Ford's RWD offerings are focused on fleets

While most of us haven't even thought about the big rear-drive Ford sedans much lately (unless one was wearing taxi or limo livery), those cars have received a lot of attention internally at Ford. The Lincoln Town Car, Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria have moved from active duty to scheduled for deletion to back into semi-production over the past year or so. The antiquated Panther platform was actually in production throughout 2007, but most people probably hadn't noticed. For 2008, that trend will continue.

Fleet sales will continue to take up a bigger portion of production, with dealers no longer ordering Crown Vics for customers. Town Car production was shifted from Ford's Wixom, Mich. assembly plant to its St. Thomas, Ontario, plant, but dealers will have a very limited set of option packages available, with the vast majority of production going to limo duty. The Mercury Grand Marquis, on the other hand, will continue to sell 45/55 private/fleet. Although Ford moved nearly 160,000 of these vehicles in 2006, production should be down to about 100,000 by '09.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req.]

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