The 2008 Ford Taurus isn't the running bull it once was or was intended to be -- at least, not yet. Combined sales of the 2007 Five Hundred and new 2008 Taurus -- with its new name, new engine and refreshed design -- were down 3.2-percent in August and a brow-raising 30.1-percent in September versus those same months in 2006.

Ford gave several reasons for the decline: last year's models came with 0-percent financing for 72 months, this year's car's come with 5.9-percent for 60 months. The company also ceased advertising during the end-of-summer clearance sales ads, thinking the car might not get proper attention amid the shouting. And, the full-sized sedan market has been soft this year as car buyers move to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.

As of this month, an additional $500 has been added to the $1,000 in incentives for the car. Admittedly, though, the new Taurus is still being launched, since it only went on sale in July. With an eye on selling 60,000 Tauruses in the car's first year, Ford sales analyst George Pipas said "the retail sales trend is in a positive direction, and that's good."

Look for our In the Autoblog Garage review of the 2008 Ford Taurus soon.

[Source: Auto News, sub req'd]