TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Chris Theodore was still at Chrysler Corp. when Ford Motor Co. decided in the late 1990s to halt production of the midsize Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique. Ford pulled the plug in 2000 after 1,266,571 of the two models were built over six years at plants in Kansas City, MO, and Cuautitlan, Mexico. They were replaced by the then-new Ford Escape cross/utility vehicle. Some 566,000 Escapes have been delivered through mid 2003. Built off the European Ford Mondeo ...

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