Friday, October 27, 2006

Goodbye, Ford Taurus...

Anyone who's read my blog before knows that I'm into the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable.  I drive a 1998 Sable, and I've got way too much money into it to count.

Anyway, after 21 years, production on the Taurus has ceased.  I believe the last Taurus will roll of the Chicago line at 8 AM Central Time.  It's a pretty sad day for me, especially considering the fact that the Taurus singlehandedly saved Ford Motor Company.  When the Taurus was first designed, it was a bold design that no one had done before.  People thought it looked too futuristic and wouldn't sell well.  It ended up being the best selling vehicle in American for several years, and was in the top five in most of the other years.

What does this mean for Ford?  Well, they can introduce new vehicles that might be able to better fill the niches, but unfortunately, they don't have a catch-all car anymore.  They introduced three new cars to replace the Taurus...not one, not two, but three.  The Fusion is meant to satisfy younger people looking for a sporty car, but without having to drop $28K on a Mustang GT.  The Five-Hundred is a hulk of a car, meant to fulfill the family segment.  It is a very nice car, but looks too generic and like a lot of other manufacturers cars.  The Freestyle is a cross-over wagon vehicle, meant to attract all those that want a wagon and don't want a Subaru or Volvo.  I don't know if any of them will ever be as successful as the Taurus was. 

Everything about the Taurus was bold and innovative, but Ford decided back in 2003 that they would start stripping the car down, offering it with fewer options, in the hopes that they could continue to make fleet sales.  Ford didn't want to update the car, and because it was a 20+ year old design (not externally, but the underpinnings were the same) Ford thought it would be better to let the car die a very unceremonious death.

I found out the other day that a Detroit television station had contacted the VP of the Taurus Car Club of America to do a segment on the Taurus and what it means to some of us.  He drove a few hours from Ohio to Detroit, met up with a few other devoted members, and taped the segment.  I'll link it here when it is played on ABC World News (should be tonight).

Goodbye Taurus...may you come back as a new model a few years down the line...

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