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What Are Your Thoughts on the Return of the Taurus/Sable?



  • The whole idea of big "tall" sedan was silly. It works with small cars like Focus. Focus was revolutionary in this concept. What not just buy crossover if you want tall car?

    When Ford finally re-learn how to design elegant interiors.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Dad had 2 Montegos, a 1970 and 1972. The 72 was damn near indestructible... went 210,000 miles in 7 years, and after he traded it, he saw it on the street 2 months later. Thus I was kinda pleased to see the name return. Guess no one else was.

    Here's the problem with this whole thing, and it's not just a name change.

    The 500/Montego was originally intended to replace the Vic/Marquis, the way Chevy uses the Impala in place of the retired RWD Caprice. The Taurus/Sable was produced at the same time in light numbers (mostly for fleets) for 2 reasons: the Fusion triplets needed another year's time and Ford was racing the Taurus in NASCAR.

    With the success of the 300/Charger, GM announced they will return to RWD and V8s for the "upper middle" size class. Ford then decided to give the Vic/Marquis/Town Car a reprieve, thus making the 500/Montego somewhat unnecessary... turning that platform back to RWD would be a waste of money since they already have an RWD chassis that size. The stretched Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger police car also had a little something to do with it.

    So now, they opt to rename the 500/Montego back to Taurus/Sable in hopes of drumming up sales, but at the expense of the Fusion/Milan which is probably the best car Ford has come up with in years. And Fusion is the new NASCAR entry. Not to mention, the Taurus and Fusion will both share the 3.5 with 6-speed, which means the Fusion will be much faster with it.

    A retraction of this magnitude tells me Ford has no direction right now. The right "moves" would be:
    - drop the 500/Montego
    - give the Vic/Marquis/TC a new body and update the chassis
    - slighty enlarge the Fusion/Milan/MKZ for MY2009 or 2010
    This puts their best car (Fusion) in position to be their best seller, with no internal competition.

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  • The name change for an existing vehicle seems like typical american car company lameness. But for the long run, I think it was a good idea. Ford might be better off by keeping a recognized (and at least at one time) respected car line and work on updating/refining/improving it over time rather than changing names and styles in a seemingly random fashion. I prefer U.S. brands, but am aware that the Accord and Camry party benefit from their positive history as they update the actual car every 5 years or so.
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    Yes, Ford Motor is in BIG trouble. You only have to look at its position in 1998 and now to see that: from 26% of the market and possibly able to challenge GM, to: 14% car sales and 16% overall. Bill Ford gets no credit stemming the tide downwards.

    Taurus? No different than rebadging the Zephyr into the Mark Z. Yes bring the name back, yes add more BHP and torque under the hood. Jack Telnack was right when he said it was "criminal" that Ford Motor had let Taurus die on the vine, just as they did to the Lincoln LS. LS really had a chance, and the Mark Z is barely beginnning to go in the right direction.

    Simply put, Ford sedans should be as tough as their trucks. I've driven Ford Motor products more than 1Mn miles, but they keep making the mistake of stopping production or development of the cars that brought me to them in the first place. I've seen it happen now for a long time at Ford. They get a big bang up front with a new car, and then (perhaps) one revision (where the Japanese would have done three in the same time) and then cancel it---or worse, relegate it to the dustbin and the backrooms of the dealerships as they are with Town Car, Crown Vic & Marquis.

    I suspect a lot of Ford cars that are good get cancelled, derailed, etc., not because they are bad, but because the executives that championed them are gone or have moved on. So those cars "aren't my baby" when the next group of men and women take hold. So they kill them off in place of their own ideas.

    Ford needs the Taurus name. I was shocked when I read in Automotive News, Edmunds, etc. that they were killing it. "No one could be that stupid" I thought. Sure, rebadging is not a great move. But Ford Motor is out of time. It's midnight at the Blue Oval, and at least they can revamp the current chassis into a real car---built tough, with excellent brakes, steering, handling, and an interior that you WANT to spend time in.

