I'm not surprised, car like the New T-Bird definately wont appeal to a wide variety of people. But Now that they're done with the novelty of the Retro-Bird sales would definately pick up if it were redesigned, and made to be a big car again...possibly on something similar to the MN-12 platform. Or even if it were re-designed to share a platform with the Mustang....Whatever they do, it needs to get cheaper, and appeal to a more broad audience.......And you know what they say, Bigger is always better.
The current abor..., excuse me, 'Bird is a mess,
or a mutt if you like (no insult to mutts).
It's neither one thing or another. Just an incredibly
ill choosen coagulation of half hearted "design cues".
There is no central theme, no true coherent vison,
and certainly no commitment to any specfic "statement"
that the design is capable of making. It is foremost, a
design by comittee, without a central forceful design
team leader, and how sadly it turned out....
It's slowly devolved down to it's true essence,
a silly Catalog car for the genuinely undiscerning.
I emailed the gentleman, on Ford's "special" web
page years ago who was heading up the design team
- before that fool took over that you referenced...
and TOLD him the design was a disaster - but what
did I know? I was just a customer not a "talented"
designer. It didn't take a genius to see the guaranteed
failure of the "design" (I hesitate to use that term)
- it was built in.....
Thank the Lord, Shelby, is once again, in cahoots with Ford.
Now, where's Iacocca when we need him...?
Majer - I agree completely with your opinion. What Ford doesn't seem to understand is that now that it's been 6 years since the demise of the 2 door, 4 seat, RWD, IRS, V8 MN-12, a lot of us who bought our cars new would be ready to consider replacing them, BUT THERE'S NOTHING COMPARABLE NOW AVAILABLE! 'Same holds true for the Mark VIII - that's why I got my Mark - dividing up the driving, I hope to get a few more years out of them. If FMC thinks they can convince me to buy an SUV, (the current "in" thing), they're sadly mistaken.
I really don't understand how they make their decisions on what new designs to build. Like you, I knew the new T-Bird was a design disaster from the moment I first saw it, but Ford seems to think the retro "flavor or the day" was just what it needed. If they'd simply kept evolving the MN-12, retooling costs would have been way down, they'd likely have retained most of their T-Bird customers, and made more money by lower costs on a more affordable car.
The only thing I can see to recover from this disaster would maybe be something on the DEW-95, (98?), chassis, but with design cues based on the successful MN-12, and a price regular people can afford. When it seems all new designs are in the $35K and over price point, it's no wonder sales are down. I paid less than $18K brand new for mine, and even with inflation, I'd imagine a current version would still be under $25K, instead of a $40K cramped 2 door good for nothing more than a Sunday drive in the country.
They should take their cues from the airplane industry, or something like Porshe. If you've got a good design, improve on it - don't come out with something new every few years, requiring all new tooling costs, etc. Porshe's had the 911 out for years with only evolutionary changes, and look at the Beechcraft Bonanza - it was initially designed in the late forties, but it's still considered one of the most advanced private airplane designs.
If Ford thought that MN-12 sales were slumping, they should have realized that maybe it was because of its success - people were happy with theirs, so they weren't replacing them every few years. But now they've just cut us off completely from a logical upgrade path...
If they hadn't axed the MN12s, I think the SVT Thunderbird would have perked our sales back up. Especially since in essence the SVT TBird was the 03 Cobra with a TBird body and ready for production in 98. You have to wonder what GM would have done with the F-Bodies if the SVT Thunderbird had hit with the same impact as the 03 Cobra...
Ford needs to start importing their rwd cars from Australia. Most of the cars sold there are rwd and avaliable with v8's. Why is it that GM can bring a v8 rwd car from down under and not Ford? The new GTO looks plain but it has a LS1 and a six speed! Why cant Ford bring something like that here. They could call it the Fairlane or Torino or something. It sucks that the only mid sized 2 door v8 car with a back seat will be a GM!
I was OVERJOYED to read that sales for that "thunderbird" are dropping off. It looks like our only hope will be the Mercury stablemate of the '05 Mustang. My Merc dealer says it will NOT be a Cougar. As far as the Aussie Pontiac goes, I think I read somewhere that the car would retail in the 30k range...not good.
