By on May 20, 2020

Here at TTAC World Headquarters, talk of sedans is never far away. While automakers have decided the three-box bodystyle is an afterthought, and while consumers aren’t helping by choosing cargo capacity over tradition, we still lust after a nice trunk.

Over at the Blue Oval, this summer’s shaping up to be a grim one for workers whose hearts bleed at the thought of such a noble bodystyle fading from the company’s lineup. July in particular will be painful for longstanding Ford employees who harbor fond memories of the Maverick, Granada, and Contour. Also: the Fairlane, Custom, LTD, Galaxie, Crown Victoria, Escort, Taurus, Fiesta, Focus, Falcon, Fairmont, Tempo, and Five Hundred.

As reported by Ford Authority, the midsize Fusion sedan, long marked for death, will cease production in Mexico that month. Sources claim the last police-spec Fusion to leave Hermosillo will roll off the assembly line on July 5th, followed by the last civilian Fusion on July 21st.

Joining the model on its date with death is the Lincoln MKZ, with which it shares a platform. Sources tell Ford Authority those dates could be pushed back a bit in order to fill existing orders kept from production by the coronavirus lockdown. Orders closed on February 28th.

It was well known that the Fusion and MKZ would ride out the end of the year in a coffin, but the unconfirmed discontinuation dates lend a sense of finality to the whole affair. Preceding the Fusion/MKZ’s journey into the crypt was the Fiesta, Focus, and Taurus. In a mighty swoop, Ford CEO Jim Hackett’s axe turned the company into a truck and SUV company, with the sole exception of the Mustang (which now has an SUV family member). Meanwhile, the slow-selling,  Michigan-built Lincoln Continental is not expected to live past the 2021 model year.

Sedans will soon be extinct, at least in Dearborn.

In the Fusion’s wake, Hermosillo will see the arrival of Ford’s Bronco Sport — a compact crossover based on the Escape that mimics the body-on-frame Bronco due for a reveal sometime this year. Production of that vehicle is expected to commence in early September.

While the news is grim for passenger car lovers, all is not lost. Ford is still expected to return the Fusion name to the lineup in the foreseeable future, slapping the name on a raised wagon seen in spy photos. The exact nature of that vehicle, as well as its arrival date, remains hazy.

[Images: Ford]

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27 Comments on “Mark Your Calendar – the Summer of Lost Sedans Approaches...”

  • avatar

    That Ford ad – Imagine you’re selling vehicles at a Ford dealership in 1972. Now think about what’s about to happen in October 1973…. –shudder–

  • avatar
    el scotto

    If the Mustang platform can be stretched. A four door with all of the ecoboost engine options available; call it the Galaxie. Same platform the best ecoboost and the coyote engine, call it Lincoln Mark X. Convertibles only available as Lincolns. Get Roush or Shelby to make some Lincolns that would be equal to AMG, R, or M editions. IRS,MagneRide, and a stick on the go fast Lincolns.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      The Explorer’s platform was built to accommodate both the next gen Mustang and a next gen Continental that was well under development when they pulled the plug. That seems like the easier road.

      • 0 avatar

        The Explorer, as in the CD6 platform? How big are they going to make the next Mustang? Surely it will no longer be a “pony” car.

        Is the Mach E going to be the “small” Mustang now?

    • 0 avatar

      Stop stop stop stop stop

      Why do these teenage Mad Lib auto exec fantasies persist

      Ford is on the brink of bankruptcy again, they don’t have the financial bandwidth for such wastes of time.

  • avatar

    In my life, I have only ever owned one Ford and two GM products. I have had far more vehicles from Japanese brands but always considered all my options. I won’t say never, but doubt I will be shopping Detroit 3 automakers in the future.

    Long live the sedan!

  • avatar

    I loved those full-range ads from the 70s when I was a kid.

    • 0 avatar

      That looks like the back of a brochure.

      Did car companies put those into large-format magazines like Life and Look? Even then, it seems to me that the back cover would make the most sense.

      • 0 avatar

        You may be right as I recall those now too.

        I like that the full-size range is still just “FORD”.

        • 0 avatar

          With no less than THREE Sedan body styles available! Post sedan with frames, frameless glass, true hardtop.

