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Hazman
03-02-2006, 07:47 PM
:eek: Ford doesn't see a way forward for SVT
Quietly, Ford Motor Co. has been dismantling SVT -- the Special Vehicle Team -- and sources inside the company suggest that as of April 1, SVT, as we've known it since 1992, will cease to exist.

SVT has had no dedicated products since 2004. A high-performance version of the Sport Trac, called the Adrenalin, was shown at the New York Auto Show in March 2005. At a preview for journalists, SVT director Hau Thai-Tang said that the Adrenalin "is going to turn the performance-vehicle market upside down" when it goes on sale as a 2007 model. Then, last month, the Adrenalin was canceled as part of Ford's "Way Forward" restructuring campaign. The Ford GT supercar, which was developed largely by SVT engineers but was not called an SVT model, will end production later this year.

A new Shelby Cobra GT 500 Mustang is due later this year as a 2007 model. But it will be offered to all 3,900 Ford dealers, instead of SVT's network of roughly 600 dealers.

SVT was founded in 1991 by Robert Rewey, Ford's vice president for marketing and sales, and Neil Ressler, Ford's chief technical officer. The idea was that SVT would consist of a small group of engineers, designers and marketing professionals who would work inside Ford to build and sell high-performance versions of existing products. SVT also set up a separate dealer network, signing up Ford dealers that had an interest in selling performance products.

In 1992, the first two SVT products were launched: The 1993 F-150 Lightning pickup, and the 1993 Mustang Cobra. In 1997, the SVT Contour was introduced, and in 1999, the second-generation Lightning went on sale. In late 2001, the '02 SVT Focus went on sale. By 2004, when production of the Lightning, Mustang Cobra and SVT Focus ended, the company had sold about 145,000 SVT products.

It's likely that Ford will continue to produce special-edition models of several vehicles, but they will not be sold through SVT channels

The SVT engineers are gone, all marketing is gone, the trailer is gone, the press fleet is gone, and the top chassis engineer has been sent to the fuel cell program.

7,500 or so Mustang GT500's are planned for 2007 .... more if they can get transmissions, and they will be sold through all Ford dealers.

Some SVT dealers, annoyed that all 3,900 Ford dealers are benefitting from what those 600 or so SVT dealers financed, are contemplating a class action law suite.

The GT500 will keep the SVT emblems. Too late to delete them."

Special Vehicle Team
Born 1991
Died 2006
:edmond: :nope: :bawling:

Stavesacre21
03-04-2006, 09:10 AM
:scratch: :bawling: :bawling: :bawling:

I do believe hell just froze over...

While I can't say that I didn't see this slowly progressing towards that direction, I must say that the close of the SVT chapter of SVT really is quite the dissapointment.

To me personally, the SVT program was unique in every way...no other company seemed to have a program that was strictly and entirely determined to making unsurpassed performance vehicles while still keeping within the name of the OEM. And it wasn't just about the performance either....it's the craftsmanship, integrity and devotion to not only quality products, but also to the pride that goes into the creation of one. The attention that went into making such products as hand-made engines can't be overlooked when comparing to the remaining market of overly-saturated mass production, leaving you lost in a crowd of identical faces. To this day, you'd needn't look hard to find people still going out of their way just to simply catch a glimpse of one of "those" cobras, even at a ripening age 13 years old!

When I really put things into perspective, SVT meant more then just a name to me...it's a statement. I can honestly say that I wouldn't have likely looked into a Cobra as seriously as I did if not for SVT. Their name represents an unsurpassed quality that is hard to find these days. Let's cherish these descendants we've been bestowed with!

You will be missed. :flag:
1991-2006

:clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: