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A new year is around the corner, and with every new year comes change. Numerous new models will be added to dealerships across the country, while for 2012 many other models will disappear.
From the Mazda RX-8 to the Honda Element, there are quite a few vehicles we’re going to miss and hope that successors come our way. Other models that caught our interest that will be disappearing from production include the Volvo V50, Cadillac DTS, BMW X6 ActiveHybrid and Ford‘s good ‘ol Ranger.
And at the list of not-so-interesting, but worth mentioning are the Mitsubishi Endeavor, Mazda Tribute, Chevrolet HHR and Ford’Crown Victoria. Oh yeah, and as we mentioned before, Tesla’s Roadster will be gone too.
After serving for more than 30 years, the Ford Crown Victoria has established a sterling reputation as the police car of choice. Ford is ending production of the Crown Vic Police Interceptor at the company’s St. Thomas, Ontario, factory and despite stopping sales of Crown Vics to consumers in 2008, Ford continues to make them available to fleets.
Sales to law enforcement agencies have been increasing as Ford prepares to launch new police vehicles based on the Taurus and Explorer. Through the first seven months of the year, Crown Vic sales are up 64 percent to 35,203 units. The Crown Vic enjoyed widespread success due to its two bench, six passenger seating layout and gearshift mounted on the steering column. The vehicle was introduced in 1983 and was the top choice of law enforcement in 1996-2010. The Crown Vic’s death was further pushed by the federal government requiring automakers to boost their average fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 and to 54 mpg by 2025. The Crown Vic’s 16 mpg city mileage is not very appealing, nor efficient.
Currently, the Crown Vic makes up about 70 percent of the police vehicle market, but Ford’s new offerings aren’t being warmly received by police departments. One officer told the Detroit Free Press that he was stocking up on Crown Vic’s, as the new Ford offerings were inadequate for their needs. The officer stated that the Dodge Charger and Chevrolet Caprice were being looked at, something Ford does not want to happen.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
The vehicles, based on Ford’s ancient “Panther” platform, are slated to be killed off in September, and Ford says that the layoffs are necessary to keep costs in line once the Buffalo plant stops producing components for the Panther vehicles. The plant will employ 500 workers once the cuts are made.
Ford will also lay off thousands of workers at its plant in St. Thomas, Canada, where the vehicles are assembled.
[Source: Left Lane News]
The Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is one of the best used buys on the market. Virtually indestructible, and packing enough space for 5 adults and all their gear, the CVPI, as the car is known in internet-speak, is a spartan but durable alternative to the regular family sedan. With rear-wheel drive and a 4.6L V8, the car has some performance chops as well, but best of all is its price – examples can often be found for under $1,000, for a tired, ratty patrol car, to a few thousand dollars for a mildly used example with a few creature comforts.
One Salinas, California man, Fidel Aguilar, apparently ran afoul of law enforcement after his CVPI was pulled over for having illegally tinted windows. Officers then noticed the front brush bars and “Police Interceptor” badges on his car and decided that he was impersonating a police officer. There are literally hundreds of thousands of cars identical to this on the road, and Aguilar likely would have gotten off the charge if he didn’t admit that he was a janitor who wanted to be a police officer, and decided to deck out his car to look like an undercover police vehicle. Aguilar also apparently added a siren to the car, something that crosses the line in most people’s books.
Police were understandably concerned about Aguilar pulling people over and committing crimes in a white CVPI, and no doubt Aguilar was a bit of a nutjob. We can’t help but wonder whether CVPIs will be targeted by law enforcement in the future, which is especially ironic since most of them are obtained via police auction.
The yellow Ford Crown Victoria taxi is so common in New York City that it’s almost an icon just like the Yankees or the Empire State Building.
As Crown Victoria production winds down, cab drivers are digging in their heels in the city’s bid to replace the big, rear drive V8 powered sedans with hybrids and other more eco-friendly cabs. So far the first generation Honda Odyssey seems to be the only other vehicle that has won praise from cab drivers, largely due to its flat floor and spacious passenger compartment.
Eco-friendly vehicles like the Toyota Prius, Nissan Altima Hybrid and Volkswagen Jetta TDI have been met with a cool reception for a variety of reasons, but interior space seems to be chief among them. One cabbie who drives a Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid told USA Today that “Some would get into the Crown Vic over this if they had a choice of the two.”
Cab drivers also don’t like the high cost of maintaining a hybrid, with one stating that “Mechanics charge an arm and a leg for them”. On the other hand, the Crown Victoria’s rugged construction and dirt cheap parts prices make it well suited for the brutality of New York Taxi duty.
Unfortunately for these stalwarts, the Crown Vic, along with the Lincoln Town Car (a vehicle so ubiquitous in the executive transport service that it has become a genericized trademark) are no longer being produced, meaning supply will likely dry up in the near future. And what is Ford planning on replacing these cars with? A smaller hybrid, of course.
[Source: USA Today]