    Let's give MR. Mulally a chance. Taurus and Sable must come back with a vengence.

  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Yes, Douglas is right. And my, my, all this griping! Yall are starting to sound like me.

    This name change is a great move for a company in trouble. Cheap. Gets publicity. Gets two decent (ak, also boring) cars more notice. A move that may help a bit; even if it doesn't, will not hurt.

    Ford cannot afford to dump the 500/Montego now, nor can they afford to bring out alternatives by this summer. Mulally knocked some heads together, and Taurus (albeit 500) is back, rear wheel drive is now in the pipeline, more daring designs are on the way, and there seems to be a very belated but renewed commitment to product. It may not be enough and may be too late. But again, there is no downside to bringing back the Taurus this way--as opposed to not at all or three years from now in new form.

    I bet they are hard at work now on the next generation. It will be interesting to follow this trying to save the company as midnight falls saga.
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    You made an excellent point about the execs moving on and the car withering on the vine. The LS is a perfect example of that. When a VP of marketing was leading the LS, it was doing exactly what Lincoln needed, good sales, stirred emotions and was better than anything you could find at any price even close. When he was dumped (office politics I imagine), it just died away. The 2 seater T-Bird was very successful when it came out, limited production and every one produced sold at more than MSRP, but it died away also. Ford can still produce some great ideas, GT and Shelby Cobra for example, but this happens much too infrequently, and they usually die away as they lose their sponsors. I agree also with and earlier post stating that a special edition or "hotrod" as they put it, may not be a big money-maker by itself, but will add appeal to the model.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    Consistancy in quality, reliability, and high resale value sells cars, not name changes. The Japanese have learned these skills and have continued on for decades with the same named products like Civic, Accord, and Camry. They just keep making good things better and the american public loves them. Changing the cars name isn't going to resurrect Ford. Its too late in the game to try now and fool people that a different name on the same product makes it better. Even if Ford sold 10,000 more new Taurus's more then the Five Hundred won't make a dint in Fords red bottom line.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Well of course you are right.

    Still, if I were Ford and thought a name change might net even 10,000 more sales, I'd do it. It is not meant to resurrect is a small thing easily done, that might not make things worse, and combined with other small things, may or may not make a significant difference...but bottom line, it won't hurt.

    Too many people seem to be seeing this relatively innocuous move as foolish and bad because it won't save the company. It is not meant to! Rather, it is a belated correction of a dumb move on Ford/s part (abandoning one of the most recognizable auto names in the world) that can be corrected with little cost.

    I don't think Ford or anyone else thinks a name change makes a better product. The name change will jog some memories among non-car enthusiasts (the market for boring sedans), and get the thing on a few more people's consideration list.

