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Ford Closes Crown Vic Assembly Plant

Posted in auto industry, Ford, News by Kurt Ernst | September 17th, 2011 | 1 Response |

A 2007 Crown Vic, the last year it was sold to the general public. Image: Ford Motor Company

By the time you read this, the Ford assembly plant in St. Thomas, Ontario, will be closed for good. The last Panther-platform Crown Victoria police car rolled off the assembly line on Thursday, marking the end of two eras: not only is it goodbye to the venerable Crown Vic, darling of police departments and cab companies nationwide, but it’s also the end of the body-on-frame sedan.

Ponder that for a second. The body-on-frame sedan, long the staple of Detroit automakers, is no more. A design favored for its strength and long term durability has gone the way of the dinosaur, leaving only unibody-construction sedans to prowl the American highways.

“Unibody is better,” we’ve been told. It’s lighter, which makes it easier on fuel, and it’s less complex, which reduces the number of parts required and puts more money in the pockets of automakers. Some will even tell you that unibody cars are just as durable as their body-on-frame counterparts, but try telling that to the thousands of police departments and cab companies nationwide who swear by their old Crown Vics.

Ford has alternative solutions for fleet buyers, but the Escape Hybrid and (now) the Transit Connect Taxi aren’t selling like the old Crown Vic did. Worse, police departments are largely ignoring the Ford Taurus Police Interceptor, despite Ford’s lengthy efforts to prove its advantages over the Crown Vic.

If someone were smart (and wealthy), they’d approach Ford about buying the tooling for the Crown Vic, and they’d put the car back into production for fleet buyers. There’s no need to update the styling, but you could easily offer the car with Ford’s 5.0-liter Coyote V8 (good for 412 horsepower) or its 3.7-liter V6, good for 305 horsepower. With the right seven-speed automatic transmission, fuel economy probably wouldn’t be half bad.

This is just my guess, but I suspect you’d be able to sell all the cars you could possibly build. Like the classic Checker Cab, the Crown Vic is an icon of the American road, and it deserves a better end than just fading into automotive obscurity.

Source: Left Lane News

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One Response

  1. Carl says:

    I agree 100%! The death of this car sickens me even more today, every time I see a tiny Taurus wannabe I get angry! There are no true fullsize cars left in the USA. Nothing offered today by American car companies is big enough to deserve that size class. A size which used to define this country’s cars. Nothing is more durable than body on frame. The Crown Vic isn’t even that heavy a lot of small uni-body cars weigh the same or more. I had the same idea to buy the tooling and reintroduce the car with drive-train upgrades, I just couldn’t/can’t afford it. I wish someone would! With enough improvement even private buyers would come back. The main reason they stopped selling it to the public (2008) is so the Five-Hundred/Taurus would actually sell. The other is CAFE standards so they could make more SUV’s. The environmentalists have long hated big SUV’s yet they continue to be built and fullsize American cars have disappeared, it makes no sense. Chevy don’t sell or make the Caprice here for that reason. The only American branded car even close to fullsize. It’s limited to police sale only. I hope one day a car like this is in production again.
    I speak for all cars!