Having invested a considerable amount in its Taurus full-size car, Ford will almost certainly be discontinuing its Crown Victoria Interceptor (police model) in 2011. The Detroit News reports that Ford made the announcement to departments in June, when it invited officers to Dearborn to discuss Ford’s police fleet future. After breaking the news that the old warhorse would be put out to pasture, Ford gave officers the keys to its new Taurus, inviting them to drive the Crown Vic’s likely replacement. “We have no intention of walking away from our share of that market,” says Ford’s Jim Farley.
But the Taurus isn’t exactly a plug-and-play prowler. Police like the Crown Vic’s easy-to-repair body-on-frame construction, its column shift (which frees up room for a shotgun) and sheer size. Though the Taurus offers more speed, efficiency and safety, it lacks many of those features that make the Crown Vic America’s most popular cop car. Also, the Crown Vic has been the police standard for so long, a whole industry has emerged offering innumerable accessories, options and add-ons for cop duty. But if the Crown Vic keeps its shoulder to the plow past 2011, it won’t be because of any of these reasons. The two factors that are making this decision so tough for Ford are that the Crown Vic is long paid off, and that Ford is looking for concessions from the CAW, who assemble the Crown Vic. CAW president Ken Lewenza explains “keeping the Crown Vic in production until the end of the contract in 2012 would go a long way toward satisfying our objectives.” And there you have it.