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Future Crown Vic and Grand Marquis



  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    I recently read where the CV will be religated to Livery, GM will be marketed in GS & LS, while the TC continues.

    I confess I haven't noticed much change between the 02 & 03 TC appearance. From 1998 on - same style to me.

    My Rx for buying a new TC includes a major style change with the Mustang 300 hp engine, but we can dream can't we? ;)
  • I've read the same things. I've also read and heard, from a few lower level internal sources, that the CV/GM/TC as we know them, are to be killed after 2009. Ford has very few resources and is running scared. They know they've made a lot of mistakes, and now they're in crisis/survival mode. As a result they're betting the house on a few new new products, platforms and engines (ie: twinforce), selling off assets (except Ford Credit, hopefully) to help fund it, and hoping for success. They know they need to do things differently than before (at least they've come to that painfull recognition); but in my opinion, that doesn't mean amputate your left arm because a couple fingers are dead: just cut off those fingers and move on. This will be another move that they will live to regret. Make the Flex, make the MK-S, replace the Ranger (way over due), build a lot of the hot new concepts (Lord knows we need em). But at least put a few dollars into something that has a proven track record and a reasonable chance of success.

    You're right the difference between the '02 to '03 TC was not as visually dramatic as between the '97 to '98. The '03 was a significant mid-model facelift. Look at the two side by side, the differences are subtle but easily noticeable. Also significant interior changes. Ford will never spend the $$$ for a complete re-do of these cars; heck, they're choosing to be 'penny wise and pound foolish' by not investing in the decent facelift I'm proposing. I just hope that Mr. Mullaly (Ford's CEO) will happen to read comments like the ones in this chat, and do something sensible about it. A major re-styling/re-engineering would be great, but I don't expect it. If they did, then these cars could live on for at least one more styling generation 7-10 years. With a decent facelift and interior messaging, these cars would see a spike in interest and sales, and could soldier on for at least 4-5 more years.

    Regarding the Mustang's 300hp engine; that would be great in a Crown Vic XL 500 (remember the old Galaxie XL 500), or another Marauder. But for the Town Car, I think low-end torque and the horse power numbers are achieved. Also you don't pollute the Mustang's performance image by putting it's engine in grandpa's Town Car, maybe dad's Marauder is okay though. Besides the older dads and grand-dads would be more appreciative of engine size and the slower-roller, grunt force of the 5.4L, 300hp engine from the Navigator.

    One thing I will say about Ford is, their interiors have improved far more over the last dozen years than any other manufacturers. They are closer to Audi quality (the industry standard for interiors) than to that of General Motors. And their quality has been improving by leaps and bounds. It's unfortunate that customers need to see significant styling changes outside before they'll look at the inside of a car, but that's the way it is. Witness the Windstar to Freestar mistake. The new car's interior was nicely done (except they missed the boat by dropping only the rear seat into the floor, Chrysler and Honda killed them on that one), and it was well engineered. But instead of spending the money to significantly change the look, they thought they could fool the customers into looking past the near identical exterior, by changing the NAME. I am a Ford/Lincoln/Mercury guy, always have been, and my family was a FORD family. Even when I lampoon them, it's my way of telling them where they're going wrong, because I really want to see them survive and thrive. If Ford goes away, a big piece of AMERICANA gets flushed down the toilet. WAKE UP FORD, THERE ARE A LOT OF US OUT HERE WHO WILL BUY YOUR PRODUCTS, YOU JUST GOTTA MAKE WHAT WE WANT!
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    if they put a 300 HP engine in the CV, don't add $5000 to the sticker like with the Marauder...then engine just isnt't worth $5K additional over the cost of the standard 239 HP V8...pull that trick and they could easily lose me forever...
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    Would you pay $500 more to have the 300 hp engine? I would because I don't trade every three or four years. ;)
  • Marsha: There was a lot more to the Marauder than just a 300 HP engine, but I'll agree with you that $5000 was too much of a premium for what you got. They should've put the 5.4L engine out of the SVT F150 Lightning pick-up in that car, along with more performance tuning, sporty interior upgrades (seats, gauges, etc.) and a few more performance oriented sheet metal tweaks (to give it more of a visual difference); then they could have commanded $10,000 more, and gotten it gladly from all the folks like me who could remember the original Marauder. Ford needs to stop doing a half-baked job, or else they're gonna loose a lot of folks forever. Either go all the way and do it right, or else start fading slowly into bankruptcy and out of business. Let's hope for better.
  • A 300 HP engine would probably cost more than $500 to bring to market, but I think it could easily be done for $1000. The Mustang 4.6L is a high performance engine and might even cost more than the 5.4L engine from the Navigator. That 5.4L is not only 300 HP, but is a torque monster and a slower spinning engine, which makes it ideal for the Town Car. And with the Town Car's taller axle ratio, the gas mileage probably won't suffer much if anything at all. With the 5.4L's 365 lbs-ft. of torque, it won't have to work as hard to get that 4500 lbs. of iron moving. Also, I think the engine life expectancy will be longer. So, for those of you who want to keep your cars for 8, 10, or even 12 years or more, that should represent a good value.
  • You're right! CV: relegated to Livery/GSA pool/Law Enforcement. GM: marketed as LS & LS Premium to Rental & Commercial Fleets, & Public mostly on an order basis. TC: Executive Series, Limo/Livery only; Signature/Designer Series, Rental/Commercial Fleets & Public mostly on an order basis. 2008 models, late arrivals (Dec/Jan), as production moved to Canada plant. Virtually no visual or technical difference from 2007 models, maybe a new color or two and more streamlined packaging for simplicity. As I hear it, ditto for 2009, after which these models will probably be terminated. BIG MISTAKE!!! I guess maybe I'll keep my '05 TC and maybe replace it in a few years with an '07/'08/'09, late model, low mileage used one. No need to buy an '08/'09 new, just not enough difference from my current car. I hear Chrysler is looking to do a 6" stretch version of the 300; I may look at one of those when it comes out, or the rear drive Cady I hear may be on the drawing board. But who knows, Ford may get smart and re-do the TC. Then again maybe they have a real surprise for us, a totally new full size, rear drive (Aussie) platformed car. Now that could be a good thing, as long as they do it right. I guess we can dream.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    and what it would cost are two very different things...I would suppose that the actual cost to Ford is barely over $100 per car (what is the actual cost difference for a different valve or piston shapr???...almost nothing), but what they want to charge for it is something else...

