By on October 31, 2007

tn_xlarge_p71-01.jpgAccording to WardsAuto.com, there will be no '09 Ford Crown Victoria. It was bound to happen sooner or later, what with sales of Ford's last full-size rear wheel-drive sedan tanking by 90 percent since 2000. Twisting the knife, Wards says Ford moved just 46,188 Crown Vics year-to-date, down 9.1 percent from last year's totals. So that's it for Ye Olde Crown Vic, at least on the retail side. Ford will continue making a fleet-only Vic at its Ontario plant, alongside the newly relocated, equally doomed Lincoln Town Car. Meanwhile, the Grand Marquis variant will continue not to clog Mercury dealer parking lots for the forseeable future, despite underselling the underselling Crown Vic by about 15 percent. By 2010, when job guarantees to Ford's St. Thomas-based Canadian Auto Workers' union expire, all of Ford's full-sized RWD sedans will be toast. What a waste. 

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33 Comments on “Ford Crown Victoria RIP...”


  • avatar

    I guess it doesn’t come as a surprise.

    At least they’ll live forever with enthusiast/aftermarket support. Fusions are disposable, Panthers are indestructible.

  • avatar
    Antone

    My first car was a 1981 LTD Crown Vic. $ 400.00 bought me seating for ten, fun RWD antics in the winter and 40,000 miles of driving w/ out a major problem. I even had a Buddha on the dashboard. It was sun oxidized Blue. Nice.

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    I’m surprised Ward’s is reporting this as new news.

    The article says that after ’08, the CV will be fleet only… Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Vic has not been available for retail sale since early 2007. It’s also not on the Ford website for 2008.

  • avatar
    glenn126

    An anvil is also indestructible, but I wouldn’t want one on my coffee table as an ornament.

    Rode in a Lincoln on the way from the NY airport to my sis’s place a couple years ago, and the car didn’t seem very secure to me…. OK, to be TRUTHful, it was falling to bits and seemed absolutely 3rd worldly on NYC’s abysmal roads (and I though Michigan roads/drivers sucked).

    Checker Motors Corporation is still in business (or was last time I checked) making car parts.

    Any chance you guys down in Kalamazoo want to be the last auto maker standing (in Michigan) and come back into the fray?

    Checkers with a nice healthy big diesel V8 (International?) would make a capital cop-car. Tough as boots, lots of room in the back for perps, no need to worry about perps hitting their head while you’re stuffin’ them into the back seat. And a V6 diesel hybrid Checker would be a wonderously good taxicab, eh?

    They’d just have to re-engineer the front & rear clips and frame for modern day collapsable capability, add air bags and modern ABS brake components (RWD truck components would work fine, right off the shelf).

  • avatar
    blautens

    Not a good thing…I’d have rather read “Ford announces they’re developing a new RWD platform to replace the aging Panther”.

    At least they’re still making it available to fleet purchasers (and lucky Mercury customers?), who freak out when the rug gets pulled out from under them.

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    Too bad, I was really hoping for a good RWD replacement.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    great. now ford’s got room in the line up for the interceptor concept. don’t be stupid like GM with the H3T: make it look just like the concept car!

    What happened from the H3T concept to production vehicle is a word that starts with R and rhymes with “see todd did”

  • avatar
    beetlebug

    I don’t think it’s a terrible loss with regards to the specific platform. It’s a sucky care by modern day standards. I do think Ford should have a rear drive platform, though. Maybe with an independent rear suspension? I know that tossed the last one they had away. Talk about short sighted.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Letting models die of neglect and then discontinuing them because of low sales is not what I would define even loosely as a ‘strategy’.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    The Crown Vic is already a fleet only vehicle. It hasn't been marketed at retail for a long time. The Grand Marquis is barely on life support. They are hard to find and buy even if you did want one. Panther, Ranger, Minivans … the list of product lines Ford has left onthe mountain top to die is just horrific.

  • avatar
    shabatski

    I’m actually very saddened by this. I have many fond memories in the back seat of a Lincoln Town Car as a child on grandparent-sponsored road trips. It was comfortable and there were hectors of leather between my brother and I, prohibiting any impromptu fighting antics from occurring. Flash forward to yesterday, I took a Town Car to the airport and again was reminded of the large space and soft comfy ride the Panther platform affords to its chauffeured passengers.

