Ford has finally killed off the cat. But there's no need for Jaguar fans to worry – it's the Cougar 2+2 sports tourer which at long last has been given the chop by Detroit bosses.
The first 'new edge' design after the highly successful Focus, the Cougar never lived up to expectations. It's now been axed along with three other models, as part of a worldwide cost-cutting move. Despite good results in Europe, the blue oval recorded a net loss of Ł3,780million last year, forcing new chairman and chief executive Bill Ford Jr to act fast.
As well as the demise of the Cougar, taken off UK sale last year, a US version of the Escort, the Lincoln Continental and the Mercury Villager minivan will all go. And it appears no model is safe in Ford's bid to turn its finances around – even the hotly anticipated Focus RS is under threat. The reduction of vehicles goes hand-in-hand with the sacking of 35,000 staff worldwide and the closure of several plants.
Ford hopes the changes and sale of related businesses will stem the money loss. Tyre and exhaust specialist Kwik-Fit is expected to go, along with a chain of recycling centres and an accident-repair outfit. These moves could raise nearly Ł700million.