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

jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
edited March 2014 in Ford
Well... Ford unveiled a renamed Five-Hundred and Freestyle at the Chicago show. Seems like the Five-Hundred will now be a Ford Taurus, a Mercury Montego will become a Mercury Sable, and a Ford Freestyle will become a Ford Taurus X.

I think that the name change is questionable because sure, people recognize the name Taurus more, but the Taurus name has baggage, including low resale value, the image of "rental car special", and of course, there's that 1996 Taurus that nobody liked...

Same thing goes for the Sable. Why Ford decided to rename the Freestyle is beyond me, as Taurus X seems like a somewhat silly name.
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Comments

  • I know alot of people have no idea what a 500 or a Sable is, and for that reason it gets overlooked. But yea, I would've chosen a better name, but like they said, with 80 and 60% customer awareness it is a good idea in that respect, the name is just going to drag it down. But who knows, the Sonata name sure picked up even after a bad rep., maybe it'll happen for Ford. It needs it.

    (Will the Atlanta factory reopen?)
  • I think it would've been fine to name them that when introduced (though I guess the Taurus was still around then), but changing the name NOW doesn't seem all the smart.

    Maybe they shoulda held off with the intro until the new 3.5L and then they coulda just used the Taurus name like it was an upgrade.

    I guess I have instant classics now, though. Yay for me. :blush:
  • That is exactly what is going on. The 3.5 intro was part of the intro in January at the Detroit Auto Shop, when they invieled what was then called the 2008 Ford Five Hundred. THe 3.5 intro was also part of the Chicago intro of the Mercury and the crossover, which are now all renamed.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    I can't believe Maulley signed off on this. I knew he wasn't prepared for the auto-industry. He was a good politician and won government contracts to keep boeing from going under. He doesn't have those same government friends in the automobile industry. ;)

    Rocky
  • I don't know I have a hard time seeing a upside to this.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    As a Ford guy for practially ever, I'm disgusted.

    Not only are their products second-rate but their marketing geniuses must be second-graders.

    This AM on the MSN home page there's a pointer to a comparo between 2 under $30K AWD sedans. The 500 and the Legacy. Guess who wins? But hey NEXT time they compare it'll be the Taurus against the Legacy. NOW Ford will win just based on name alone eh? They must think so.

    Ford is grasping at straws and they're pulling the short one every time. I've got 3 FoMoCo vehicles in my driveway right now. They've all been very good vehicles. In all likelihood, they'll be the last Fords I'll ever own.

    One is a Lincoln LS, probably the best Lincoln ever built. It was a car that could compete with the Germans head to head. I was on the ground floor of Lincoln's resurgence. If given a little attention, it couldda been a contenda for sure. Instead, Ford let it die on the vine and came out with a Zephyr NO, Wait, a emm kay zee whatever the h__l THAT is (at least LS was Luxury Sedan) which is nothing but a dolled-up Mazda. I'm actually a bit ashamed to be seen in a Lincoln now. When many of my friends said "You bought a LINCOLN?" Accent on sarcasm, I said well, you wait this LS is a BMW fighter and they'll be more from Lincoln soon. Now? 2nd rate cars and stupid names. Sell your Ford stock before it;s too late. There isn't evven anything in the pipe for this company, save 2 concept cars which will probably never be built cause the new stuff they're doing is just going to seal their fate. And probably all the good people took buyouts and just the dregs are left.
    Sayonara Ford. Hello ... I dunno, where do I go from here?
  • cxkcxk Posts: 2
    Ford just doesn't get it..This new Taurus gimmick isn't going to make or break them, they simply need to build cars that will actually get people excited. Almost every other car company has some type of "hot rod" for lack of a better word, 4 door sedan. Stop building slow, heavy, gas guzzling & dull cars and trucks, with the exception of the GT!
  • cxkcxk Posts: 2
    As a frequent business traveler, I have rented many LS's over the last 2 years and you are correct, the potential was there but was never close to reaching it. I don't understand how GM has started to build pretty good new cars and Ford still can't??
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,376
    Ford is maybe 2 years behind GM's curve on returning to profitability so they are shuffling deck chairs until their plans reach the point where we see them. This name business is just a way for them to buy time with the generic car buying public. GM did a little of that trick a few years back when they kept making the previous generation Malibu for rental fleets and naming it the Classic while supplying newer generation Malibus to the dealers.

