The Ford Crown Victoria was one of the mainstays of the entire Ford lineup. As a matter of fact, the cars were so popular that they were routinely used for both the general public and as police interceptors. Although the cars were produced in their entirety in Canada, the overwhelming majority of police forces had at least a few Crown Victoria's and their inventory. Despite their popularity, the car was discontinued in 2011, with the last car rolling off the assembly line in 2012. The question is, why did Ford make the decision to discontinue the Crown Victoria? As it turns out, there are a number of reasons. All of them will be discussed in the following paragraphs.
The Crown Victoria Was a Perfect Fit for Its Time
The Ford Crown Victoria had been produced since 1991. The first production model that rolled off the Canadian assembly line was a 1992 model that was considered to be one of the finest cars of its time. The Crown Victoria was a full size sedan with rear wheel drive (for a time), something that made it stand out in the age of modern-day automobiles that are almost always front wheel drive. For old school drivers, it's size and drivetrain design made it the perfect option. Some people even argued that it had more power and more stability when driving than the lighter automobiles that would eventually become so popular they would overtake it. The truth is, it was this design that made the car so appealing for use by police forces all over the country. With a few modifications, it could be made to handle almost anything that was thrown its way. It was a big, heavy car. Despite that fact, it had enough power to get it wherever it needed to be in short order and its overall design made it relatively easy to control during adverse conditions such as bad weather or while chasing other vehicles.
A Sign of Changing Times
Despite the overall popularity of the Crown Victoria, there wasn't a lot that was changed about the car over the many years that it was produced. It's hard to understand why, as this can spell doom for almost any automobile, no matter how popular it is. From the early 1990s until the last 2012 model was produced, the car remained largely unchanged in both appearance and functionality. The end result was a large, heavy car that simply didn't fit into modern day society. One of the main reasons that Ford made the decision to discontinue it was because of its size. It was becoming less and less popular because people were switching to smaller cars that weighed less. This left the Crown Victoria standing alone in a sea of more advanced automobiles that could perform better than it did without taking up as much space in the process.
It Guzzled Gas
The sheer size and weight of the Crown Victoria meant that it also drank gas like nobody's business. Obviously, this was one of the biggest problems associated with Crown Victoria and it was one that forward never really addressed. As more cars became available that weighed less and performed better, it also became painfully evident that they required far less gasoline to do exactly the same thing the Crown Victoria was doing. That meant that people could get a car that performed as well as or even better than the Crown Victoria without spending as much money on gas every year. Obviously, this was appealing for both the general public and police forces alike. As gas prices continued to soar, the dagger went even further into the Crown Victoria's heart. By the time that the last production model rolled off the assembly line, it was painfully obvious that this particular line had been on the chopping block for a number of years.
Ford Made Sweeping Changes
Another reason that the car was discontinued is because Ford had made the decision to make major changes regarding the types of automobiles it produced. The recession that occurred in 2008 plunged American automotive companies into bankruptcy and Ford was no exception. By the time that 2011 rolled around, they had figured out that they were going to have to do business differently in order to remain viable as a company. That meant getting rid of the older, more outdated designs that were larger than necessary. In much the same way that compact cars became popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a direct result of the energy crisis, the large, heavy cars like the Crown Victoria were no longer popular options because of the recession that occurred during 2008. The public was no longer interested in buying the car and Ford was no longer interested in producing it. Instead, the company was looking to appeal to younger buyers who wouldn't be caught dead driving their grandmother's Crown Victoria.
An Odd Twist of Fate
In what would prove to be an odd twist of fate, Ford had actually planned on discontinuing the Crown Victoria before the 2008 recession ever hit. A lot of changes that made the car less popular had occurred, such as reducing its passenger capacity from six to five and changing it from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive. As a result, sales had been lacking for some time. In 2006, Ford designed a plan for future sales that did not include the Crown Victoria. In fact, their initial plan had been to discontinue the car by 2008, the same year that the recession hit. When that happened, they scrapped those plans and decided to stick with something that had been proven in the past as opposed to trying something drastically new. Once they realized that the Crown Victoria was not going to be their saving grace, they went ahead with their plans to discontinue it.
Of course, one can still find old Crown Victorias running up and down the road, although there are not as many as there used to be. It only stands to reason when you consider the fact that it has been almost ten years since the last Crown Victoria hit the streets.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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