    BTW, Taurus was manufactured through October of 2006, so it hasn't really done away per se, any more than the Sport Trac did when it had a 6 month hiatus between versions (that gap was stupid, poor planning for sure, but no one talked of "reviving" the Sport Trac).
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    What's in a name anyway? The Five Hundred was supposed to be Ford's great new family sedan. The Freestyle was the great new family wagon. Yet they shipped with a miserably underpowered 3L engine (the ONLY weak point in my 5 speed LS BTW). Naturally, any car reviewer worth their juice noticed that the car couldn't much get out of it's own way and wrote it up that way. In addition, the looks of the cars were boring and bland. Net result - they sold far fewer than expectation.
    Meanwhile the rest of Ford was going down the tubes as well, in part due to lawyers (like that idiot Edwards who wants to be president). In part due to the global warming eco-freaks who think that Expeditions, Navigators and Explorers are destroying the planet (but for some reason Armadas and Sequoias are OK). ANd in part due to Bill Ford himself who cant decide if he wants to sell 100K or 150K hybrids or ethanol pwoered cars so he can get invited to the right trendy millionaire parties.
    And finally in large part due to the undeniable fact that Fords' products, with almost no exceptions including the F-150 now, are just not competitive with the best and many times even the second best the rest have to offer.
    SO now Bill Ford FINALLY turns the reigns over to someone with a track record of turning around A company. A BIG company with a cmpetitive product, if not THE best product in it's field. Tough to go wrong with Boeing. A respected name the world over. They build maybe the best passenger planes in the world. ANd while working there, Mulally didn't drive a Lincoln or a Jag. No, he drove a Lexus. The only thing he apparently knew about Ford was that they once had a car called the Taurus which led the USA in sales.
    Now, Mulally is in charge and he is mostly saying all the right things - "the bean counters wont be in charge anymore" "we're going to streamline global productions" etc etc. But then there are the new cars that are being released while he's at the helm. Well, OK so there really arent any new CARS being released, just a new Crossover or two. And of course, Mulally hasnt been around long enough to really have much input on these vehicles. (Though he has been around long enough to do something about the one HUGE negative that every reviewer is writing up about these cars - the BRAKES. I for one would think the man would say "We're NOT releasing a new vehicle that cant stop very well on my watch. FIX those da__ brakes." But, he hasnt. SO, does that bode well for his thoughts on how to run a better airline? Not in my book.)
    Now the Edge and emm kay exx are out there. I've seen em and they are NOT competitive and probably will not sell very well, especially after the rest of the reviews come in and the lawyers start suing over rear end accidents cause the things couldn't stop.
    Now, Mulallys' next move is to announce 3 "ALL_NEW" vehicles called the Taurus, Sable and Taurus X. And he and Ford's marketing dept will try to sell these things to people who never heard of the 500 and Maontego and Freestyle, all of which have lost their fair share of comparos since introduction. Now these all-new cars do have different grilles from their presecessors. And more importantly they have larger engines which should negate thier glaring weakness. (WHY does Ford continue to release cars with at least one important and glaring weakness?) And the folks at Ford think that people will now buy these cars because - hey! it's the NEW Taurus and 20 or 25 years ago, Taurus was a cool car so these must be too! Whoopee! Get out the checkbook Marge...
    And gregg thinks they'll sell 10,000 more vehicles. And that that's a good thing. Personally, I thik they wont sell a SINGLE extra car due to the name change. However, they might sell 10,000 more becaue the car can now actually move at a reasonable clip. Though, if the mpg numbers go down as much as the HP went up, then I retract this prediction. And personally, Ford has LOST 1 sale cause I aint buying a car called a "Sable" in this lifetime unless I decide on a sex change operation first. Furthermore, Taurus might have a bit of cachet, but Sable has NONE.
    And the Taurus X has got to be the WORST of the 3 name changes. X? mk s the spot?? WHa tthe heck is the X for? Crossover? Just STOOPID. But u know what it does do - provides all the marketing folks who are left in the Dearborn playground with a nice long job security program what with all the new broichures and ads and explanations and everything. Good for them. They are the only winners here, and they ar ethe biggest losers.
    OK. I guess I should end this rant now. I do wish Ford lots of luck. America needs Ford. However, until they can make a competitive product (in the USA please) and market it in an intelligent way to the American consumer and make it a reliable vehicle that wont drop to the bottom of the CR charts within 3 years of introduction, luck will not save them.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Um, I still like you and all, and admire your spirit as always...but did you take your valium today?? ;)
  • Gregg, you make a couple of excellent points!

    it is a belated correction of a dumb move on Ford/s part (abandoning one of the most recognizable auto names in the world) that can be corrected with little cost.

    The name change will jog some memories among non-car enthusiasts (the market for boring sedans), and get the thing on a few more people's consideration list.

    In any mall parking lot, you can't throw a stone without hitting a Taurus. I think the satisfaction level of the non-enthusiast Taurus buyer is higher than most people think. When these buyers are ready to trade, the Taurus name will be familiar. Also, when they drive the 2008 Taurus, it will be so far superior to what they are used to, they will buy it!

    Just a quick example: My non-car enthusiast wife has had two Taurus' and loved them. We went to test drive a 500 shortly after they were introduced and her first comment was "What's a 500?" After driving it, she said, "it drives nice but it is not as zippy as my Taurus."

