We've been talking a lot around here lately about what mistakes Ford has made in the past that are responsible for its current dire straits. Perhaps the single biggest one is abandoning the Taurus. Ford knew the controversial redesign of the third generation Taurus wasn't going to recapture the passenger car sales crown from the Toyota Camry, and SUV sales at the time were beginning to gain momentum. Rather than reinvest in the car, Ford spent the next ten years pissing away the good name of the Taurus by abandoning development on the car or a competitive replacement, as well as not bothering to market the car responsible for saving the company in the mid-Eighties.
Workers at Ford's plant in Hapeville, GA are particularly upset over the Taurus being discontinued, not just because the plant will be closed and they'll be unemployed, but also because the team had become a world class workforce, even raising quality levels at the plant after Ford announced it would be closed. Mark Fields, Ford's current President of the Americas, admits even he doesn't understand how the company strayed so far from the Taurus. He also claims he's attempting to lead Ford's current turnaround with appealing new products, just like the Taurus led the turnaround back in 1985. We're sorry Mr. Fields, but the impact of the original Taurus is unlikely to be matched by anything in the Blue Oval pipeline right now.
[Source: Yahoo News]