The days of the Ford Ranchero and Chevy El Camino are long behind us here in the States. But in the Land Down Under, car/trucks or “Utes” as they are commonly referred to, are in a renaissance, enjoying strong sales and immense popularity among the Aussies. But as Ford attempts to go global with their “One Ford” strategy, there are inevitably going to be casualties.

According to ABC News Australia, the full-size rear-wheel drive Ford Falcon, which includes a Ute body style, might be one such casualty as the new Taurus takes over.

Picture: Ford

It has been decades since America has been able to buy a Ford-badged Falcon, but the name is every bit as iconic in Australia as Mustang is here - with good reason. The Falcon is a big, rear-wheel drive car with a variety of engines to pick from including a twin-turbo V6 and a Boss V8 engine. These engines could be had in either sedan or ute Falcons, and the Falcon was the fifth-highest selling nameplate in Australia with 31,023 sales in 2009, despite high gas prices and a stumbling economy.

While the new Taurus is no slouch, especially the AWD EcoBoost-powered SHO, the Falcon was a very cool car in its own right. While the name may live on, Ford is definitely taking a step back from the rear-wheel drive car market. In fact, with the (long overdue) demise of the Panther platform that underpinned cars like the Crown Vic, the Mustang remains the sole car in the Blue Oval’s lineup to power the rear wheels alone. It’s kind of sad to think about. Still, no final decision has been made, though things don’t look good for the bird of prey.

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