    Of course, the key to me liking these vehicles is being ‘driven’ in them and not driving them…

    Panther, RIP – you served us well.

  • avatar
    NickR

    I have many fond memories in the back seat of a Lincoln Town Car

    I thought you were going to say something else…

  • avatar
    Axel

    !Viva la Zeta-Impala!

  • avatar
    shabatski

    No… that’s where the Town & Country came in very spaciously…

  • avatar
    86er

    !Viva la Zeta-Impala!

    I haven’t heard any news about this in months.

    Nothing about a Ford RWD large car either…

    What’s the deal?

  • avatar
    Ryan Knuckles

    shabatski:
    You got tail in a minivan? You stud.

  • avatar
    picard234

    Ranger will be killed after MY09, too, but I don’t see that in the news…

  • avatar
    Mud

    I’ll hang on to the two that I own.

    They have proven themselves over many years and many miles.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    Crown Vic went fleet only for 2008. Ford hates the platform, as it doesn’t fit in with their new image of sucky rebadged Eurojapanese disposable vehicles. Looks bad to have a indestructible vehicle on the same sales floor as the other crap they try to push.

    As far as the Grand Marquis, my dealer still sells more of them than any other automobile – excluding the Mariner, of course.

    I absolutely love my 2002 Grand Marquis – this means I’ll have to order a 2010 from the factory, whether my wife likes that or not.

    We’ll be a two Grand Marquis family after that for a number of years – my family usually gets about 15 years out of each one.

    Try not to be a bitter Panther fan, but Ford really, really blew it on this market as well.

  • avatar

    Try not to be a bitter Panther fan, but Ford really, really blew it on this market as well.

    And they know it. The new-ish Taurus/Sable haven’t set the market on fire as they’d hoped. Its fun to trash on the Panthers, but they sell as well or better (Marquis) than their FWD, Volvo-based replacement.

    If you don’t understand why, you’re probably one of the many who hasn’t driven a Ford, lately! :-)

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    They were also fixable with tools available at your local hardware store.

  • avatar
    NickR

    You got tail in a minivan? You stud.

    Without a sworn statement, I am not buying it. You’d have a better chance getting laid wearing a tutu.

  • avatar
    Chaser

    We have two Crown Vics (one ex-police interceptor, woo!) and a Grand Marquis at work. Our other cars are an ovaled-up Taurus and a newish Impala. My preference, in order of most to least favorite:

    1) Grand Marquis – slightly better interior than Crown Vic
    2) Crown Vic
    3) Taurus
    4) Impala

    Having said that, I would never buy any of them for my personal use. The Marquis/Vic cruisers would be good for long highway trips but that’s about it. And don’t get me started on the Impala, yeesh.

  • avatar
    shabatski

    NickR – I never said the T&C helped my efforts, but it did facilitate them.

    Never tried the tutu, though…

  • avatar
    phil

    i bought a 97 crown vic brand spanking new. i had destroyed a 95 lincoln by colliding with a horse very early one morning…. nuther story, but that’s where the insurance money came from. anyway, the crown vic was bulletproof, quiet, spacious, and had a very comfortable ride. got 50k trouble free miles, maintenance was cheap, etc. by then i was making enough money to move up and i test drove a CPO 740i. OMG what a revelation; it had bank vault solidity, quality, gorgeous interior, and perhaps the greatest comparative difference was the steering. my crown vic acted as if i was making a suggestion about changing direction when the wheel was turned whereas the BMW was, well, you know, a whole lot better. but the Vics were what they were and i will miss them as the symbol of an era; Ford really deserves shame for not developing them into a fine rear drive full sized car.

  • avatar
    86er

    my crown vic acted as if i was making a suggestion about changing direction when the wheel was turned whereas the BMW was, well, you know, a whole lot better.

    This was improved somewhat over the years; they went to R & P steering I believe the year after your ’97, and made some watts linkage and hydroforming chassis improvements afterward, especially for the ’03 year.

    But there is no doubt that despite these paltry improvements the platform was merely hosed for its profitability and would likely have been canned around the same time as the GM B/D body cars had it not been for the aforementioned profitability and the fact that GM pulled the plug first.

    What on earth will the police use after ’10? I can’t see police departments happy with only Impalas and Chargers.

