That represents a significant change in plans. Previously, Ford had scheduled a facelift for the Freestyle for the 2008 model year, giving it the Ford brand's new three-bar horizontal grille.
A Mercury version of the current Freestyle will be produced in 2007, as planned.
The Freestyle decision highlights the fluidity of product planning at Ford now. Timing, assembly plants and platforms for several vehicles are in flux, supplier and company sources said. This summer's contract negotiations with the Canadian Auto Workers union likely are delaying some final approvals.
Ford is expected to shift the Freestyle name to one of several crossovers and minivan replacements being developed on the Volvo-derived D3 and Mazda6-based CD3 platforms.
These include Ford and Lincoln minivan replacements - which the company calls "people movers" - inspired by the Ford Fairlane concept shown at the 2005 Detroit auto show. That concept used the CD3 platform. But Ford now plans to re-engineer the larger Volvo platform for the vehicles, sources said.
Ford also has abandoned long-touted plans to use the CD3 platform for its next-generation minivans, sources say. It now appears Ford will drop its current minivans when the Fairlane-styled Ford and Lincoln vehicles appear.
The changes in the sport wagon-minivan segment pushed out the current Freestyle, sources said.
"They're trying to sort out that whole segment," one supplier source said. "They have the Freestar, the Freestyle and then this Fairlane. There's not enough room for all three of those."
Freestyle sales have been much softer than Ford had anticipated. Since it went on sale, Ford has sold 44,066 Freestyles in the United States. Company officials at one time forecast annual sales of more than 100,000.