    They could easily do it for $500 and I would certainly pay $500 for the better engine...but $5000??? way, I will wave goodbye to Ford and buy a competitor, no $500 for Ford or $5000, I am gone...

    But they could upgrade the CV with the better engine, put in real sport seats for another $100 (their economies of scale are immense, and the actual difference is cost is hardly anything, yet the comfort to the driver is a world of difference), upgrade the dash and radio for almost nothing (it has to have a dash and radio, anyway) so it is a little more modern, like something in say, the 1990s (...:):):)...), and just make it into a 21st century family sedan...with all the tooling almost paid for...
  • I used to work for Ford; am still peripherally associated with the car business. I know a little something about the manufacturing and marketing ends, albeit not a tremendous amount about the bean-counting, but am converstionally acquainted with that as well.

    Don't want to get into a [non-permissible content removed]-for-tat about it, so suffice it to say, there are many of other considerations besides just dropping a different engine into a car. I agree, the 4 valves in the 4.6L as opposed to the 3 valves in the 5.4L are not really a big issue. Sometimes extra power, torque, and or weight requires stronger tranny seals, suspension tweaks, cooling upgrades, and more. Even at Ford's economies of scale, it is not possible to make the changes we're talking about for a 'C-Note'. Putting more padding in the seats, maybe. But putting in structurally superior, ergonomically improved seating (good idea) would cost a lot more than $100. Changing the dash (another good idea) requires re-engineering; everything has to be re-designed into the new dash and tolerances have to be tight (Ford is improving there). Sometimes changing one thing throws all else out of alignment.

    Bottom line, $250-$350 million or so invested into the CV/GM/TC trio for a significant facelift, interior upgrade and power boost would probably trigger a nice sales spike. It may cost Ford $400, $500 or even $600 a copy to do it right; and I wouldn't begrudge them charging $1000 more. After all, everyone is entitled to a reasonable profit, and a few hundred dollars extra profit x a bunch more cars may entice them to do it; and that would be a good thing. Besides, the difference between $50k and $51k aint much of nothin, if it means the difference in getting a car that's improved, as opposed to getting warmed over oatmeal.

    Oh, by the way, yes the tooling is paid for, and yes they've been cash cows for Ford. But with the recent cut in margins to narrow the sticker price-to-transaction price difference, and the continuing high cost of incentives (rebates/subvented financing), a lot of that profit is now gone. That's the real reason why Ford would consider killing their (used to be) Cash Cow. Make it look different, feel better, act stronger and I think many folks (like me) will come buy another one; after all why buy the same thing with a higher year designation, when the old thing is working just fine. I want my new car to look like a new car, I even want my neighbors to know that I have a new car (vain as that might sound), and most consumers (even commercial consumers) are like that, so there's a lot of sales that Ford's loosing. Hell, we might even get a few of those Cadillac, Buick and Chrysler customers to jump ship.

