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Ford's Historic Thunderbird Nameplate Returns to the Future-Product Vault

By: Dave Marchand
Farmington Hills, MI

2005-model year Thunderbird to be the last of the current generation. Production of the roadster at Ford’s Wixom Assembly Plant will end in July. Wixom Assembly Plant will continue to produce the Lincoln LS and Town Car and be the final assembly point for the Ford GT supercar.

DEARBORN, Mich., March 10, 2005 - Ford Motor Company will put the legendary Thunderbird nameplate back into the company’s future-product vault after this model year, the company confirmed today with employees.

Production of the current generation vehicle will end in July at the company’s Wixom Assembly Plant in Wixom, Mich. Since the launch of the roadster as a 2002 model, more than 55,000 Thunderbirds have been sold.

“We promised all along that this Thunderbird would have a limited production run, and we’re being true to our word,” explains Steve Lyons, Ford Division president. “Thunderbird was a terrific image builder for the Ford brand showroom at a time when we needed it. Now, we’re in the midst of a major product onslaught, including more news on the Mustang at March’s New York Auto Show.”

Key Points:

Introduced in September 1954 as a 1955 model two seat convertible
Total original two seat production 53,166
Total sales - 4.3 million units
Peak sales year 1977 - 322,517 units
Built at Lorain assembly, Lorain, Ohio
Last redesign in 2002 - 2005 sale