    They don't have to worry about alienating 500 customers because there weren't any. It's a desperate shot but I don't think they have that much to lose on it.

    It will certainly drop the price of a used 500!
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    During the past 30 years or so Honda and Toyota have offered the same model names Civic, Accord, & Toyota Camry. They made improvements every couple years to keep their cars fresh and have never been challenged for top quality and resale value. Now these cars are not exactly exciting but they have built in a quality reputation/top resale values that keeps customers coming back generation after generation.

    Changing a cars name is like playing the shell game. Customers today are much too educated to now buy the same car because its moniker is different. You might get a few Taurus purists but not enough to change Fords bottom line which is getting more red every day.

    GM, Ford & D/C get what they deserve. Second best products year after year. As time goes on the big three will eventually be #3, #4 & #5.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    It's a good move, period. They never should have dropped the names in the first place. Taurus is a known entity, 500 is not. Taurus may have baggage, but it is better to have a name in print than not. All this brings to peopel's minds again what the Taurus used to be before Ford ruined it. Besides, lots of people LIKE their 2000-2005 bland Tauri. And it remained their best seller until the day they killed it.

    Sable is also more recognized (it actually used to be a force in the midsize market, if you go back enough years). I prefer Montego--it is a better "Mercury" name, but so be it. They won't sell gobs more of them with the new names, but they will sell a few more than if they had left the names as Montego.

    Mullaly knew right from the beginning how stupid it was to dump an iconic name like Taurus. It is one of the top ten most recognized car names. I cannot see where this will make either model a best seller, but I cannot see any downside to this move at all. None.

    It won't affect resale of 500/Montego in any appreciable way (except possibly favorably...but that is a long shot), since resale is not their strong suit anyway, being fairly unpopular models.

    It may speed up the redesign of Taurus/Sable too. Even if it doesn't, it is a brilliant move. It gets the cars more notice than they would have gotten with the relatively minor 08 changes alone. Also, that the company can now clean up bad moves so quickly gives me hope.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    gregg, gregg, gregg. "Brilliant move"? Come on. Even Fields only called it a "Bold move". Me? I'd call it a "Bonehead move". Let's review.
    The *original* Taurus was a fresh, new car that pretty much turned the family sedan on it's head. At least that's what folks say. I never liked it, but that's just MHO. The Sable of course was just a Taurus with a light bar and a name to appeal to the market that the marketers decided that Mercury (the God of Speed!) should appeal to - women.
    The original Taurus went on to be leading selling family sedan. Only Camry and Accord were close. Chevy had nothing to compete for about 20 years.
    Then came two redesigns, each less attractive than the one before. Sales dropped off due to that and probably also due to Consumer Reports and others saying reliability was not equal to the Japanese. Duh. Meanwhile, Camry and Accord just got better and better. Mechanical/reliable wise anyway. Looks etc is only opinion, though if one looks at the interiors in the last couple gens of CamCords, they are heads above even the present day 500Tau.
    Now, Ford has a bland family sedan that noone notices, one that cant even beat a Subaru in a comparison, let alone a Camry or Accord. And they want to sell more. So what do they do - the rename it after a car that became a shadow of it's former self and most people now know the name only as the mid-priced rental at Hertz. And those that owned a Taurus - are they pining for another one? I dunno. I have only one frioend who had a Taurus - it was a wagon. She hated it becaue the brakes wore out every couple of weeks and she was always torqued that there was no inside release or even fob release for the trunk hatch. She drives an Odyssey now.
    I think Ford is doomed. Sorry, that's MHO is all. The vehicles they have are second rate. The names are stupid. The marketing is pathetic. How many millions have they spent on those Edge commercials yet not one that actually shows what the car is and why people would want it, unless they have a Spiderman urge. The thing has bad brakes anyway. Wait til more comparos come out. The Edge is going to finish dead last. It already did against about 20 other crossovers.
    And Ford has had ONE successful vehicle in the past, what, decade? The Fusion. SO now, EVERY freakin Ford has to look like a Fusion cause heck - the idiots are buying that one, so they'll buy this one too if it looks like that one.
    Also, I must've seen 10,000 commercials for the emm kay exx and navigaotor and emm kay zee in December. And what happens - sales DROPPED.
    I'm just disgusted with Ford, tell the truth. Dismayed and disgusted. And even worse, the 500 not only cant compete with Subaru, the Accord or the Camry but Chrysler has huge winner with the 300 and the Chevy Impala is actually a very very nice car these days WITH options to make it either an econo gas sipper (cant get a 500 that sips gas) OR an SS model that's a speed demon (the 500 has been woefully underpowered. The 3.5 might help a bit, but it aint gonna remind anyone of the Galaxie 500 XL.) And Chevy is going back to RWD for the Impala, which IS a brilliant move. And if they do an interior for it like they've done for the new Malibu - even CamCord buyers may notice it.
    The Ford is the bottom of the heap. It's a nice, bland car with a questionable reliability future. Why anyone would buy one over the competition, whether they call it the 500 or the Taurus, is a question for the ages. Sorry, that's MHO.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    Back in the 60s the Dodge charger was a big powerful RWD car that held its own in sales. Then Mopar killed it off only to bring the name back again in the late 70s as a little FWD Dodge Charger. It never made the grade. Ford tried the same with the T Bird. It didn't even come close to the original in any important way especially sales, it hit the dust. The Mercury Maurader same thing. You just can't use a name that was popular before and roll the dice hoping it will work again. Pontiac tried to fool eveyone with the new improved ozzie GTO. Didn't come close to comparing to the original that still commands big $ today. Few cars that have new names or names resurrected that have been succesful are few. The Chevy Impala is one that carries over 50 years of equity.

