Monday, October 03, 2005

WattHead Obituaries: The End of the Excursion - 'Ford's Valdez'


Join me friends in bidding a heart-felt GOOD RIDDANCE! to the Ford Excursion, the last of which rolled off of assembly lines in Louisville last Friday. Ford ended production of the mammoth V10 Excursion - dubbed by a Sierra Club competition in 1999 as the 'Ford Valdez - Have You Driven a Tanker Lately' - as it had promised earlier this year.

The giant SUV was released back in 1997 and it's 4 ton bulk is based on the Ford Super Duty truck frame. Its gas mileage barely makes it into the low teens and the Excursion, along with the Chevy Suburban and the grotesque Hummer have become for many (including myself) a symbol for the repugnant waste and conspicuous consumption of SUVs as a whole and the abosulute idiocy of the 'light-truck' loopholes in CAFE mileage standards.

Now, Ford dropped the Excursion for 'basic business reasons' - that is, they werent selling enough of them, but this should not necessarily be considered the beginning of a new trend in Detroit. Most likely, the Excursion simply could not compete with the already entrenched Suburban. Perhaps too, this is the logical end of a pattern of SUV releases that got bigger and bigger until finally, demand ceased to support them. Detroit seemed to say, "well if this sucker sold, lets try a bigger one and see if it sells too" and so on and so forth until we ended up with the Excursion.

Well, good riddance to the Excursion, or should I say Ford Valdez. May it rest in peace in the junkpile of idiodic ideas. One giant SUV down, a few dozen more to go. How's your health doing Hummer?

[hat tip to Green Car Congress]

[Edit]: I wrote, "this should not necessarily be considered the beginning of a new trend in Detroit."

Well, maybe I'm wrong. As I reported earlier, sales of small cars are soaring in response to high gas prices. Well, it turns out (as one might guess) that we've seen an analagous decrease in big SUV sales over the past couple months. The New York Times reports today that sales of Ford and GM's biggest SUVs, including the Expedition, Suburban, Tahoe, Hummer H2 and Cadillac Escalade fell by about 25%-50% last month. Perhaps this is the beginning of the end for Detroits fleet of mammoth SUVs, if not GM and Ford themselves who's stock prices fell farther into junkbond territory this month as the temoporary sales boost that resulted from their now-ending employee discount pricing schemes fell off. Let's hope we can read an obituary post for the Escalade or Suburban soon...

4 comments:

kristen said...

I f*ing hate hummers.

WattHead said...

Me too! I tend to flip them off when I see them. I know its silly but I cant help it. One of these days Im going to get into trouble when the driver actually sees me. Their car (if you can still call it that) IS about 5 times more massive than mine after all...

Robert McLeod said...

Mmm... Hummmer:

http://pacificcoast.net/~rmcleod/biohummer.jpg

Can you smell the Freedom Exhaust?

Anonymous said...

my wife drives a 2005 excursion v-10 limited and I drive a 2006 f250 superduty powerstroke crew cab king ranch. we have horses and tow horse trailers. Why dont you try that with your little jap car?