Can Ford Reclaim America's RWD Crown (Victoria)?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

While GM STILL hasn't made up its mind whether or not to build a rear wheel-drive Impala (or anything else for that matter), Ford has declared its intention to reclaim the big ass rear wheel-drive (RWD) American sedan market, once dominated by the brand's Panther platform. Automotive News [sub] reports that FoMoCo CEO Alan Mulally broke the news while breaking bread with journalists in "suburban Detroit" (Grosse Point blank?). "It’s important going forward,” Big Al admitted, with enough understatement to shame a British peer. Did I say American sedan? "Executives acknowledge they can build the vehicles using a new global rwd platform being developed in Ford’s Australian operations." So, are we looking at a GM-like imported Aussie Pontiac G8-type deal? Not necessarily. “There are good reasons not to: currency, freight,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford group vice president of global manufacturing. Uh huh. No word yet what, when or where, but we sure as Hell get the why.

Robert Farago
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  • Orian Orian on Jan 10, 2008

    The biggest reason for GM and Ford to reach to Australia is that their divisions over there never stopped designing and manufacturing RWD cars and platforms while here in the states they went primarily to FWD. No sense in reinventing the wheel if you don't need too. Add to it the poor management of both companies in the US and its no wonder they look over seas for a suitable RWD architecture. The Panther platform has the black eye of the fire hazard in rear-end collisions now, so they need a new platform to go with. Ohio is spending close to $1 million to retro fit all of the state patrol Crown Vics with a fire supression system after having two rear ended last year catch fire.

  • Fellswoop Fellswoop on Jan 10, 2008

    Any new RWD big sedans will have to compete against the new Korean "Genesis" sedan which is all over the news, with serious HP & features and a sub-30k starting price.

  • Jurisb Jurisb on Jan 10, 2008

    Sure, cars built in USa mostly are foreign cars. But which are the ones built abroad you could name American? Goddamned, the engineering pyramid goes from the simplest to the complex. Study some japanese engineering books! A company or entity that can`t build complex mechanisms, either buys them or outsources and is stuck forever building primitive parts. judging from, that Detroit3 outsources all the significant mechanisms that have more than 10 parts in them, allows me to conclude that their ability to construct mechanisms is pretty limited. if taking a ready platform , engine, tranny makes sense, how come it has never made sense for japanese or german companies? Toyota is rich, they could buy ferrari and slap their engines in their Supras, or buy VW shares and slap their DSG gearbox. Why the f...( I am really mad now!)they don`t do it? Why? Why? That`s why you will never understand or vote for the champion of the constitution!Sad.

  • Orian Orian on Jan 10, 2008

    The Japanese don't do it out of a matter of pride, plain and simple. Their culture is drastically different than ours when it comes to taking pride and responsibility in everything they do.