UPDATE 1 - Ford announced this morning (9/15) that it will continue to offer the Town Car beyond 2007. More after the jump.
In New York City, black Lincoln Town Cars are almost as common as yellow cabs. Workers who stay late at their offices often pick up the phone, dial a livery service, and collapse into the back seats of the ubiquitous Lincs for the ride home. This sequence is replayed in urban centers across the country. The Detroit News knows this, and wonders what's going to happen if the big Linc goes to automotive heaven after 2007 as has been rumored.
The article mentions the Mercury Grand Marquis and the Chrysler 300C as potential replacements. While this could be a golden opportunity for the Chrysler 300 (and its long-wheelbase variant) to move in, and maybe the Cadillac DTS as well, we'll bet on the Merc and its Ford Crown Vic twin.
Why? They're built on the same platform, have the same powertrain, and equally substantial trunk space. Fleet versions are available with a 6" wheelbase stretch, which takes care of the discrepancy in rear-seat room. Fully-loaded examples are almost as plush, and importantly, servicing them should be no different than servicing the Town Car. We don't see why livery services would want to move away from the Panther platform cars, which have more than proven themselves in America's urban jungles as taxis, police cars, and upscale chauffered rides like the Town Car.
(Continues after the jump)
[Source: The Detroit News]
The platform's not going away, so Lincoln could conceivably relent and keep the big, traditional sedan alive (we're not holding our breath), as it has a definite place in the automotive landscape. Now, is it a BMW 7-series? No way, and it doesn't pretend to be. But it's big, comfortable, quiet and easy to drive (and drive fast, at that). Those are qualities that make it attractive to both paid drivers and the paying passengers decompressing in back.
Lincoln's all about "Reaching Higher" now, and the Town Car just doesn't seem to fit that profile. Unfortunate, since it's greatest sin is simply that it's old. That doesn't mean it's no good.
What will Wall Street do with no Town Town car? It'll do just fine. Hopefully, the same can be said for Lincoln.
Update: This morning (9/15) during its Accelerated Way Forward announcement, Ford confirmed that it will indeed offer the Lincoln Town Car beyond MY 2007. Production of the big Linc will move to the company's St. Thomas, Ontario plant.