupid touch screen nav and stereo. This is such a distraction and there isn't any display between the gauges, so you always have to look at the radio to do anything.

    Ok, so Lincoln now has a few cars that are actually out there to compete. Then there is the Town Car. A more affordable luxury car that is severly outdated. And big cars aren't dying, look at the Lexus LS, BMW 7 series, Audi A8. These cars are tens of thousands more then the Town Car and are selling at a good rate. As with any car, if it doesn't get any love and updates, it will never succeed. Look at what happened to the Taurus when Ford neglected it... The Town Car needs Ford to step up and invest some money. It will never be a big seller, but at least if they make it competative it will stand a chance at surviving. Lincoln's typically sell to older people that have been brought up with Lincolns. Unfortunately this type of mentality is dissapearing and people that used to only buy a particular brand are now shopping around. Lincoln needs to acknowledge this and change it's products to meet the customer. Hopefully they can and will do it otherwise RIP Town Car.
     
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  53. Maybe a proper, new generation rear drive very stylish Continental to replace or sell along side the Town Car. People still want the TownCar.
     
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  54. Don't you think it ironic that Ford closed down the Wixom plant just before the JD Power Initial Quality Study results were announced? The Wixom plant was bestowed with the Platinum Plant Quality Award. It produced Town Cars with an average of 35 Defects per 100 Vehicles. The Lexus plant has an average of 41 defects per 100 vehicles. BMW and Mercedes have averages of 37 and 41 defects per 100 vehicles respectively. What is Ford thinking?
     
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  55. Let's take note, one of the primary factors the Panther based vehicles might be phased out mainly deals with crash standards. According to future federal regulations, by 2012, passenger vehicles will be required to have gas tanks forward of the rear axle. So for Ford's best interest, they either spend millions to re-engineer that aspect, or invest that money on a totally brand new vehicle.

    It's no secret that because of it's "Body on Frame" (BOF) construction these are some of the more durable rugged vehicles which is why so many see use as taxi, police dept, etc. Try throwing an Impala at a curb going 30MPH, and you'll see the reason why these agencies go with the Panther vehicles instead.

    Engineering wise, the vehicles (with Sport suspension) had very well considering their size and weight, it's just the stigma, the name, the styling (inside and out), huge overhangs, which give the vehicle a dated look that harkens back to a long gone era where that was stylish.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see these vehicles lasting till 2011 with minimal improvements, and possibly be phased into fleet sales only. I believe the Crown Vic is now only available for fleet sales only starting this year. Ford would do better using it's synergies with Ford Australia (let them pick up the majority of the costs) to bring in a new RWD uni-body passenger sedan.
     
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  56. I would like to see these North American icons continue but updated somewhat.
    One thing I would change...the TC would only be made in the L version. The Grand Marquis and the Crown Vic should use the 6" stretch in wb that the Crown Vic taxi version has.
    The standard w.b. versions of each should be dropped. I've always felt that as relatively huge these cars are on the outside, they have grossly unacceptable rear seat leg room.
     
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  57. well i beilieve that Lincoln should put more power under the hood to keep up with the competition more than 345 i suppose and also keep on building. 239 HP isnt enough
     
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  58. The Clown Vic and its ilk are rolling embarrassments. Shoot 'em and get it over with.

    The Aussie Falcon is so much better than any US Ford that I'm not convinced Dearborn could even figure out what to do with it. It's just on a completely different level than anything Ford builds in North America.
     
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  59. It's astounding that Ford is "studying" a replacement for the ancient Town Car-Crown Vic-Grand Marquis in 2007. Cadillac made the switch 5 years ago, Chrysler 3 years ago, and those cars have been huge sales successes. Whether they use a stretched Mustang base, or the Volvo derived AWD platform, Ford has 2 strong possibilities for a RWD car with an AWD option. The success of Cadillac, Chrysler's 300, and even the newer Buicks, with their styling derived from successful Japanese luxury brands has made it obvious that many well-off 70 year olds still have functioning brain cells and will buy luxury cars with modern styling and features. Ford's belief that they hate change and will refuse to buy anything that smacks of modern engineering or styling is insulting to their customer base, but typical of the addle-headed thinking that has failed to stop the hemorrhaging of cash at multibillion dollar rates from the once proud carmaker. I rented a Town car from Avis recently and was disappointed and astounded to find that Avis had demanded, and Ford had produced, a stripped down Town Car with cheap plastic interior fittings, including mostly plastic seats, a plastic steering wheel, substandard sound system, and a dashboard little different from that in a Montego. Good thinking.... Hmm. While Camry and Accord were continually upgraded and restyled subtly to maintain identity while improving their value, with a goal to gain sales in the family sedan market; Ford decided to "decontent" Taurus, lowering the level of luxury and features available in the car, reducing its value, with a goal to .... what? If the goal was to deliberately destroy once proud brands, they couldn't have done a better job.

    Of course the Town Car should be kept!! Modern RWD and AWD vehicles are the upscale vehicles of choice. The platforms exist, hell, use the LS for something instead of dropping it! Turn Lincoln loose. Many upscale buyers are looking for reasons to buy American; Cadillac is regaining sales by giving them modern cars in a variety from comfort cruisers to sporty sedans that will compete in handling and luxury with the Japanese and German brands. Lincoln needs to jump into this upscale market or it will wither away.
     