    Ford is not in the position to gamble that "this might work or that might work". They need to stand back and see what they are producing and start with a new business plan making exciting cars again. Now if Ford was to call the Five Hundred the Camry, or Accord they might even fool a few people and steal a few sales.

    The Five Hundred name carries no equity. The Taurus name has had its day. I don't think previous Taurus consumers now want to spend thousands more on a car that no one wanted in the first place.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    I don't disagree with much you say...except that I think this is a terrific decision for a company in deep doo-doo. It absolutely cannot hurt, and it may help. That they were able to make this change without resorting to endless clincs and fodcus groups is great. At least use names with which people are familiar. If you are not a car guy, Freestyle and 500 and Montego mean nothing.

    The other thing I'd point out is that originally, there was a perceptual difference between the Taurus and Sable. The Sable did look like a step up. They did not share any body panels. The Sable had a differnet front end, hood, roofline, rear window, longer rear fenders, and more formal rear end, as well as a modified dash. Each redesign was less successful in defining a "Sable" and the final Sable, though it still had its own roofline, was mostly Taurus, made a bit longer and more ungainly looking.

    I don't know if Ford will survive. I too have doubts about that. However, they will not fail because of this name change. It may help a bit, it may not, but it won't hurt them more. It is all upside to neutral, so why not?

    Some people may now discover the bland 2008 things actually have some power (with the same economy), are quiet, comfortable and one of the rommiest cars you can buy. Or not. But if they don't sell any better, it won't be due to the name change.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Oh, one other thing...
    IMHO, the 2008 Taurus looks nothing like the Fusion. Even the front end is rendered very differently. Not sure how they took the three bar look of the Fusion and managed to make it look so bland and anonymous on the Taurus. Oh well.

    The Interceptor front end is what they need to do with that 3 bar look to keep it distinctive. But there isn't much of anything they can do to make the Taurus look exciting or attractive, short of a full redesign. Even the Taurus X has rendered the 3 bar look far better than that stuck on the 08 sedan.
  • Thank you Ford, for further devaluing this noisy, underpowered, listless, and generally mediocre 2006 Five Hundred Limited I bought 14 months ago. This move ought to knock about $2000 to $4000 off of it's trade-in value. Much obliged!
  • If Ford wanted to properly revive the Taurus moniker, it should have applied the name to the car that became the Fusion back in 2005. With the combined appeal of the new design and the Taurus name, it is very likely that the new mid-size would be selling at a faster pace than it is now, especially since there have been (to my knowledge at least) no recalls or flaws with the Fusion.

    Why apply a name that is synonymous with the mid-size market to the full-size scene?
  • css1css1 Posts: 247
    If this works for Ford then perhaps GM should bring back the Aztek and call it a Trans Am APV!

