• Oct 8, 2007

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]



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  • 42 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Gee that's a surprise. A mediocre, uninspiring car with questionable finish not selling well? Whowouldathunkit.

      Sit inside one of those and it's immediately obvious why it doesn't sell.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toss the hybrid powertrain from the Escape into there and push the mileage into the high 30s/low 40s and you'd have a winner no matter what you called it, especially for the wagon (X)

      Also a 4cyl option with a manual transmission to get the mileage into the high 20s/low 30s at a low entry price.
        • 7 Years Ago
        considering Ford is buying the hybrid tech from Toyota, maybe they have signed a contract not allowing them to put it in a car in similar size to the Camry, and maybe that is why Nissan only sells the Altima in only 8 states.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm not sure I would want a car that size powered by a 4 cyl. But then again, my first car was a '78 Impala with the weak, detuned 305 V8 and it wasn't terrible.

        Recently, my Freestar was in the shop for an extended period and I was provided a rental in the meantime. It was an '06 Fusion with the 4 cyl. The power was adequate until I had to put my foot down to pass someone. I pushed the pedal all the way to the floor and it took a LONG time to find the right gear and get motivated to move. In fact, I thought the car had stalled for about a half second. In writing, this delay time doesn't sound like much, but in real life it's dangerous. Careful planning when overtaking (passing) another vehicle is essential with the 4 cyl in the Fusion. Put it in the Taurus and you wouldn't catch me dead in it. Or maybe you would.

        BTW, if the rest of Ford's lineup is as unreliable as our Freestar has been, then Ford deserves to go bankrupt.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I seem to remember that when it was announced that the Five Hundred would be renamed "Taurus", a lot of posters here at Autoblog said that wouldn't help sales.

      Right again, Autobloggers!
        • 7 Years Ago
        I wonder what if the 500 was originally launched and called Taurus from the beginning if the story could had been different? Then a better transition like "Taurus 500" in a name-game similar to Galaxie 500, Custom 500, Fairlane 500....
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Taurus has the rep of being a grandpa wagon. Boring. Yes I know there is a SHO verson. :P
      • 7 Years Ago
      The car is has no character nor style. Doesn't matter what you call it, people still won't buy it. Duh!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      The current Taurus is what the Five Hundred should have been from the start. Sales would have been just as expected and they would have not had to rename it. I still associate the name "Taurus" with a cheap rental car. Five Hundred just sounds more prestigious.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Here's a suggestion try making cars that aren't total pieces of crap. Changing the name to boost sales is insulting. Who's ever idea it was should be fired. Bring the Aussie Falcon to the U.S. shores, if you want to boost sales. Taurus is a dead tired name and an even worse design. Just my humble .02, which I won't be spending on this POS.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Drop that dowdy looking beast and bring over the sexy Mondeo from Europe.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hey wait, Mulally's a marketing genius, this can't be right!
      He also wants to bring back, "Have you driven a Ford... lately?", another stroke of pure brilliance. The Taurus name just hasn't gelled yet, give it 10 more years and it'll stick for sure.
      Couldn't have anything to do with trouncing the Taurus name into rental car hell for many years and perpetually discounting it at fire sale prices... naw, that couldn't have anything to do with it.
      Hey, these guys have such a pure view looking down from the Dearborn glass house headquarters that they must be right about everything, who are we to question their genius?
      Engineers and Finance people, even former airline execs make perfect marketing mavins and it shows in the brilliance we see on the airwaves and media we consume with Ford brands associated.
      While they're at it, why not bring back, "Ford has a better idea" because we all know that genius can't be wrong. After all, "History is Bunk".
      Carlos
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow what a concept, you mean by changing a name and few nip tucks here and there you expect a turd of a car to actually sell? Uh no. Design sells, quality sells, and performance sells. The Taurus may have the quality but it's design is more boring the vanilla and I could probably run faster to 60 mph than the Taurus. So until Ford gives the large car market a 100% effort I expect the same sub par outcome.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I saw a commercial recently made by a local Ford dealer. When mentioning the Taurus, they showed a video of the previous generation Taurus. It seems like even the dealer doesn't know the new Taurus exists!
      • 7 Years Ago
      What Has The Ford Motor Company Turned Into?

      Folks, what you are witnessing is Ford's self destruction due to global overreach. When Ford was making lots of money selling Explorers, F150s and Taurus cars, they took that profit and bought European brands (Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Volvo, % of Mazda). Remember when BMW sold Rover, they virtually gave it away. BMW kept the naming rights to Mini.

      Bottom line.... Ford bought some expensive property with huge on-going costs (plant, labour, R&D) that require massive investments of cash.

      It is the equivalent of buying a beautiful 17th century castle. Very prestigious BUT the costs to maintain these trophy homes require massive on-going investment. That's why most castles are bought by governments or open to the public to generate revenue.

      Bottom line... Ford could never afford the purchase of FOUR automotive companies (none of which was a top leader in sales) and the on-going R&D investments. With the exception of the F150 and Mustang, Ford has taken domestic profits from decades ago and plowed them into products that cannot provide volume sales/profits.

      In a global marketplace, having the billions to develop new chassis' requires a ROI that can be spread across numerous products. BMW developed the chassis for the Range Rover/LR3, Volvo developed the chassis for many of the current Ford and Land Rover products (LR2), and Mazda supports chassis development for many of the smaller car chassis'.

      Ford is no longer the main-line manufacturing company that developed the Model T. Until they carefully "roll-back" from the 80s-90s acquisition strategy; Ford is bogged down and left to mild refreshes.

      Proof: despite the many billions invested in Jaguar, Land Rover, AND Volvo, they are being “offered” for sale. As we are witnessing with Lincoln and Mercury, these product lines could not be successfully sustained with the proper R&D investment which has hurt the brands. Ford knows the same will hold true for the European acquisitions if they are not sold.

      Others have stated Ford cannot sale Volvo because they rely on them for critical components for Ford products. No problem… I assure you, in any sale; Ford will require access to Volvo chassis and technology for a prescribed amount of time and/or offer to buy the technology from the new owner (i.e. BMW engines in the Range Rover for 2 years post Ford acquisition of Land Rover and BMW gaining rights to LR off-road technology).

      As was mentioned in an earlier post, Ford does spend a lot on R&D. It begs the question, "On which product lines and vehicles and has the ROI been positive?"

      As a Ford fan, I pray for their success in the US marketplace.
        • 7 Years Ago
        To bolster what MotoBCT said: When's the last time Ford came out with a 'new' small pickup? 1993, 1994?


        For me, the fivehundred/Taurus thing is nothing but Ford patronizing the American consumer. How stupid do they think we all are by expecting sales to go through the roof by changing the name? They did a half-ass job at stylistically differentiating the two cars from each other. I am a car guy and the only way I can tell if it's a fivehundo or a taurus is by slowing down and letting it pass me so I can see the badge. Couldn't they have done a better job at changing the look other than removing the headlights, grill, and tailights and telling the designers to fill the hole with something new?

        Idiots.
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