    One more thing, I really like the upcoming MK-S, I really do. I just believe that that car is going to draw a very different type of customer. Heck, I might even buy one of those myself after I take a good look at it. But the Town Car customer is really more of a Cadillac, Buick, and maybe even a S-Class Benz, Lexus LS-Series type of buyer. Big car luxury and/or definately RWD oriented. They definately are not BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, or Cadillac Catera buyers. The MK-S will appeal more to them. And that's a good thing, Ford needs to capture that type of buyer. But in addition to maybe buying an MK-S, I would DEFINATELY buy a new Town Car, if it were done right, and I know lots and lots of people who would. Besides, you aint gonna find Limo/Livery buyers driving an MK-S. Or cops driving a Ford Fusion or even a Taurus (500) as a Police Cruiser. No sense in Ford driving their customers over to the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger showrooms. That's like handing Chrysler a gift. WAKE-UP Ford! This market is your birthright. Fight to keep it, or piss a lot of folks off.

    Anyway, there you have it.
  • In WWII, after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and destroyed many of our battleships, the Navy brass became very anti-battleship. Tactics of the war and the determination of those in charge hastened the advent of the aircraft carrier as the "capital ship" of choice.

    Now, even though you can get chapter and verse from the Marines how it is wise to reactivate the Missouri, Iowa, New Jersey and Wisconsin for duty in shore bombardment and fleet defense, there is as much chance of that happening as there is of Ford keeping these platforms.

    What's the tie in? Well, just as much as one can make the case for continuing these cars in an era of renewed interest in RWD platforms, nobody at FMC is going to open their ears and listen, the logic be d**ned.

    Right or wrong, I would guess the Congressional mutterings about raising CAFE standards are being used as an extra nail in the coffin of the Panther cars. And, talking points I can also guess will highlight the interior space of the new Taurus/old 500 as being superior to the CV/GM and dealers will be told to tell people "whatcha griping about?" so many words.

    A few years ago when the Marauder was announced I was excited, thinking we'd get to keep these cars for a good many years. So much for that notion :cry:
  • Got the tie in bigunit67. Coincidentally, I was in the US Navy during the Vietnam War, and remember those old battle-wagons being re-commissioned and then de-commissioned again. And you're right, there's virtually no chance of them coming back again, though some try to make a case for the impressive shelling barrage they can lay down during a conventional conflict.

    And again you're right, Ford probably won't continue the Panther trio. The difference though is that Ford, even after re-pricing these cars closer to actual transaction prices, is still making money on them. And Ford still pretty much owns the police cruiser and livery markets unto themselves, and shares ownership of the geriatric and near-geriatric crowd with Buick. Currently there is nothing out there that those markets would strongly prefer over the current stalwarts. Granted, the 60-80 year old generation is dieing away, but there are still enough of us old fogies left with enough disposable income to buy another round of these old behemoths.

    Ford is currently looking at an Australian rwd platform as a replacement for it's large rwd cars, and I agree that's a much better long term solution, after all, there's not much more messaging that can be done on the Panther platform. But there is currently nothing in the Ford stable that can fill the void that would be left if Ford kills those cars. Sure, given no other choice, the market place will find it's own replacements. But will they be Ford products? And after the defections, will Ford be able to win back those defectors? Maybe, maybe not. But even if they do, they'll have to fight for what was heretofore theirs, and that could be quite expensive. I subscribe to the theory that you keep what's yours, while trying to take a little of the enemy's turf. You don't hand the enemy your turf on a silver platter and then hope to win it back later. My suggestion to Ford is, invest enough in a significant facelift to buy yourself enough time (3-4 yrs.) to get that new Aussie platform developed into world-class replacements for these cars. Something that'll be competitive for the next 15-20 years.

    Ford doesn't have very deep pockets, so they've gotta make some smart moves, but they've also gotta take some chances. I think investing $250-$350 mil, maybe even $500 million in the CV/GM/TC trio could produce a change similar in magnitude as that of the '07 Expedition/Navigator, or the '08 Escape/Mariner. That would be enough of a change to drive most of their current market back into their showrooms for another dose. It'd be enough of a change to drive sales without the $10k rebate programs. Like I said before, people want their new car to look like a new car, and all of the name-changing (eg: MK-TC) aint gonna do it. Remember the Windstar/Freestar debacle? By giving us a substantially spiffed up new chariot, police departments, limo companies, semi-old fogies (like me), as well as the old fogies would all be happy to stay in the fold while Ford gets it's act together.

