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  • Crown Vic's to be replaced by Taurus

    This may have a thread for it already, but I haven't been on for awhile. I found this article interesting. What do you guys think?

    I'm not a fan of the Taurus myself....

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20090...own-Vic-is-out


    Ford to cops: Crown Vic is out
    Automaker faces fight as it pushes replacement Taurus
    Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

    Dearborn -- In June, Ford Motor Co. invited the heads of some of the nation's largest police fleets to Dearborn to talk about the future of police cars.

    For nearly two decades, that market has belonged to Ford's Crown Victoria -- a vehicle that departments from coast to coast have come to respect for its toughness and reliability. Now the Crown Vic is running out of road.

    "They told us that 2011 would be the last year they build the Crown Vic," said Larry Tagawa, commander of the Los Angeles Police Department's Motor Transport Division. "But Ford also made a commitment to support departments with a new vehicle."

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    Then Ford took the assembled police brass out to its test track and handed them the keys to its new Taurus.

    Most motorists would be happy to trade in their old Crown Vic for Ford's latest flagship sedan. It is faster, safer and gets better mileage. But the Taurus, like most modern cars, lacks some of the features that have made the Crown Vic so popular with police.

    That is one reason why Ford has yet to make a final decision on the Crown Vic's successor. But there are others: new competition -- not only from Ford's cross-town rivals, but also from a new start-up that promises to give police the vehicle of their dreams -- and the Canadian Auto Workers, which is keen to protect thousands of jobs at the plant in St. Thomas, Ontario, where the Crown Vic is produced.

    "We've got some big decisions to make, and we're making them," said Jim Farley, head of global sales, marketing and service for Ford. "We have no intention of walking away from our share of that market."

    Ever since General Motors Co. stopped production of the Crown Vic's main competitor -- the Chevrolet Caprice -- in 1996, the Crown Vic has been America's police car. It was crushed by the falling rubble of the World Trade Center and transported Paris Hilton to prison.

    About 85 percent of the approximately 75,000 police cars sold in the United States each year are Crown Vics.

    That is not a huge number of vehicles, and margins on sales to public agencies are notoriously slim, but analysts say it is still a profitable business for Ford.

    "The majority of the investment in the Crown Vic was paid off so long ago that they're basically a license to print money," said auto analyst Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics LLP in Birmingham. "They also have zero marketing cost."

    While that would not be the case initially with a vehicle like the Taurus, Hall said it would not take too long for it to replace the Crown Vic's contribution to Ford's bottom line.

    But Ford Americas President Mark Fields said the police business provides other benefits to Ford that go beyond the bottom line.

    "Every municipality has police, so you have Ford product everywhere across the country," Fields said. "It reinforces that Ford is part of the community."
    Desirable features

    Ford stopped selling Crown Vics to consumers in 2007, but many police officers say they would prefer to keep the outdated sedan. Though long past its prime and easily outrun by vehicles as mundane as the Honda Accord, it nonetheless offers cops some features they can find in few other vehicles -- most of which are considered liabilities, not assets, by civilian motorists.

    It is one of the last body-on-frame cars still in production. That makes them tough and easy to repair, but also less safe because they lack crumple zones. The Crown Vic has a column shifter, which frees up the space between the driver and passenger seats for electronics and guns. And it is big enough to accommodate all of the gear a modern cop might need and still has room for two bad guys in the back seat.

    Moreover, most of the aftermarket equipment produced for police vehicles -- everything from computers to light bars -- is designed to fit the Crown Vic. When some departments tried to make the switch to Chevrolet Impalas, they found that their communications equipment and computers did not fit in the narrower vehicle.

    Then there is rear-wheel drive. The Crown Vic has it, and many competing vehicles do not. Many officers prefer this configuration because it offers more even weight distribution, better traction during acceleration and better handling, at least on dry roads.

    Finally, there is familiarity. Most officers know what the Crown Vic will do and how to make it do it without having to think about it.

    For cash-strapped agencies like the LAPD, abandoning the Crown Vic would also pose a serious fiscal challenge. It has millions of dollars invested in not only the cars, but also in parts, equipment and training.

    Tagawa, commander of the department's Motor Transport Division, and his team have turned servicing the Crown Vic into a science. When a cop rams a bad guy, LAPD mechanics simply unbolt the damaged body panels, slap on new ones that have already been painted with the department's livery and put the car back on the street. They even have their own shop to refurbish busted parts.

    "If they do go to a new platform, it will definitely cause us some grief," Tagawa said. "We would have to start all over."
    Challenges growing

    Not all departments share the LAPD's affection for the old Ford.

    While about 90 percent of the vehicles in the 800-strong Michigan State Police fleet are Crown Vics, Lt. Keith Wilson says it is time for something new. As much as he respects the Crown Vic's track record, Wilson recognizes that vehicle technology -- particularly safety technology -- has come a long way since 1992.

