• Oct 19th 2006 at 8:13PM
  • 266
It's twisted and a bit pathetic, but I will be shedding a tear next week in honor of the Ford Taurus officially and finally going out of production. It had a 21-year run that in retrospect is the longest fall from grace in history. During that time Ford sold 7 million Tauruses and another 2 million Mercury Sables. Since January 1st of this year, however, Ford had halted sales of the Taurus to the public, accepting orders only from fleet and rental companies. Despite that, the Taurus remained Ford's best selling passenger car almost every month this year, selling more units than the Focus and even the red hot Mustang. The Taurus saved Ford when it was introduced in 1985 and immediately sold 263,000 units during that first year. That number would rise to 410,000 units in 1992 when the Taurus overtook the Honda Accord to become the best selling passenger car in the U.S., a title it held for five straight years.

We've been talking a lot around here lately about what mistakes Ford has made in the past that are responsible for its current dire straits. Perhaps the single biggest one is abandoning the Taurus. Ford knew the controversial redesign of the third generation Taurus wasn't going to recapture the passenger car sales crown from the Toyota Camry, and SUV sales at the time were beginning to gain momentum. Rather than reinvest in the car, Ford spent the next ten years pissing away the good name of the Taurus by abandoning development on the car or a competitive replacement, as well as not bothering to market the car responsible for saving the company in the mid-Eighties.

Workers at Ford's plant in Hapeville, GA are particularly upset over the Taurus being discontinued, not just because the plant will be closed and they'll be unemployed, but also because the team had become a world class workforce, even raising quality levels at the plant after Ford announced it would be closed. Mark Fields, Ford's current President of the Americas, admits even he doesn't understand how the company strayed so far from the Taurus. He also claims he's attempting to lead Ford's current turnaround with appealing new products, just like the Taurus led the turnaround back in 1985. We're sorry Mr. Fields, but the impact of the original Taurus is unlikely to be matched by anything in the Blue Oval pipeline right now.

[Source: Yahoo News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Who is running the show at Ford? This disaster needs to be accounted for.
      noah jones
      • 8 Years Ago
      i have seen the ford taurus for quite a few years now and i have yet to see one that impressed me ...i love a car that performs well but as u see a car drive down the street for the first time what really impresses you is the appearance...their body style in my opinion has always been lackluster,and the interior is far from luxurious.....not to mention the resale value or the reliability....i will be glad to see it go....the ford five hundred should go next.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The comments about Ford giving up on the Taurus to concentrate on high profit trucks and SUV's is dead-on. I ran a Ford store for over 8 years and we constantly wondered why Ford brass paid so little attention to the car line until we saw profit figures for the trucks. The Fusion is an EXCELLENT car if optioned right. Equal to or better than anything it competes with in quality and a better value. Sad so few will ever know outside of Detroit. The Focus... unfortunate we didn't get the REAL European versions but what we have is damn good. The Crown Vic and 500 (oops... Five Hundred) are...well... cars at best. And the 500 had potential until the designers ruined it. Too late now. Wait until you see/drive the new Edge before you write Ford off. And so it goes...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah #81, The minivan that they couldn't get the door open on when it wad first shown to the public. Yes that was a sure winner! And let's not forget that wonderful Reliant K. Can anyone say rolling Weber grill? My uncle bought one (well actually 2)of those first minivans. A week later it burst into flames while sitting at a red light. The second one lasted 3 months until it burst into flames while warming up on a cold December morning. Original you say? Yeah sure that's why they are 90 % Mercedes today. Mercedes is what has saved Chrysler and Dodge.
      Dr. J
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, where I live, the Taurus is like the redneck crutch... If moving up to the poverty level is your goal, then an old hand-me-down Taurus is for you... Beyond that, I think everyone else has better goals in mind... But, it will kinda suck to not have that to fall back on... lol
      • 8 Years Ago
      No #67, Ford has done that with the new generation Mustangs. That's all the retro Ford needs. But it would be nice if Mercury would make a real Cougar and have an Eliminator option.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Too bad. I drove a new 1999 Taurus til 2004, when hubby was Jonesin' for an F-150. It was really good car, good mileage, never had major issues, even handled a front end collision with no injury to myself. I never got into the boxy back end of the 3rd gen?- not a real expert on that! But it was a great car for a mom with 2 kids who did not want a mini van,excursion, expedition, tahoe, suburban, yukon... any of the above! My now 21 year old daughter learned to drive in it, and my son took driver's ed in one.
      Anne Col
      • 8 Years Ago
      All I can say is...I LOVE MY FUSION!

      I like that I have helped my fellow Americans in my own small way.

      Good Luck, Tigers!
      michael spragg
      • 8 Years Ago
      Does anyone at FORD have any clues you ask, Well, the Ford family also own the Detroit Lions. Anymore questions?
      Joe Schmerbeck
      • 8 Years Ago
      I owned two Ford tauras wagons. A 1993, I owned for 7 years and a 2000, I owned for 6 years. They were two of the greatest vehicles I ever owned. Both when traded in, were well over the 100,000 mile mark and with the exceptions of a few recalls and the normal replacement of tires, batteries and brakes ran like champs. I can't believe Ford let the Tauras run aground without trying to update it and keep it in front of their auto line.
      G. Stewart
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have read the comments, all the insults regarding Ford Motor Cars.........Interesting, that those who have made these comments, have neglected to be thankful that for many years, our American workers have had jobs and their families had secure future's. Now, I would like to point out - every time those of you who would put down the American Auto makers and buy cars where the monies go to a foreign country, put our American workers out of a job........Better not complain - your choice to buy foreign cars, one by one, put Americans on the street and their families suffer. Stupid choices. Oh by the I am delighted to be the owner of a FUSION......FORD MOTOR CAR. I shall continue to support American car companies...I refuse to contribute to my fellow American's poverty.
      WAKE UP AMERICA..... You may be the next one out of a job.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Creating and killing models too often seems like a bad idea to me and is certainly one of the reasons Ford is in trouble now."

      Yep. The sad thing is that many of those now-reviled model names once carried a lot of weight. In the late '80s, people were happy to say they drove a Taurus. In the late '90s, people liked the sound of driving a Cavalier. Monte Carlo, Impala, Stratus, Focus, Ranger, Town Car, Monterey, Grand Prix... there's a lot of name recognition and brand equity going down the toilet there.

      That's what happens when you let obsolete designs hang around for years, or revive storied nameplates to sell on an uncompetitive product.
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