    Did Ford get their marketing people from a flea market?

    Maybe at the NY show we'll see the revival of the Granada.

    Ford, if your out there - make better cars, we don't care what their names are.
  • New Sable has front design almost identical to Milan. But profile and rear end do not match with front end. Interior does not look elegant, I though they will fix it but they did not. Door panels look cheap – who need bottle holders in door packets? Radio and climate control look and feel cheap; steering wheel design is awkward. Car seems to be too high. It imitates old Passat but Passat had good proportions.
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    Having had a 1997 that went over 250,000 miles with 4 transmissions. The Taurus was comfortable car. However just renaming the poor selling "500" is doomed for failure. In order to pull the Taurus back from the dead name pile Ford will have to start fresh with a vehicle that people WANT to buy. The Ford 500 is an old peoples car, and I am a old people and don't like it at all.
    Not only is rebadging a car no one wants, a bad move on Fords part, a dud by any other name is still a dud.
    If Ford does not make a MAJOR change and produce vehicles that meet the needs and WANTS of people, they are
    doomed to be taken over by KIA.

    farout
  • 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.
  • 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.

    DouglasR
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    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: 2,437
    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 Ford...it 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)...one 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: 2,437
    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)...one 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: 2,437
    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.

    DrFill
  • umm.....no. 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....
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    "The American car haters need to pull off the frickin blinders.... "

    This statement, and it also must be directed at the media. It has been bashed and beaten into the heads of the American consumer that ANYTHING Ford builds is garbage. I have owned Fords for over 25 years and all have been fine.

    Now on topic...

    I feel Ford may have made a mistake here. The 500 name was good, Montego.. I could have done without. Lets take a look at the car overall. Its solid, very safe and very reliable. Now with the 3.5, this will make it even more of a selling point. Ford should have left the 500 name... :cry:
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I am of the opinion that the name change for the Five-Hundred was favorable, as at least this gets the slow selling Taurus/Five-Hundred some attention.

    I disagree with renaming the Freestyle the Taurus X though. Taurus X just seems like such a silly name.

    I do agree that the Crown-Victoria and the Taurus/Five-Hundred are redundant; one of them needs to stay and the other needs to go.

    Maybe Ford should have called the Fusion the Taurus, as the Fusion is more of an Accord/Camry competitor than the Five-Hundred, which caters mainly to the Avalon/Impala/Azera crowd.
  • The problem with the 500 wasn't the name, but the creation of a car nobody wants. Ford buyers who want a big boring car are going for the Crown Vic. Ford buyers who want a nice looking family sedan are going for the Fusion.

    Honda and Toyota have kept their brand names alive through continuous improvement. You know that your 2007 Civic or Accord is going to be a step from your 2003 Civic or Accord. (And I'm talking about perception here, I know Toyota's quality is slipping). With the Taurus, I honestly can't see much difference from the time they gave their cars the spaceship design (mid 90s) to the last ones to roll off the line. Why buy a new one if it looks no different and the interiors aren't markedly better?

    Loyal Ford fans and Taurus lovers aren't going to warm to the 500 just because it is now renamed the Taurus (they probably bought the Fusion). And I don't think the design will suddenly become more exciting because it has a name that most of us now associate with rental fleet cars and the car that our grandfather uses to visit flea markets and haul potting soil from Wal Mart in. The 500 is simply a car without an audience. It's a dumb move by a company that continues to make them.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Again, the name change does not make the car better, or save Ford. The name change, no matter how anyone feels about it, will get more people to at least look at the Taurus--people for whom the 500 wouldn't have even hit their radar. If someone looks at or drives a car, they are more likely to buy it.

    Most new cars these days are reasonably comfortable, quiet, decent handling, etc. Nonenthusiasts test driving the Taurus, Impala, 300, LaCrosse, Charger are likely to fixate on features that appeal to them when they sit in it, and the deal offered as well. Ford needs to get more people to sit in these relatively boring sedans.