    "They have a good track record in terms of service and durability," he said. "But anything that we lose, we are going to gain in officer safety."

    Wilson commands the agency's precision driving unit, which is responsible for evaluating new vehicles for Michigan, as well as most other jurisdictions around the country. He said departments have been "spoiled" by the Crown Vic.

    Before GM got out of the police business, its ongoing rivalry with Ford meant a steady flow of new police models. Most agencies switched vehicles every two or three years, and many of the larger fleets were an amalgam of Fords and Chevrolets. Wilson said that is the model many will return to once production of the Crown Vic ends.

    Chrysler Group LLC has been trying to muscle in on Ford's business with the Dodge Charger, but has had little success to date. Like the Crown Vic, the Charger is a rear-wheel drive vehicle. The police version offers a column shifter, and it boasts a much more powerful engine.

    But Tagawa said they have not held up well in the field.

    "The Charger is nice looking," he said. "But from a mechanical standpoint, they are not up to par with the Crown Vic."

    He said they also are too small.

    The Taurus, too, is smaller than the Crown Vic, is of unibody construction and lacks rear-wheel drive. But Tagawa said his department could adapt to it if necessary. He particularly likes the EcoBoost engine, which promises more horsepower and better mileage. Ford told members of its police advisory board that would be an available option.

    Wilson has had better luck with the Charger. His agency is also evaluating the Chevrolet Impala.

    Then there is Carbon Motors Corp. Last month, it announced plans produce a purpose-built police car at a new plant in Indiana.

    Its E7 boasts an impressive array of features, but Hall of 2953 Analytics said other companies have tried to build police cars from scratch and failed for the same reason he believes Carbon will -- the margins are just too slim.

    "They asked police what their perfect car was," he said. "They forgot to ask how much they were willing to pay for it."

    Carbon did not respond to requests for comment, but Wilson said its products are not slated to be tested by his department.

    "They have a unique model," he said. "We wish them well."
    An ace up Ford's sleeve

    Ford would not discuss its plans for the Taurus because it does not want to make a final commitment before it concludes talks with the CAW.

    The company did tell the union that the end of Crown Vic production in 2011 is "non-negotiable," according to CAW President Ken Lewenza. But that was before Ford asked the union to reopen its contract.

    Ford wants the CAW to give it the same concessions the union recently gave to GM and Chrysler as part of their Chapter 11 restructurings. Lewneza said that will only happen if Ford matches the product commitments those companies made to Canada.

    "Keeping the Crown Vic in production until the end of the contract in 2012," he said, "would go a long way toward satisfying our objectives."

    [email protected] (313) 222-2443
    I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, and then questions the manner by which I provide it. I'd rather you just said thank you, and went on your way!


    They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But I find it somewhat... distasteful. To be given credit for work that's not mine. Especially inferior work.

    sigpic

  • #2
    I guess it doesn't LOOK too bad...



    I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, and then questions the manner by which I provide it. I'd rather you just said thank you, and went on your way!


    They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But I find it somewhat... distasteful. To be given credit for work that's not mine. Especially inferior work.

    sigpic

    Comment


    • #3
      I haven't driven a new Taurus but the AWD models look promising. The interior dimensions are within a fraction of the Crown Vic's. If Ford designed the interior for function, rather than style, the could keep a lock on the market for another 15 years.
      Ford is offering mobile computers for their trucks. They should put those guys to work on cop cars.

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      • #4
        The Taurus is a V6 unless you get the turbo model and you don't want a turbo on a police car. I'm not going to got into details but it would not hold up to the pedal to the floor and then park and idle for an hour abuse.
        The turbo and components would overheat (heatsoak) under those conditions.

        If they fit it with the mustang engine, make it RWD, and then throw in all the other heavy duty equipment that goes on a PI they may have a car.
        While they're in limbo they will steadily lose market share to the Charger.
        Due to the Juvenile bickering and annoying trolling committed by members of this forum I have started an igore list. If your name is listed below I can't see you.

        CityCopDC, Fire Moose, Carbonfiberfoot, Damiansolomon

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        • #5
          I am not feeling it....... They tired the Taurus here once before and it did not seem to go over well. I hope they reconsider keeping the CV in service.
          sigpic
          Formerly Username k91376
          " They Took the BAR!! The whole F%$#ING BAR! "

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          • #6
            Give me Mustang GT 1st, a Taurus SHO 2nd...
            "The wicked flee when no man pursueth
            but the righteous are bold as a lion"

            Proverbs 28:1, inscription beneath NLEOM lion.sigpic

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            • #7
              I just started driving a Tahoe this year it is awesome. I believe they make a two wheel drive version still for those who live in warm climates with no need for 4WD. The only problem I see with it is the high center of gravity if you work for a department that gets in alot of pursuits. Since we rarely are allowed to chase anybody I find it to be a near perfect police vehicle.

