Ford Confirms It’s Developing New RWD Cars
By Chris Haak
In a move that sounds very similar to the way GM developed its full size RWD Zeta platform for global markets, auto industry publication Automotive News reported today Ford company leaders confirmed that Ford is developing new rear-wheel drive cars for its Ford and Lincoln brands in the US.
Ford’s plans, which haven’t yet been fully revealed, call for the company’s Australian operations to develop a new global rear-wheel-drive architecture. This new platform would likely support production versions of well-received concepts such as the Ford Interceptor and the Lincoln MKR, both of which I saw in person and were very attractive, desirable vehicles. The platform would also likely support the eventual replacement for the old-as-dirt Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, and Town Car. If it’s as flexible as GM’s new Zeta architcture is, it could also underpin the next all-new Mustang.
Unlike GM, which has consolidated all production of its large RWD vehicles in Australia (until Camaro production begins in Oshawa), Ford said that there are many reasons why not to produce all of their vehicles in Australia – namely, exchange rates and freight costs to go halfway around the world.
In the same week that GM canceled plans for a new DOHC V8 due to CAFE concerns, Ford is pushing ahead with a new large car architecture. This move shows not only that there may be life after 35 mpg CAFE, but also that 2008 is going to be a bumpy year for the industry.
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