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



  • 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: 2,437
    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.

  • 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.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Over the last 30 years, when Ford introduces a new family sedan with a new name, it usually has done pretty well: Fairmont, Tempo, Taurus, Contour, Fusion. The 500 is the only one that "failed" and mostly because it needed more horses for its size.

    When Ford goes backwards with names, the cars usually fall on their face: 1977 LTD II, 1981 Granada (Fairmont-based), 1984 LTD (Fairmont-based).

    There's a limit to nostalgia. Mustang was the perfect car for this theme - family sedans are not. Buyers don't want to think of family cars as "retro". Unlike the Camry and Accord, Ford didn't evolve the Taurus. It got new lines a couple of times, but nothing groundbreaking. The Camry and Accord were completely rethought several times over the same period - every 5 years or so, Toyota and Honda basically announced "forget what you thought about Camry/Accord - this one is better." The Taurus never had that.

    Now, Ford wants the public to essentially ignore the 500/Montego by saying, "Here's what we should have done 3 years ago - sorry we're late with a redesigned Taurus/Sable!"

    Ford market share will not recover with this kove. better they should aggressively market the Fusion and let that be their sales leader.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Good post. I agree.

    Ford marketing is to blame here in large part. They do not advertise a car, they advertise a theme. Like "Bold Moves" most of which have managed to offend me, but that's another story.

    I cant recall EVER having seen a TV ad for the 500/Montego twins. Maybe there were some, but they were forgettable if so. I do recall ONE TV ad for the Freestyle. Except the Freestyle was never mentioned, only shown in the background. No, this was another of the Bold Moves stupidity, this one as offensive to me as the N word is to others. This ad showed a divorced mother actually letting her ex-husband see his children for the weekend. What a BOLD move. She was sitting in a Freestyle.

    Now I see the same already tired ad for the Edge day and night. OK, so the Edge is an Orange boxy vehicle that can ride on 2 wheels and on the sides of buildings. That is ALL this ad conveys, besides a catchy tune. Now I pick up Motor Trend, and there's another Edge, riding on two wheels with NO information on what other virtues this vehicle may have.

    Marketing people, in general, are overpaid grown-up third graders. Fords' marketers apparently ARE third graders.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    there's another Edge, riding on two wheels with NO information on what other virtues this vehicle may have.

    I don't think it has any. Its another example of bad marketing. Where did Escape go? The Escape-Edge story is no different than the Taurus-Fusion issue. It seems, FMC can't make up their mind, and come up with a new product.

    Depsite quality glitches Escape (and Focus) made quite a dent in the automotive world when they were launched. Instead of continuous improvement over generations, they come up with parallel models (not in case of Focus, so far).

    Ford Interceptor... now thats a good concept. How are they going to position it if it sees production? THAT should have been the next Taurus, if they wanted to retain the name, and have a competent vehicle to go against 300C and upcoming G8 (and future Impala).
  • I think Ford should develop a vehicle and call it the "Rant" I don't know what type of vehicle it would be but the name has some charm. Seriously, you make a lot of good points and I think the name change is but a first small step in the right direction with little or no downside. Of course the bottom line is and always has been making cars people want to buy and they bought a lot of Tauruses and Sables. Take a look at the new Tundra. Toyota tried to improve on the big 3 trucks in every category and rely on their quality rep on top of that. AND they designed and are building the truck in the US to try to make the case that the Tundra is actually an American truck. Ford needs to think ahead and outside the box. What if they had put a small, clean, efficient Diesel in say, the 2003 or 04 Explorer? I think Ford is working on a plug in hybrid, but they better hurry,
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    with the person who says that they never saw an ad for the Five-Hundred/Montego or the Freestyle. While I never saw one for the Freestyle or the Five-Hundred, I did see one for the Montego, and it was this young woman saying something along the lines of "This is why I chose Mercury" and was advertising some sort of cash back. And Ford wants to know why the trio never sold... Hmm... Might have something to do with a lack of advertising!

    The Edge commercials aren't very creative, Ford just puts them everywhere, and that's why we remember them.

    Come to think of it, I don't see many commercials for the Escape or Focus either. And neither has been significantly redesigned since they came out in 2000. Both have been through a refresh, and both will go through another refresh in 2008, but the 2008 model underneath is the same car as the 2000.

    Ford needs to start redesigning some of their current product- Escape and Focus could be easily redesigned on C1.

    I do disagree, however, with the person that says the Edge and Escape are parallel products. The Escape is smaller, more affordable, and geared towards younger families while the Edge is midsized and midpriced. The Edge does overlap with the Explorer though, and I think Ford should have just called the Edge the all new 2007 Explorer. The crowd that goes for a truck based midsize SUV is dwindling daily anyways...
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    Lets sort it out. 500 competes with Avalon. Fusion/ Tempo/ Contour competes with Camry. Focus with Corolla. They are all in same price and size range. THey do compete this way. Just because they don't compete well does not matter.
  • Ford marketing is either aimed at adventurous Gen Y yuppies or rednecks throwing bricks into the bed of a F-150. All of us in between don't seem to matter to them. And it's reflected in their product line.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Ford marketing is an oxymoron.

    And rednecks is an offensive word. Perhaps "workingmen" would be better associated with the F-150 commercials?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    the only toyota ad's i see are for their new pickup truck.
    it's a big market.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    When Ford goes backwards with names, the cars usually fall on their face: 1977 LTD II, 1981 Granada (Fairmont-based), 1984 LTD (Fairmont-based).

    Although none were smash successes as the original Taurus, none of those cars fell on their face. All were moderately successful and sold a little better than their predecessors.

    All Ford is doing by resurrecting the Taurus/Sable names for the D3's is to try increase the sales a little before redesigning them around 2010 or 2011. Sales of the Five Hundred absolutely collapsed over the last six months. No one expect the new Taurus or Sable to be huge successes, just do a little better than the Five Hundred.
This discussion has been closed.