Ford To Resurrect Taurus Name As Five Hundred Replacement

Ford To Resurrect Taurus Name As Five Hundred Replacement http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200702060004DOWJONESDJONLINE000003_FORTUNE5.htm
DETROIT -(Dow Jones)- Just months after putting an end to the Taurus sedan, Ford Motor Co. (F) is getting set to resurrect the name of what was once the top-selling car in the U.S. Company executives will announce Wednesday at the Chicago auto show that Ford's Five Hundred mid-size sedan, which was launched in 2004, will be renamed Taurus, according to multiple sources briefed on the company's plan.
Ford spokesman Jim Cain would neither confirm nor deny the move. He noted that Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally has been a vocal advocate of the Taurus name and that many media outlets have speculated about the moniker's return to the marketplace.
"Taurus is a wonderful brand that's fondly remembered by a great many people and it's been fantastic to see so many reminders of that on blogs and other web sites," Cain said.
Ford, which is scrambling to recover from a $12.7 billion loss in 2006, sold nearly 7 million Tauruses during the two decades it was in production. The Taurus, which was the best-selling car in the U.S. for several years starting in the early 1990s, lost its standing in recent years as Asian competitors such as Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) and Honda Motor Co. (HMC) steadily improved their comparable entries. Lately the Taurus was mostly sold to rental car firms.
Mulally, who took the helm of Ford in October after a long career at Boeing Co. (BA), has said repeatedly that he does not understand why the company did not adequately invest in the Taurus. Last month, in an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Mulally hinted the auto maker may be considering reviving the Taurus name, but stopped short of giving a clear indication of confirming the move.
The Five Hundred, a larger car than the defunct Taurus, has met a cool reception since its launch.
In 2006, sales of the Five Hundred fell 22% to 84,218 vehicles, or about half as many Tauruses as were sold in the last year of production. Sales of the Five Hundred were down 51% in January from a year earlier, at 3,526 vehicles.
Ford is doing a modest redesign on the Five Hundred for the 2008 model year, a move that the company hopes will help it reposition the car in the marketplace
The Five Hundred shares many of its parts and a common architecture with the Ford Freestyle crossover vehicle and the Mercury Montego sedan, all of which are built in Chicago.
A Ford dealer who asked not to be identified said the company has great " equity" in the Taurus name, but he is concerned the company has wasted the cachet by not having updated the Taurus in recent years. He worries that the Five Hundred may not be an adequate replacement for people who truly appreciated the Taurus.
-- "Your best, last and only line of defense-a cohort of Roman Heavy Infantry"
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<snip>
Too little too late. Unless they invest some time and money redesigning where they left off with the former model, the Ford 500 aka new "Taurus", if in fact does happen, will never fly with Taurus die-hards. Everyone will know its a 500, and if it was a successful model (which it isn't), then why rename it to Taurus? Sure the name holds sway with consumers, but don't insult me by sticking it on a model that isn't selling.
You might as well call it the "Edge".
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

and they already shut down the Atlanta plant that built the Taurus/Sable...
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wrote:

Irrelevant. They aren't coming out with a new model. Just renaming the 500.
Jeff
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Granted, but that doesn't excuse Ford from rebadging a model that isn't selling. I'm afraid they won't learn until they succeed in flushing the "Taurus" name down the toilet with the 500.
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wrote:

Maybe you should look at this another way. Why isn't the 500 selling? It is a very nice car, decent size, gdecent as mileage, good if not spectacular performance. The biggest thing wrong with it is that it is preceived to be bland. I am sure that Ford is hoping a minor face lift, a little more power, a revised drivetrain, and changing the name will get people to at least look at the car. Might work, might not. But at least they are trying. My Mother has a Freestlye (essentially a 500 Statin Wagon) and it is a very impressive car. Too bad nobody (or almost nobody) knows this.
Ed
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All good points, I hope they can pull it off. I too would consider a Freestyle as a family car purchase, but not the 500. At least not unless I was going to retire in Florida and wear my pants over my stomach. Always looked like a "retirement" vehicle to me, which isn't good considering the Merc GM and Lincoln already have that market. I guess a lot of folks including myself are still scratching their head as to why Ford pulled the plug on the Taurus at all, and now attempting to resurrect the name.
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The 500 may be bland looking, but the 2002-2006 Camry is not a gorgeous car either. How did it sell?
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Well I don't know, but they didn't go and name it after an animal, that much is for sure. I suppose Toyota can get away with selling bland looking vehicles, because their customers believe everything Toyota says about their cars so "it must be true".
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I don't mind this. I'm sick of the alpha numeral model names anyway.
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