Posted January 12 2009 09:30 AM by Carlos Lago
Category: Industry News, Manufacturing, Ford, Detroit Auto Show, Ford Crown Victoria, Sedans, Midsize
Calling the Panther platform long in the tooth is like Pompeii residents calling the eruption of Mount Vesuvius circa AD 79 a slight inconvenience. This year, the platform celebrates its 30th birthday, and holds the record for the oldest platform employed in North America. Ford had signaled that a new, RWD sedan platform was in the works at the 2007 NAIAS with its well-recieved Interceptor concept. That new platform was rumored to make its way into production in 2012, and we all crossed our fingers.
Yesterday, citing a change in the company’s direction, Ford announced the program was shelved, Automotive News reports.
J Mays, Ford design chief, told Automotive News, "We're going down a path right now that is all about fuel efficiency, and we've got a lot to do about that. So we're not talking about rear-wheel drive."
"I was very excited about [the platform]," he said. "I'll be darned if times didn't just change right before our eyes."
At the 2009 Detroit Show (click for MT.com's complete coverage), Ford's changing direction has been obvious with its focus on FWD vehicles powered by V-6 and I-4 EcoBoost offerings such as the new Taurus and the Lincoln C Concept.
And what about the Panther platform? Well, it’s not like the Crown Vics and Town Cars are breaking the bank. Combined, the models accounted for about 64,000 sales over the last year, and that’s enough to allow the platform to stick around a little while longer.
Source: Automotive News (subscription required)