Is FoMoCo Shooting themselves in the foot?
As most of you know, the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car are now history. The main purpose of this thread is to stir up some opinions and I'm hoping that I've caught the attention of the right audience by posting in this forum. As most of you are well aware, these vehicles have been HUGELY reliable and successful vehicles for FoMoCo. Large taxi fleets have used them, as well as limo companies and police forces all across North America. They arguably had a captive market with these vehicles, since the police version Chargers and Impalas weren't cutting it just the same way I foresee the 2011 and up Taurus and Explorer aren't going to cut it, nor is the "Livery" version Lincoln MKT going to cut it for all the Limo and airport taxi companies. Lately, I have seen many taxi companies switching to Toyota Camrys not because they suit the purpose well, but because cab owners/drivers don't feel like they have much of a choice. And from what I've heard, most cab owners/drivers don't like the Camrys.
With all that said, wouldn't it have been a more prudent idea for FoMoCo to update the Panther platform vehicles with, let's say the same 6R80 transmission and 5.0L 32-valve V8 from the F-150 and Mustangs, and introduce some more subtle updates to the front and rear exteriors to modernize? How about an update to the dated instrument panels and maybe even tweaking the suspension tuning (while losing the problematic and expensive rear air suspension in the process)? Those of you reading this thread who would be willing to puchase such a vehicle and actually write FoMoCo a cheque sight unseen, perhaps it's time to let your voices be heard.
A little bit of background about myself. I am a Ford dealer technician who has been turning wrenches for twenty years now. My previous ride was a 1995 Ford Crown Victoria that I purchased when it was only two years old (a trade-in to the dealer where I was employed at the time). It had only 66,000 kms. on the odometer when I took possession of it. When I had to get rid of it, the odometer read 465,000 kms. and that was last year. That car saw me through the most tumultuous moments in my life, including a ten year marriage that ended in a very bitter divorce. And throughout it all, that car NEVER EVER left me stranded anywhere!!! If it wasn't for the rust on the body, I would likely still be driving that car today instead of my 2007 F-250 6.0L diesel that I purchased to replace it.
Folks, as much as I am a very loyal FoMoCo person, I am also no stranger to some of the bigger marketing mistakes made by them either. Those of you old enough to remember the '87 to '93 model year Mustangs, do any of you remember what was supposed to happen prior to that release? The Ford Probe was originally intended to be its replacement just prior to its release. When word of this got out to the public, MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of hard core Mustang enthusiasts screamed bloody murder to FoMoCo and look what happened? FoMoCo listened, and look at how hugely successful those model years of Mustangs became. They sold like hot cakes and the Ford Probe, well it turned out to be a lemon. Let's also look at the Ford Five Hundred that was supposed to replace the hugely successful Taurus of the time.