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              • #8
                I actually like my chevy impala. I think it's a good police vehicle. I work for a Sheriff's Dept so sometimes I'm in city enviroment (we operate in the city also) and sometimes a call takes me way the heck out to BFEgypt. The other day I got my impala up on the interstate to around 130 for an officer needing assistance and it handled beautifully. Very steady and controlled, and I was still getting up, I had to lay off the gas because I didn't have the balls to go any faster and didn't realize I had gotten up to that fast and quickly slowed down. I took some turns at very high rates of speed interstate ramps at 60 that were gaged for 45 and they took them with no problems at all. I'v got decent acceleration, I mean really when do we need fuel car starting line take offs?

                When I got to my current agency I scoffed at impalas, I thought they were toy cars, I was use to the vic and charger which is what my old dept had. I must say for someone who was closed minded to the impala, I'm a supporter now. I actually had an opportunity to get a charger here (we have CVPI, chargers, and implas) and I passed on the charger to keep my impala, instead passing it to my zone partner who was in line for a new vehicle also. My Impala has 71,000 miles and in it's life has been in the shop once to change the alternator, everything else was body damage and/or aftermarket stuff and regular maintenance. The car is holding great. 29,000 more miles (approx 1 1/2 yrs) and she gets retired and sent out to pasture, I'm hoping to get another impala
                Ignored: Towncop, Pulicords, TacoMac, Ten08

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                • #9
                  I have a 2008 police package Impala. Hasn't let me down yet. At first I just wanted a charger, now I wouldn't change it. Top speed is just 3 miles under (Impala 142, Charger 145), and the Impala doesn't lag on you when you want to accelerate from idle or take a fast curve. It also doesn't scream cop like Crown Vics and now Chargers do (it's unmarked).
                  "You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall... I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it."

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                  • #10
                    I agree, I have no complaints about the Impala's.
                    Never ask a man if he served in the Marine Corps! If he earned the title "Marine" he will tell you, if he didn't, there is no need to embarrass him.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I thought Ford was looking at the Edge as a CV replacement...? I read an article proposing it as such, here's a link... Edge Police Crossover

                      Seems like something roomier, faster, better gas mileage, and ground clearance would be a decent replacement for the Crown Vic.
                      -"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my children will have peace." - Thomas Paine

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by celticpilot View Post
                        I thought Ford was looking at the Edge as a CV replacement...? I read an article proposing it as such, here's a link... Edge Police Crossover

                        Seems like something roomier, faster, better gas mileage, and ground clearance would be a decent replacement for the Crown Vic.
                        One of the hiden benefits of the CVPI is the low center of gravity the body on frame provides. I have been in flat spins with my CVPI and recovered after 2 complete 360's with not even the slightest hint of it rolling over. Try that in an Edge and you'll be scraping your light bar in a heart beat.

                        For street/highway purposes the low center of gravity is a bonus. Especially during pit manuvers.

                        Unless you have a lot of off road areas the taller vehicles should be avoided.
                        Due to the Juvenile bickering and annoying trolling committed by members of this forum I have started an igore list. If your name is listed below I can't see you.

                        CityCopDC, Fire Moose, Carbonfiberfoot, Damiansolomon

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          RWD is also less expensive to fix after hitting a curb. An upper A arm is cheaper than a complete transaxle (transmission). Pontiac came out with a new V8 RWD car (G8 or something like that) which is an Aussie import. That should be a serious contender for police service.
                          sigpic
                          Originally posted by Smurfette
                          Lord have mercy. You're about as slick as the business side of duct tape.
                          Originally posted by DAL
                          You are without doubt a void surrounded by a sphincter muscle.

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                          • #14
                            2wd Tahoe is on my list and we are currently demo'ing 1. I currently drive a Durango and we have 15 Chargers and about 30 CVPI. Our cars are well maintained and rarely have issues, other than age related stuff. Our current admin HATES the Impalas and will not buy them. They do not care how much cheaper they are. NO FWD..... I had (2) Impalas at my old agency for about 2 years. They both were complete POS and were always needing repairs. I finally got an excursion and was much happier.
                            Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FJDave View Post
                              RWD is also less expensive to fix after hitting a curb. An upper A arm is cheaper than a complete transaxle (transmission). Pontiac came out with a new V8 RWD car (G8 or something like that) which is an Aussie import. That should be a serious contender for police service.
                              i have heard word the being GM has stopped making Pontiacs, they will be taking that G8 platform and using it for the 2011 Caprice (yup bringing it back supposedly). Same construction, look, and importantly V8 with RWD.

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