• Jan 5, 2007

Just when it seemed that we would never see the Taurus again, new Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally says that he was a big fan of the Taurus and even rented one on a recent business trip to check it out. His feelings date back 20 years to a research study he was doing on Ford's production system for Boeing. He has also publicly stated that the Five Hundred "should have been the next Taurus."

Over the 20-year run of the Taurus, Ford invested literally hundreds of millions of dollars building brand equity in the name, then just walked away. It's nothing new with automakers; look at what GM did with the GTO, Camaro and Firebird. The GTO has come and gone and the Camaro comeback is well underway as a completely new car; can the Firebird be far behind?

Mulally took a whimsical shot at the name game this week when he said he was still looking to drive his Lincoln Zephyr. Not to be outdone by the new guy, Ford's sales analyst chief George Pipas made a Freudian slip by referring to the Zephyr in this week's sales call.

We say go ahead and bring back the Taurus name, but not on the Five-Hundred. Hopefully there will be a new, rear-wheel drive large sedan in the product pipeline soon that will need a name, so save it for that. Besides, the name "Taurus" evokes images of charging bulls and, if you think about it, wasn't appropriate for a plebian front-wheel drive sedan.

[Source: Businessweek]



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  • 41 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      The size of the 500 is appealing.Easy to get in and out of if your tall, big or old.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I love FORD: FOUND ON ROAD DEAD!

      • 8 Years Ago
      I think the 500 is a nice car, and 500 an appropriate name for a car its` size.
      The Fusion should have been the new Taurus. The Fusion is a good size agile looking car.
      While the new Camry looks bloated and bulky. The new Fusion (could have been Taurus) trumps the Camry in looks reliabilty and driveabilty.
      Taurus could have lived.
      The 500 to Ford is more like Avilon is to Toyota.
      • 8 Years Ago
      With some of the homers on here, ford could make the Ford Fairy and they would flock to it like the little girls who flock to Clay Aiken and say it's the best car out there.

      • 8 Years Ago
      I Love the Ford Taurus.... Ford should have kept up on that vehicle. They need to bring the Taurus back and do it the right way.. Its needs to be sporty, have a strong motor cause that 200 horse power optional wasnt even enough to keep up with the competition. They also need to change that ugly green that lights the dash and make something bright and colorful. If they brought the Taurus back and did it the right way there is no doubt in my mind that the Taurus could steal back its title as best selling car in America.
      • 8 Years Ago
      That One Person: Great Idea to rename it "Maverick".

      If Ford really is about BOLD MOVES than that would be an appropriate name. However, the might relegate that terrific name to the Interceptor concept instead.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Taurus has brand equity? It was revolutionary when the original '86 model appeared, but by the end of even the first generation's product cycle it was a has-been. The radical for no valid reason '96 model was a joke that quickly became fleet car fodder. They even managed to screw up the SHO.

      Taurus was great in the beginning but was left to rot on the vine. If they were to decide to revive the name, they would be wise to wait 10 or so years to do so. I don't think anyone would associate it with the revolutionary car that it was in the beginning. I hear Taurus and I think rental car!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford let the Taurus languish way too long and now it's name is synomous with generic rental cars. Perhaps this would have been a good debate in 1998, now it's time to leave it for dead.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This Alan Mulally seems to be a pretty bright guy. I give him a lot of credit for plain-speak which is uncommon in the ego-inflation of most Automaker CEOs.

      It is a damn shame that Ford pissed away its brand equity with the Taurus. While it is true that Ford invested hundreds of million in building the Taurus brand, they under-invested in the product development. Thus, the true brand equity is nil or even negative.

      I, too, have driven the Taurus at Hertz. It is the most pitiful, crude vehicle I have driven in the past 5 years. Based on that experience, I would be very hesitant to ever purchase a Ford product. (I also said that about GM products a few years ago, but some of their new products are quite good).
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford should have never gotten rid of the Taurus. I've known people who've owned them and they were impressed. I think that GM and Ford are notorius for building their brands on a specific car and drop it for a brand new model. This is where they screw up everytime. While Toyota and Honda continue to build on their Camry and Accord models. They constantly refine them with each new generation. Ford should have done the same thing. The Taurus was a very popular and gained popularity rather quickly. It has not been the same with the Five Hundred. It practically goes without being noticed at all. The Fusion seems to be a pretty solid car and quite popular. Let's hope that they keep it in the future and only offer refinements. I'm still waiting on the next Focus.
      • 8 Years Ago
      xactly, Ford threw away a 20 year old name for a gimicky name "Fusion" "Five Hundred". while never an excellent car, the Taurus was well known, and considered a safe buy. Taurus was a great name. Ford's worried about matching "F" names more than the consumer sould ever care..Killing the Taurus was one of Ford's biggest mistakes in this century. that car single hand saved Ford in the 80's. like i've said over nad over.. the Taurus should still be americas best selling passenger car, come on. a company as old as Ford...People actually wanted a Taurus. and Ford in all of it's wisdom let his car sit and sit untill it was basically only desired by fleets, stupid Ford...they deserve a bitch slap for that one...
      • 8 Years Ago
      The original Taurus put Ford on the track to "overtaking" GM in sales, at least that's what everyone was saying back then as the Taurus sold 4-5hundred thousand a year.

      It was a great design and a competent if not exactly great car for the time that surprised alot of people. Every Taurus refresh after that original was a step backwards, Ford beat the horse long after it was dead. The SUV craze made easy money for Ford in the meantime and the Taurus floundered. What a Shame!!!! The funny thing is, they did the exact same thing with the Focus. It did get better after the initial couple year bugs were worked out until it was a genuine Civic alternative, 10best cars every year for awhile etc,...

      But, as Ford seems to do, they "freshened" up it's design, taking huge steps back each time to where it now looks like a damn '90 Escort. Never really improving it, just beating it for all it was worth, like a jockey on the backstretch of the kentucky derby riding a 20yr old fleabag. Blah, Historically, I've loved Fords, always have, but they can't do this shit anymore. Europe went a bit upscale with the Focus and we got stuck. I own a Focus and it's a good car, handles, good mileage, reliable, for 2001, when it was bought, but it's nothing like what a 2007 from Ford Focus should be.

      Ok, back to the Taurus, I wish they'd bring it back. but do it right please?

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