Friday, February 9, 2007
Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally has reported that Ford will rename the Ford Five Hundred to the Taurus for the 2008 model year, when a facelifted model is expected to be launched to improve the lackluster sales of the outgoing model. Mulally says that Ford's decision to name all their cars with the letter F was a lackluster move, and makes their names easily forgettable. As a result, Mulally plans on reviving many respected Ford nameplates, the Taurus being one of them, and the Falcon possibly in the future.
The Ford Taurus was originally introduced in 1986, and was a revolutionary car that rewrote the rules for creating a sedan, and pushed the other American automakers to follow suit, leading to a design revolution that completely rid Detroit of the "boxy" cars of the 70s and 80s. The Taurus survived for four generations, selling over 7,500,000 units. The Taurus was discontinued in October 2006, after a brief run of 2007 models destined for fleet customers.
"How can it go away?" Alan Mulally remembered asking, "It's the best-selling car in America."
While it is not expected for the name change to turn the Five Hundred into a 400,000 plus units a year blockbuster like the Taurus, it is expected to make sales more solid, and to make the car well known, since the Taurus is a well known nameplate around the country.
== Sources ==
Tom Kirsher - Associated Press. "New Ford CEO behind resuscitation of old name" — The Miami Herald, February 8, 2007
Angus MacKenzie. "Taurus: What's in a name?" — Motor Trend, February 7, 2007
Associated Press. "Ford reusing Taurus" — BusinessWeek, February 6, 2007
Press Release: "2008 Taurus" — Ford Motor Company, February 8, 2007