          Not to mention everything from absolute stripper to full-out Brougham-tastic. Interesting that the Custom Sedan doesn’t show dog-dishes for hubcaps!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…the news is grim for passenger car lovers”

    Sure, but the market contains very few passenger car lovers anymore. If they were plentiful, so would be sedans. Sedan extinction is the proverbial tree falling in the empty woods.

    Same can be said of stick shifts.

  • avatar

    What now Kreindler?

  • avatar

    Last man standing in the affordable midsize to full-size sedan market will clean up.

    Customers will be saying: “Shut up and take my money!”

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I don’t know. Ford was the “Last Man Standing” in the full sized sedan segment and the compact pickup segment those were all incredibly low margin at the end.

      You will end up with the cheapskates and skinflints as your customer base (at least the fulsized cars and compact trucks had healthy fleet sales).

      Sometimes segments die due to lack of demand…not some grand conspiracy by automakers. Crossovers are just a better package for most and sort of return the car to it’s pre “longer, wider, lower” form factor from the 60’s that was at the end of the day a sacrifice of practicality on many levels for styling.

      • 0 avatar

        Impala and Lacrosse lasted longer than the Taurus – oh you mean the Crown Vic?

        I mean truly the last. The last full size car that’s not a MB or BMW or Lexus or higher. Will it be the Avalon? Cadenza? Maxima? Charger Last midsize – Camry? Sonata?

        That’s what I’m talking about. Last midsize with a base price under $40K, last full-size with a base price under $50K.

  • avatar

    In 1972 Ford sold 39 different car configurations and now

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I understand why Detroit is discontinuing sedans but regardless I will probably not buy another American brand. The quality of domestic brands has been going down and it is not that much more to buy a Toyota or Honda and definitely Kia and Hyundai. The double clutch transmissions in the Focus and Fiesta did a lot of damage to the Ford brand automobiles. GM has been taking a nose dive in quality and Fiat Chrysler has an established reputation for poor quality. Turbo charged 3 and 4 cylinders and CVT transmissions make new vehicles less appealing.

    • 0 avatar

      I would gladly take any of the Chrysler organization products over any Toyota, save for any previous gen Supra and Celica and I sure as heck won’t buy another Nissan based on our current one.

      Were I looking for a small sedan a Civic would fit the bill as well as some from Korea. A Mazda 6 would be on the radar for a replacement of our current sedan. Having rented a Fusion, it would no longer be. They are a handsome car and rode nice, but the bottom seat cushions are too short and my legs would go to sleep.

  • avatar

    I would like to add the LTD II and Torino for honorable mention.

  • avatar

    I remember when Ford called some sedans “pillared hardtops”. What wishful thinking.

    • 0 avatar

      The “pillared hardtops” had a center pillar, but the side windows in the doors were frameless. At the same time Ford still made a conventional pillared 4-door sedan that had frames around around the side windows in the doors.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Yes I remember pillared hardtops and now we have 4 door coupes. Next will be to jack up the height of the sedan and offer all wheel drive for a new type of vehicle–APS (All Purpose Sedan).

  • avatar

    Another disappointing article from Tim

    I must admit it bothers me to hear more doom and gloom when I visit TTAC hoping to escape all of the preaching. “save for a few morons who think the virus is no big deal”, was this really necessary? I saw the Daily Show episode where they do an exposition on the open up protesters calling them morons in their natural habitat. Could it be that different people have different risk tolerances? I know of people that do not fly (to risky). There are people that will not travel in a car that is not 5 star rated. Should we appease them and mandate that everyone drive F-250s? Think of the children!

    What about you Tim? What is your risk level? I picture you sitting there in your apartment waiting for the all clear siren so you know when it is 100% safe to venture out. Never going to happen. Covid19 will be replaced with Covid20 or some other nasty bug.

    I wish you and all of the many others that have your similar opinion well. And I do not think you are morons, just have a different risk tolerance than myself.

    Back on the topic of NASCAR reopening, here is an interesting article about the NFL and how/why they are going to continue operating.

  • avatar

    In addition to Ford bringing in a raised all-wheel drive version of the Ford Fusion/Mondeo wagon, there was talk about Ford importing a raised all-wheel drive version of the Ford Focus 4-door hatchback from China. The car closely resembled the Subaru Crosstrek. It was killed because of import taxes on goods from China, but I think there’s still a chance that it could be brought in, possibly built in another country other than China.

    Still, it’s sad how American manufacturers have given up on the market for affordable conventional automobiles. The Japanese and South Koreans are poised to clean up.

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