Aussie is the place for real cars...it's the only place that truly does make real cars. The Ford Falcon is awesome (if you have SpeedChannel then you know what I'm talking about....Supercar V8's baby) The Falcon doesn't have 500bhp; but it's more like 300bhp Ford Falcon
Could you imagine a Falcon GT (2door or 4door) in the US.
Ford is a family-car company and we must always remember that....it's SVT we need to start talking to.....they are like their own company per say within Ford.
I would love a new Tbird to be a V8, RWD-AWD, 2door Taurus...but that is me.....NASCAR's Tauruses are really cool.
Good the new bird SUCKS [email protected] its just a retro t-bird shell dropped onto the gutless Lincoln LS chassis and it is a bastardization if not a complete step backward in what the t-bird name should have become.
As for Aussie cars I was here not even a year ago and there were so many cars that I looked at and was like WTF why is that not in the US. There is a beefed up version of almost every car available and the desighns are nice and sleek. The true sport ute El camino style vehicles still exist there and are supported by many companys and they have an SS version of one which looks just plain bad @ss.
I tell you what they need to do. They need to get a design from the general consensus of TCCoA. I say, with all the loyal Ford fans, you need to build something that will last another long time. What are you going to buy in the future? If all the Birds start going to junk as most cars do in time, and you can't get the parts to fix it, or don't want to work at fixing it and just want a new car, what are you going to buy? Most of the new cars today I wouldn't buy. I say make a performance related luxury style sports car that is made to be easily upgradeable with price, long lasting parts, and design in mind.
Looking at the newer cars, out of about 200, there are probably 20 that I would like. And that's going into the Bently's even. I like the interior of the Town Car, but it's basically an annoying police style Crown Vic. or Marquis, in styling, with a few add ons. About the only cars from our Ford/Dodge dealer I like, are the Mustang and the Stratus, although the Maurauder looks awefully nice. I only like the Mustang because it's fast and has an agressive look. The new Stratus is like the new Cougar, but without the ugly front. It's probably my favorite car for styling. The Maurauder is a nice fast car, giving the family man, or old guy, some room for family without having to give up performance. I just don't think I'd get 4-door for me, and if I was married, the wife's not touching it. She gets the Escort ZX2, or minivan (Focus, hell no! Unless it's SVT, or has that Cobra engine. )
I just think Ford should get some input from the loyal Ford enthusiasts, rather that the person that just slaps a few of them thingies here and there and you end up with an expensive piece of crap. (Ever see "The Simpsons" where Homer designs a car that's a piece of crap and costs about $100,000?) They should allow a car for the different enthusiast groups. One for the RWD T-Birds, Cougars, and one for the FWD Contour (also a nice car if you get the SE or SVT). Basically all the other cars get what they want, the Mustang and the F series, if you buy a Focus, you're just getting that for the cost and high mpg, and they still get better options in interior than us (unless you get the SC seats and cupholders that are nice. Needs more functional ability, like storage under back seat, or in the front seat like Vin's red car (RX7, Firebird?).)
Wow, I'm really tired and jabbered on. I usually don't like to write.
What do you all think about Ford letting TCCoA design a car?
To see that car stateside, or even the UK's Mondeo here, would be nice...at todays conversion rate, that top-end Falcon comes in around $30,000.
I've never liked the new Thunderbird - always felt it's a step or three backwards. I don't see the shape evolving as the original one did. Plus, the price is prohibitive, needless to say. To me, there's just very little, if anything, available nowadays that was like the MN12s.
I would like a new Tbird, but not as a performance or luxury car... just a nifty looking sunday driver. It is pretty much useless, can't take the kids along (or maybe the wife), can't pull anything, can't really win any races, aftermarket parts? For a jag? Doubtful.
I would, however, but at least 2 Thunderbirds if they came out like the 94-97 models. I love having 2 big doors, rear wheel drive, a nice ride, and decent performance to go with it, not to mention the reliability of that 4.6.
I agree that there are no new cars worth buying, even the redesign I saw on the mustang this weekend on TV is just a retro thing. And the mustang doesn't ride near as nice as my Tbird (at least not the ones up through 97, haven't driven anything newer). Oh well....
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