    Oh, by the way, gas mileage numbers aren't all that bad on these cars, given what they compete with; besides, they're not being hit with gas-guzzler surcharges as many cars are. And as far as the new Taurus/Sable being superior to CV/GM, you're right, but tell that to all the major law enforcement agencies that test the hell out of virtually every concievable police cruiser, and still virtually all of them keep tapping the Crown Vic as the cruiser of choice, despite a few glaring soft spots. And while you're at it, try telling BMW, M/Bnz, Lexus, etc., that front wheel drive is the better drive system choice for a large luxury car. Heck, even Cadillac has seen the error of their ways and is making the switch back to rwd. Consumer demand has always been the stronger driver of product developement, despite CAFE. The answer for CAFE standards is hybrids (better yet diesel/electric hybrids) in short-term, hydrogen fuel cell technology in the mid-term, and vastly improved mass-transit infrastructure and consumer transit appetites in the long-term.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 263
    peetiedog, I agree with you except for the facelift. The geriatric or near-geriatric crowd tends to be conservative and likes continuity. However, we are not stupid, and we can count money spent on fuel. Ford would be better off laying off cosmetic bandages and investing the money into updating the power plant with a modern, fuel-efficient diesel engine. Livery market would love it (they spend a ton of money on gasoline), and people like me would get in line as well. We don't need a drag-racing engine (Marauder was a bizarre idea for this market segment), but a reliable, efficient plant that would last 300K miles without major issues could give Ford a leg up.
  • Hello hywhobo (I like the handle). Ford has all but made a concrete commitment to building the replacements for the CV/GM/TC trio on a new stretched RWD Australian platform. The new Town Car for example, is supposed to be larger and positioned above the coming MKS. At that time, you gotta think they're gonna at least try to make those cars world class. Even Ford has had to have learned, that you can't try to fool all the people all the time, and expect to get away with. Besides, I hear that Alan Mullaly, Ford's new CEO is a pretty smart cookie.

    It would be great if Ford would do exactly as you've said. New exciting styling, new platform, new powerplant/drive-train (possibly a clean-diesel/electric hybrid), better build quality & reliability, and a new marketing attitude. Then they would have a winning hand. Forget about chasing market share or pure numbers. Build 'Must Have' vehicles, the numbers will automaticly happen, but the best part is they will be PROFITABLE. Because of my past relationship with the Ford Motor Company product marketing, I spend a lot of time looking at and studying their new models. I believe they're on the right track. Quality is much better than just 10 yrs. ago, engineering is vastly improved, interiors are near European in quality (Ford has been taking a few pages out of Audi's book), and safety is top shelf. The tepidity and missteps of management, executive in-fighting and turf battles, along with stale products are what lies at the root of Ford's problems. Now that the insiders have been suppressed or pushed out, and under the new leadership of Alan Mullaly, Ford stands a good chance of putting the shine back on the blue oval. A lot of good product has been launched lately. Quality is high, warranty claims are way down (strong contributor to Ford's most recent quarter showing a profit), and subvention & incentive costs (on the new products) is very low (compared to products they replaced). So things are looking up.

