Last post on Jun 08, 2000 at 12:22 AM
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#852 of 1005 Demise of Cougar continued...
May 30, 2000 (7:30 pm)
Mustang Out, Ranger in at Rouge Plant
Ward's Auto World 29-May-2000
author: Said Deep
Ford Motor Co. plans to move Mustang production out of the Rouge complex in Dearborn,
the lifelong home of the pony car, and replace it with the Ranger pickup and a new
multi-activity vehicle, codenamed U260, sometime in 2003, Ford sources tell Ward's.
The current plan is part of a multi-billion dollar modernization of the Dearborn assembly plant
that calls for transferring Mustang production to AutoAlliance International (AAI) in Flat Rock,
MI, a plant Ford jointly owns with Mazda Motor Corp., Ford insiders say.
AAI currently builds the Mercury Cougar and Mazda 626. Ford is expected to discontinue
Cougar production in '03, which will free up space for Mustang. Ford recently announced it
would eliminate the second shift at AAI July 17, due to slow Cougar sales. Mustang will
continue to be rear-wheel-drive, utilizing a less expensive version of the DEW platform
currently used for the Jaguar S-Type and the Lincoln LS, Ford sources say.
The switch to a high-volume product such as Ranger and the U260 vehicle, described as a
miniature version of the Explorer Sport Trac built on an all-new platform, would allow Ford to
better utilize Dearborn Assembly's nearly 2.6 million sq.-ft of space, something Mustang rarely
has been able to do in its 36-year life.
Ford earlier considered transferring Ranger production to Dearborn, but cancelled that plan in
favor of an aluminum intensive vehicle dubbed D219 that was targeted to debut in '03/'04.
That program was scrubbed and now Ranger is back in at the plant.
Bringing Ranger pickup production to Dearborn invariably means that one of the two current
plants building the Ranger -- Edison, NJ, and St. Paul, MN, (Twin Cities) -- could cease
building the compact pickup.
Ford sources tell Ward's that Edison is the plant most likely to lose Ranger and could be
outfitted for a brand new product. It's also possible Edison could be closed. The plant dodged
that fate in the late 1980s when Ford decided to replace Escort/Lynx production with the
Preparing Dearborn Assembly for the change to Ranger from
May 30, 2000 (8:26 pm)
So all of a sudden "Wards Auto World" is the authority on the Cougar and FMC production plans?
MWS, can you please comment on this?
May 30, 2000 (8:34 pm)
So Ford is "expected to discontinue Cougar in 2003", not every rumor is true. Not every rumor is false, either (now that I look at the flip side of the coin), but until it's substantiated, I'm livin' in the now, everybody! GO COUGAR, GO!
May 30, 2000 (8:36 pm)
Thanks for the info though, giddeup_50! Because at least (if it's true), we won't get blindsided by the discontinuation (if it happens). :^)
#856 of 1005 COUGAR DEMISE
May 30, 2000 (8:40 pm)
FMC has stated repeatedly that platform sharing allows them to make niche vehicles that would otherwise not be economically feasible to produce, yet they continue to eliminate two door models from the lineup. When will they realize that not everyone wants a truck?
May 30, 2000 (8:41 pm)
Not to change the topic, but I think that Cougars tend to attract people in SUV's that drive like maniacs! I was almost run off the road by this SUV today morning on 66, and then he just sped up like if they were giving away free SUVs somewhere down the road, freaking maniac! Okay, I got it all out, thanks guys.
May 30, 2000 (8:47 pm)
I for one am sick of rumors from Blue Oval and other like sources.
Yes rumors can be a useful sources of info, but most of the time they seem to be made up and based on scattered information.
May 30, 2000 (8:59 pm)
Rumors are exactly that. Someone in a meeting brainstorms possibilities. Someone leaks those possibles out. A reporter writes them up as gospel. Happens all the time. Some of them come true. Some don't.
Suppose Cougar sales take off in 2002. Do you think plans might change?
Anyway, I don't really care if they drop the Cougar. I've got MINE. Mwooohahahahahaa!
May 30, 2000 (9:08 pm)
Cougar sales aren't going any where if Ford doesn't advertise the Cougar. If they have plans to scrap it, I'm sure they won't spend money now to try to pick up sales...
May 30, 2000 (9:21 pm)
The possibilty still exists to move the Cougar manufacturing to a different facility as well.
Coming home today, a fellow in a fairly new Tercel was HANGING out his window to check out my kitty, coming up to a red light driving slow (I was already stopped) and took his time looking at every inch.
I'm proud but a teensy bit insulted....he didn't notice ME at all, just the Cougar!