    The Taurus/Crown Victotia are not exactly "redundant" though Ford needs to differentiate them more. Right now, the Taurus/500 is front drive, much more tidy on the exterior, given its interior space, now has more hp, and is just more modern in execution. The CV could be updated to offer a RWD alternative, something akin to a toned down Interceptor. Then Ford would have roomy sedans to compete with both the FWD and RWD competition. Why not, if the platforms are both available? One way Toyota succeeds so well is that they offer more models and choices under the Toyota nameplate than almost any other manufacturer.

    The Taurus X name is no more silly than a lot of car names. Taurus wagons were part of the mix for most of its run. Why not? Is Explorer Sport Trac not silly? What is so not silly about "Freestyle," especially given that so many people confuse the name with stablemate "Freestar"? What about the BMW X3 or X5? Not silly? The Volvo XC (sometimes called Cross Country)? X does seem to suggest shorthand for crossover or CUV. And Ford learned with the LS that adding a number onto a letter name cam spell trouble (it was originally to be the LS6 and the LS8, but Lexus objected). So, it seems to me the development of the Taurus X name is pretty clear.

    I have been and continue to be one of the vocal critics of FoMoCo these past 10+ years. It comes from having owned more Ford brand products than any other, and being a longtime stockholder as well (but no more). This strikes me as one of several rational decisions that have appeared since Mulally took the helm from well-meaning doofus Bill. They have a long way to go yet, if they hope to survive at all.

    Too bad some people got attached to the 500 name...that's another bit of fallout from yet another stupid move. But they are fixing this error now, and doing it before all the previous Tauri have even been sold out. Good for them. Tempest in a teapot. It won't save the company, but it is a move that cannot hurt them at all. It's just so surprising to see such a rational move occur so quickly.
  • Ford buyers who want a big boring car are going for the Crown Vic. Ford buyers who want a nice looking family sedan are going for the Fusion.

    Not me . . I wanted a nice big "boring" family sedan, and I chose the Five Hundred.

    The Crown Vic drives like a boat.
  • Too bad some people got attached to the 500 name

    I'm attached to my Five Hundred, but not the name. :blush:

    Actually, I don't CARE what they call it . . I won't be out looking for a Taurus name-plate to replace my Five Hundred with, that's for sure. And hopefully others won't, either. ;)
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "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)!"

    50 to 100% sales increase becaue they changed the NAME??!! Boy do you have a future in marketing.

    "Baby-boomers grew up with the Taurus"??!! Certainly you're no mathemetician as Baby boomers bought their first cars in the 60s.

    The idea that you might buy a 500 cause it's now named a Taurus makes even less sense than the idea that I WONT buy a Montego cause it's now named a Sable. Doncha think?

    ANd the fact that Ford is so lost in the woods that it's renaming a dog after a former sales champ to try to boost sales has absolutely NO relationship to the fact that Toyota and Honda have kept the same names for their quality cars for 30 years. None. Zippo.

    As I've said, if Ford sells ONE more Taurus than it sold 500s it will be because they finally gave it the engine it needed.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "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. "

    pnewby: I know who you're speaking of. He was not dumped. He left Ford for a startup when Ford made the decision in 2002 to drop the manual transmission from the LS, effectively sealing it's fate. Jim dorve a manual LS - a blue one in fact - and once he could see that his vision for Lincoln was not shared with Bill Ford and the other schmucks in charge at Ford, he got out. A smart move on his part.
  • Given the fact that the Taurus is a couple of years from its last appearance in the showroom, I don't see that it will steer anymore traffic to the dealer to look at the car than before the name change.

    Yes, Toyota has a lot of models, but the majority have brand positioning. The Yaris is an entry level, the Corolla a runabout/ fall family sedan, the Camry the big family sedan, and the Avalon the luxurious sedan aimed at older Honda buyers. Ford really has no Yaris and no Avalon (and we can't count Lincoln)

    WHere does the 500 fit in? It reminds me of the Tempo and the Contour, a car that occupies a no man's land between other more established models.

    I personally like the 500's look and the space inside. But if I'm going boring big car, I'm looking elsewhere. The Fusion, at least, has a distinctive look, and the NASCAR connection. That should have been the new Taurus. Thankfully they weren't stupid enough to do that.
  • Rename the Focus the Mustang Jr. Rename the Fusion the Model T. Rename the 500 the Escort. Rename the Crown Victoria the LTD. And rename the Mercury stuff with a bunch of random letters.
This discussion has been closed.