Click on the image for a gallery of images of the Five Hundred/Taurus?

Ameritech/SBC/AT&T/BellSouth spent the better part of a decade and hundreds of millions of dollars marketing the Cingular brand and dumping the AT&T Wireless name only to turn around and drop the new name and return to AT&T. Ford dropped the Taurus name after more than twenty years when they introduced the Fusion and Five Hundred.

Now hot on the heels of a post here about whether car names really matter much, comes a story from Dow Jones Newswire that Ford may reverse course again and rename the facelifted 2008 Five Hundred to Taurus. Sudden name changes are not new to Ford. Consider how the Lincoln Zephyr became the MKZ after just one year on the market and the Aviator became the MKX only months before its introduction. So far, Ford is not publicly commenting, but it seems doubtful that any name change will affect the fortunes of the big Ford sedan.

The official name change is reportedly going to take place tomorrow at the Chicago Auto Show. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: We asked Ford if the story was true, the official response received was: "We have not made any official announcements regarding our Chicago Auto Show news. Stay tuned for tomorrow's press conference." We figured we'd get a non-answer like that, which is clearly not a "no." In addition, the Freep's now reporting that the rename will indeed happen tomorrow, according to a source they have at Ford.

[Source: Dow Jones Newswire via Smartmoney.com]