  • avatar
    NickR

    More shameful is the fact that for the longest time these cars were being made with labour getting paid in Canadian $ when it was worth 65 cents US. That and the long since paid-for tooling should have left lots of room for profit and improvements. But no, better to let the model languish…

  • avatar
    dawgone

    hey now hold on, i got one of those c/v’s 97 model its got 179k, BEEN IN THE FAMILY SINCE MY DAD IT WAS DROVE OFF THE DEALERS LOT , aint never done nothin but regualar maintanece and replaced the plastic intake with a aluminum one when it cracked.still runs great, still get 25-28 mpg on the road and still rides like whipped cream.them idiots @ ford are second sisters to the clowns @ chrysler, niether has a clue on how to keep there model line staple profitable. they don’t know how to upgrade, just degrade. why buy a new vic it looks essentiallly the same it has for 15 years. if ford would have invested in its future with a little research and development the VIC WOULD STILL BE THE PROUD STAPLE of and other wise unimaginative line -up of clunkers.

  • avatar
    RobertSD

    Ford is where it is. The Crown Vic isn’t dying because they made a decision yesterday that it was going to die. Ford has continually neglected it for years. Why? Fleet sales made up for lost retail sales – and there was no reason to upgrade it for fleet.

    Yes, it’s all terrible that Ford did this, but it also cannot fix what it’s done wrong over night. There is a RWD world program in the works as well as a world Ranger probably coming to the states (and constant rumors of a mid-sized F-100). Ford’s goal – and it is the correct one – is to rid itself of redundant, old, orphaned platforms. However, development cycles don’t always align perfectly, and the products like the Fiesta, which launches here in early ’09, were in development before Mulally took over.

    In the meantime, while all these niche products (and a RWD sedan is currently niche and may barely be able to achieve even half of the retail sales the Accord or Camry enjoy now, no matter how you spin it) are being vetted, Ford has to focus on becoming profitable. A one-hit niche wonder will not save Ford (it didn’t save Chrysler). Supporting a dealer network that sells a couple thousand CVs and GMs a year is not helpful in that task, either. Launching the Fusion, Flex and F-150 successfully is helpful. Once the core – the bread and butter – are fixed up and righted (ie – aligned with their EU counterparts in the case of cars and given significantly new powertrains and updated designs in the case of trucks) and sales stablize and grow… then we get our niche RWD sedans back.

    It’s slow work. Ford’s former management screwed things up pretty bad, and it will take 4-5 more years to have a full line-up again. We’ll talk in about 2011.

    I drove a Ford Aerostar in college – let me tell you what can happen in the back of a minivan whose back seats fold nicely into a bed-like state…

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    RobertSD, one of the best emails I’ve read on the subject. Thanks for sharing.

  • avatar

    Launching the Fusion, Flex and F-150 successfully is helpful. Once the core – the bread and butter – are fixed up and righted (ie – aligned with their EU counterparts in the case of cars and given significantly new powertrains and updated designs in the case of trucks) and sales stablize and grow… then we get our niche RWD sedans back.

    Sounds right to me. Luckily the Crown Vic is durable enough as a used car, since the money for niche RWD sedans from Ford will be years (maybe over a decade) away. Its gonna take a long time to turn this ship around.

    In the meantime…

    Wouldn’t kill Ford to slap a GT500 motor in a special edition ’09 Vic. You know, just to give a proper goodbye to American Iron like Buick did with the GNX.

  • avatar
    Riverman

    I have a 92 Grand Marquis and I have always said I would not buy any other type of car after owning this one. The ride and comfort are amazing and I have got 28 mpg towing my race boat at 75 mph.

    Today I lifted the car and went underneath to change the starter, noticed it was leaking a bit of oil and proceeded to poke my finger through the oil pan! The engine was sealed up so well the pan rusted!!

    Yes I’m going to buy another Panther – there is a nice black 08 on the Ford lot up the street…..

  • avatar
    Irishflyer97

    I own a 99 Interceptor, and just love the handling and performance. Bought it cheap. It does sadden me to know these are heading out to pasture. I will admit BMW and Mercedes do handle nice but they have independent rears. But the sheer number of computers those two brands have installed have only lead to reliability problems. Plus the large bodies ones are 70-80 grand. My CV, on the other hand, is a simple and blunt instrument. What an American automobile is supposed to be like.


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