Let's look at the facts. After January 1, retail sales of the Ford Taurus were officially halted, leaving only sales to fleet and corporate customers to keep the old bull alive. Despite the complete lack of styling changes, marketing, incentives and now retail customers, the Taurus remains the Blue Oval's best selling passenger car through the first four months of 2006. Fleet sales of the Taurus have amounted to near 71,000 units so far this year, which puts it ahead of the Focus, the wildly popular Mustang and well-received Fusion.
An Atlanta-area plant still produces 18,000 units of the Taurus every month, and on April 1st began producing 2007 models, though no changes to the car were actually made. The plant has plans to keep producing the Taurus into Q3 of this year, but the facility is on The Way Forward plan's chopping block and will likely be scuttled sometime in the near future.
As I said, it's funny and a bit sad, but high Taurus fleet sales could be a very good thing for Ford. With the Taurus filling up fleet orders, it leaves the Fusion alone to be a 'car for the people.' The fewer fleet sales attributed to the Fusion will mean greater resale value for Ford's new sedan. A higher resale value will make the Fusion appear more attractive to consumers, allowing Ford to sell the sedan at a higher transaction price than it's probably used to.