    Still, Ford is hampered by a very small monetary war-chest. They have to be careful how and when they spend their meager resources. I do understand they can't re-do all their stale product all at once. I know new vehicles like the Flex, the MKS, a new F-Series P/U, a new Ranger, and the new TwinForce engine family and PowerShift dual clutch family of gearboxes all have to take precedence over many other worthy needs. So until Ford can get some of those new products on the ground and start to fill up their coffers, which can fund the new CV/GM/TC replacements, as well as other new product further down the pipeline. I'd be content with a major facelift and powertrain stroking. It's probably all we even stand a remote chance of getting. Besides, it's better than letting the CV/GM/TC just languish in the gutter; totally untouched and unloved. So when sales continue to drop, some bean counter will use that as justification for the axe. History will bear witness to that being another one of Ford's major missteps; and the point when FoMoCo handed GM and Chrysler the limo/livery, police, and large rwd market on a silver platter. Doesn't it make sense to plug that 3-5 year gap, between the current Panther platform and the future stretched-Aussie platform repacements, with something that might defend your dominant market position until worthy replacements are available? Especially since you can probably make a profit doing it. Maybe the problem with my rationale is that it makes sense. Ford's recent history has been to continually do things that don't make sense, like shooting themselves in the foot.
  • I'm not a geezer and I'm buying a new 2008 Grand Marquis LS, and I'm a first time buyer of this type of car. I think GM and Chrysler have made a mistake abandoning this type of car and I hope Ford doesn't do the same thing. I hope this car has the durability and low maintenance cost it is supposed to have, because I plan to keep this car a long time. If Ford stops making them and we can't get this type of car anymore, then I'm going to be keeping this a real long time......if I like it as much as I hope I do.
  • I bought my Grand Marquis LS new in 1999. I still have it and love the ride. I make 4 hour trips non-stop and after exiting the car I have no aches or pains. I can't last 1 hour in most of today's small cars without hurting.
  • Okay youngster. You're not a geezer (neither am I, I'm a near-geezer), you just like geezer & near-geezer cars, and there's nothing wrong with that. The Grand Marquis is a great car, and one of the best car values for the money. Spacious, safe, large trunk, comfortable, reliable, low maintenance, luxurious, inexpensive (to buy and operate), and durable. It's not unreasonable to expect these cars to last 20 years or more, and get well over a quarter million miles of operating life without the need for a major overhaul or rebuild. Just keep up the minor maintenances and frequent oil services (every 5000 miles), and you'll find your Grand Marquis to be a lot like a Timex watch, it'll 'take a lickin and keep on tickin'. It's not going to draw envious stares from the fellas or passionate looks from the babes, and it definately won't make your blood boil with excitement when you think about driving it; but it will be a reliable, hard working companion you can depend on, and it won't drive you to the poor house. If that's what you're looking for, you're not just going to like it, you're going to love it.

    I'm with you, I too hope Ford doesn't abandon this type of car. But it doesn't look good for the Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis/Town Car. Ford has decided to let them soldier on unchanged at least through 2009, but beyond that is not real clear. It seems most likely that they will be discontinued after that. There is a high probability that Ford will return to the large U. S. rwd market later with a version of their Australian rwd platform, which will probably (hopefully) be a world-class competitor. That's good and well, but it appears that Ford may abandon that market for 2 or 3 years while they prepare their replacements. That, I think is where they would be making a big mistake. A significant face-lift, a mild re-engineering, and a nice powertrain massaging for the 2009 model would allow this trio to soldier on for another 3 or 4 years. Ford could get a nice up-tic in sales and defend their dominance of this market segment for a relatively small price, while buying the time needed to prepare the world-class competitive replacements they will ultimately need for long term viability. Hopefully someone at Ford is listening to people like us and doesn't abandon this type of car.

    So unfortunately, you may have to plan on keeping your '08 Grand Marquis LS for a pretty long time. I know you're gonna love it, so that's not gonna be a bad thing. I wish you lots of luck with your new geezer's car: sorry, I mean youngster's car. :)
  • I'm not looking for excitement in my car, but comfort and reliability. I don't know why Ford doesn't just do some minor improvements like putting in a rear sensor and update the dashboard, but if they did those things, maybe they wouldn't be offering the $5,500 rebate on them. I'm hoping the rebate increases after 1/2/2008. Since I won't have the car for 8-12 weeks, which will be in mid January-mid February, that will be after the current 1/2/2008 end of current rebate period. The dealer told me that if the rebate decreases before I get my car, I will get the $5,500 rebate, but if the rebate increases, that I will get the new amount. He told me that when I questioned about the fineprint on the website about "must take from dealer stock by 1/2/2008", which implied to me that the car had to be in my posession by that date, not just an order for one. What the dealer says makes sense, because if Ford were to tell customers that not only do you have to wait 8-12 weeks for your car, but you don't get the rebate either, that would be a good way to go out of business.
  • Also, the dealer required me give a $3,000 non-refundable deposit, because he said the color I picked, Norsea Blue, that he would not be able to sell it if I changed my mind. Wonder if that's really true? Why would this color make the car unsellable?
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    Norsea Blue is awfully close to Nausea Blue???...:):):):):)
  • I have a soft spot in my heart for Crown Vics, Grand Marquis, and Town Cars, too. My parents always drove them and they are a lot of car for the money. I get one as a rental from time to time.

    My question is have any of the lovers of these cars driven a new Taurus or Sable? I can't speak to the durability but I think you would find the Taurus/Sable to have a more comfortable and quieter ride, more rear seat room, better driving dynamics, better visability, stronger performance and better fuel economy, while taking up about a foot less garage space.
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