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  60. Dear Sir,
    I am one of the fans of Crown Victoria.There is a great debate these days on this car.Is the shape going to change in 2008 .Some say it will be the same till 2011.Please advise me.
    THanking you in anticipation
    Omar Atieh Ph.D
     
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  61. please keep town car forever
     
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  62. Lincoln Town car is my dream car
     
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  63. Ford should have a New Lincoln Town Car in 2010 to 2011. This will lead to a New Crown Vic and a New Mercury Grand Marquis. The models will become more European in nature. They will keep the V8 which is a winner. Interior size will stay the same, but the length of the car may be reduced a bit. The automaker needs to improve on the quality of the leather in the car and include some real wood or brushed steel accents on the dash. Also, Lincoln should also look at the option of power rear seats in the Town Car.
    Fit and finish should be improved a bit to keep par with Japanese car makers. These changes will bring about a strong increase in sales in the U.S. and abroad.
     
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  64. I have driven nothing but Town Cars since 1992, leasing a new one every 39 months. I was 24 when I got my first one, the dealer thought it was for my dad.

    I had to search high and low for a Sig. Ltd. Black on Black for 2007 but I finally found one. And its just as wonderful as all the others. When I returned my '04 Town Car, I couldn't leave it at the dealer - so I bought it. And I'm taking it to London in September for a real drive through Europe.

    My dad just leased a 2007 S500. Its been flatbedded twice already. Town Car: shove in the key, turn and away you go.

    If I won the lottery six weeks in a row, I'd still drive only a Town Car. Its the only real US car left. Solid Body-on Frame, rear wheel drive and the gearshift where it belongs - on the column (so my girlfriend can cuddle next to me when we go for a ride. What moron ever thought to put the gearshift between the two front seats anyway.

    I will NEVER buy a Canadian Town Car. If necessary, I would beg, borrow and steal to keep repairing my last Wixom Town Car (and last car altoghether), I'll ever own.
     
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  65. I would add a Hybrid V8 Towncar and a Flexfuel Towncar. As we all know gas will be a problem in the future. I would also add a DVD player/TV mounted in the roof for rear passengers to watch. I would also consider a better quality of carpet in the car. Maybe a wool upgrade option. The car needs better road noise reduction in the floor and doors.
    Jim 2008
     
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  66. The Lincoln Town Car is the ultimate American sedan. That Ford is considering killing it just as Chrysler is about to reinvent the Imperial (not to mention how the 300 has made 4 door yank tanks sexy again) just shows how the blue oval is two steps behind the rest.
    The current model is great. Sure it's lost much of what Town Cars have been, but the machine itself is well made. Strange how the big Lincoln trucks(LINCOLN TRUCKS!?!?!) have benefited from Fords abandonment of the aquatic bulbous ovoid fish-style that plagued them through the 90's. Much in the way that cladding afflicted GM in those years.
    Take the Navigator for instance. Why isn't the Continental inspired dash in the Town Car? That 1960's era dual housing layout is in every Lincoln truck, the MKZ, the Mustang, yet nowhere is it found inside the very nameplate that gave birth to it. Could you imagine opening the door of a 2010 Continental Town Car with that beautiful dashboard style, wool carpet(thank you James), large power glass sunroof, colors unique to the model(not the Toyota tones of beige and sage and almost blue). Outside a blend of the Navigator front end with headlamp doors, for the rear, a full width taillight. Twin exhausts, touring car handling, cloud 9 ride, better quality build, crisp, slab-sided bodywork.
    Ford, do not kill the Town Car.
     
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  67. "Town Car"

    I am 18 and I have owned a 79 Continental and now a 1997 Lincoln Town Car. I really hope they decide to keep the Town Car up and running. The Town Car is the face of Lincoln and is my favorite car and I will continue to drive this one and eventually newer ones.
    The Town Car will always be the legend of Lincoln.
     
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  68. "Mr Lincoln"

    I have been an avid Lincoln Lover for years. Please, please Ford, DON'T let the Town Car die!!! I own a Car service in Palm Beach Florida and the Town Car is the car of choice. Even my Lexus & Mercedes clients love my Town Cars and claim that it's more comfortable than their cars.
    I have over 200,000 on one of them now and it runs & drives perfect, try doing that with anything foreign or even GM or Chrysler, it would not happen.
    Why do you think that there are so many Ford products on the road today? Because they build great products that last and thats what people want today. Please Ford, Keep up the good work and keep this beautiful American Icon, Please!!
     
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  69. "Listen up Ford"

    Ford will be making a great mistake by ridding themselves (and us) of this fine automobile. I own a 2005 model with a meager 19K on it. I love this extremely comfortable car. It drives like a champ and gets rather excellent gas mileage (for a land yacht) on long highway trips. I've read many reviews online and they refer to the aging Town Car enthusiasts. Well.....I'm all of 40 and don't consider myself a "blue hair". I've owned a variety of cars and must say this is one of my favorites. True, the car needs to be updated. The equivalent Cadillac has more bells and whistles including standard heated/cooled seats, rear seat power lumbar, rear window power window shade as well as passenger window shades...these are just a few items and come on.....at the price point paid....one would expect standard navigation and power sunroof. I agree with Brian's suggestion that they adapt the front grill of the new Navigator to the Town Car. I've heard Ford wants to replace the Town Car with the MKS. I'm sorry.....but I've seen the MKS....and they are not up to snuff. Listen up Ford......your people are speaking. Don't kill the Town Car (please).
     
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  70. these idiots don't have a clue town car is the best american car ever made sweet ride good gas mileage reliable all you goofs and traitors dive your rice burners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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