    She and many others like her will love the 2008 Taurus. The quieter ride, safety gear, more power, and FAMILIAR name will increase sales, IMHO.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Thanks for making my point better than I did.

    BTW, it's all about perception. Actually, the 500 0 to 60 times were better than what Taurus (other than the SHO) ever had, due to the CVT or 6 speed and a couple more hp. But for many people, it felt slower. However, the 08 Taurus will be zippy AND offer the same mpg as the old 3.0.

    Of course, the complaints are really going to pour in as soon as the new EPA method of city/hwy mpg is introduced. ALL models will see a decrease then. But not in the real world.
  • Hmmmm....I have driven a number of 500 rentals and I am pretty perceptive on acceleration. I think I would run my wife's duratec Taurus against a 500 for pink slips! As for 0-60 and quarter mile times, I will need to check one of my old magazines for the numbers. The 500 has better gearing but is quite a bit heavier than a Taurus.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046

    You are perceptive. I'm off my meds. :>)
  • gregagrega Posts: 31
    Bringing back the Taurus name on the past-due upgrades to the 500 is a great idea and "will" help Ford compete better vs. Accord & Camry.

    Why? Name recognition is a huge part of car sales and if Ford stayed the course to kill the $1B invested in Taurus would have been a terrible error.

    One of the reasons Accord and Camry sell well is because Honda and Toyota have continued to invest in the brand name and of course continuous improvement to the product too.

    Ford "will" see a significant increase in sale (50-100%) with the Taurus name because too many "baby-boomers" grew-up with a Taurus over the last 20-years and have an immediate connection with it... and will buy it again (I might)!
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    That one company gave 4 vehicles the wrong names to begin with! Never seen anything like it! :surprise:

    And the Crown Vic still hasn't been redesigned?

    That should be quite a roulette wheel when that comes up.

    I think they should call the next Ford car "Ford ConFusion"

    Then just call it Escort.

  • people will make the connection to the Taurus name alright, but it definately wont be a good one. the years before the original taurus end were not good. it was an incredibly unreliable car! renaming an OK family sedan with the name that strikes memories of a car horrid reliability, is not a good thing. the sable wasnt any better. and remaming the freestyle the "taurus x" is just plain silly.
  • Naturally, any car reviewer worth their juice noticed that the car couldn't much get out of it's own way and wrote it up that way.

    Any car reviewer worth his salt could've surely figured out how to get the Five Hundred to accelerate satisfactorily. I did, why can't they? :P
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    The change to Taurus is obviously an excellent decision, but it surprises me that Ford thinks that Sable name has enough of a following to be worth once again retiring the Montego name. Of course, in the early years of the Taurus and Sable, owners of each were very proud of their cars.

    It seems that the name Taurus may appeal more to the growing Hispanic market than the name five Hundred.
  • I can't believe how negative the haters are?! I have not read the whole thread, but I think Ford was smart on this update with this triple set of cars. These were always excellent, safe, comfortable, roomy cars. Even the handling was buttoned down and good.

    What they lacked was style and zip. Both of those "problems" have now been addressed, and the engine runs just as strong with 87 octane gas. These cars will be powerful, smooth, comfortable, safe, stylish and roomy.

    You can be a sheep and follow the herd to the imports..........(way overrated BTW) or you can make an informed decision on these excellent cars.

    BTW - If your decision on car buying rests with the cars model name on the trunk lid, you're just a plain moron! Just so you remember, the Taurus revolutionized the car industry when it came out..........did Fo Mo Co let it go in the later years? Yes, but it was still a very functional, bulletproof, reasonably powerful, fun vehicle - all for thousands less than the competition. I had an 03' SEL loaded with a Duratech that game me no problems whatsoever after 75,000 mi. I now have an 05' Focus ST with 26k that has also been very solid, fun, zippy :mad: and trouble free. The American car haters need to pull off the frickin blinders....
This discussion has been closed.