The Lincoln Town Car, popular black-car livery transportation and Lincoln’s best seller since its debut in 1981, will be taken off the roster at Ford Motor Co. after 2007, according to Automotive News. Under a cost-cutting consolidation plan, Ford is closing two dozen plants through 2010, including the Wixom, Mich., plant where the Town Car is built. During the first five months of 2006, about 59 percent of Town Cars built were sold to fleet customers and retail sales are down 21 percent through May, reports Automotive News. The current third-generation Town Car has changed little since 1998, with Ford letting at least eight years go by between model changes. But despite decades-old mechanical components and styling that has barely been freshened in years, the three cars remain popular with traditionalists and fleet customers. Retiring the Lincoln Town Car opens the luxury and executive fleet car market to other automakers. DaimlerChrysler plans to start production of a long-wheelbase version of the Chrysler 300 sedan, and has a luxury Imperial concept car, both of which would likely appeal to the luxury car buyers and limousine-livery fleet operators who have been Town Car loyalists for decades, according to The New York Times.
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