LOUDSHO92, you have a point. And I am as guilty as anyone. I want quality items, but I don't want to pay the price. However to repeat my complaint, why is there tons of stuff for Focus and Mustang, both aftermarket and Ford Motor Company supplied, and none for the Taurus. There are more Taurus vehicles on the road than either of the two mentioned. In fact I think Taurus outsells Focus and Mustang combined (at least up here in Saskatchewan.)
But then this discussion becomes more philosophical. All manufacturers, not just Ford, tell us what we want: automatic transmissions. Once in a while, a halo car comes along. The original SHO was one such vehicle. Initially it only had a 5 speed manual. Magazine reviews and celebrity purchases made the SHO a "halo" car. Many wanted it, but only a few bought it.
Ford responded by adding an automatic in Generation II. By the time Generation III came along, the manual transmission was dropped. So did sales. No Generation IV SHO were ever made. Ford could not see the value of the small halo market. If we then look at the Focus, the SVT was a special model with tubular header, Borla exhaust, big disk brakes, more power and a six-speed Getrag manual transmission. It was a halo machine. How many kids bought a used ZX3 (3-door Focus) and added SVT wheels? That is the effect of halo vehicles.
When I started looking to improve the appearance of my first Taurus wagon, I was looking for SHO rims. Here in Saskatchewan, SHO's were as scarce as hen's teeth. Ignorance (and Ford's propensity to make things difficult) meant I had ugly steel wheels longer than I had to. (Eventually ended up with Taurus SEL 16 inch rims.)
Another complaint is how certain options are only available on certain models. The reason is production. Today the factory will be producing Model X, transmission Y, Engine Z in this colour. Tour the factory. When I ordered my Aerostar in 1986 with 5 speed manual, 3.0 L V6, dual air conditioners (front/rear), trailer package (limited slip differential) and premium sound system, I did not get it until mid August. Why? Probably because it took that long to find enough other nuts wanting that combination. But, I did get it. Today? Nothing, nada, zip.
Last year at the Ford Nationals in Carlisle PA I questioned Ford Engineer-Turned-ST Marketing Manager Lisa Schoder about why Ford never offers the same list of options here as in Europe. Europeans can get a Focus ST wagon with six speed. North Americans? No ST wagons. No six speeds in wagons. And then they wonder why people buy Volvos, BMW's, Audi's and Subarus.
Our homebuilt SVT wagon (see above and yes it has a six speed) draws plenty of attention. Sure, it may be the only one in Canada right now, but we know of at least two others that are planned (just waiting for someone to wreck an SVT). My "handle" on this forum was (still is) a dream. Car & Driver magazine "built" an SHO wagon. Ford dropped the ball when they did not build one. By catering only to the masses, you miss the niche, halo market. Follow the money, too hell with the rest. [/rant]