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



  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    The 86 Taurus was actually praised for adopting an Audi-esque look, when everything else then American was squared off. It did look a lot like the big Audi at the time, and for a lot less money. However, the 500 was a less successful attempt to emulate a current Audi. They were maybe going for the general lines of an A6, but ended up with something that looks more like an older Audi, hence "Mabel" Sable.

    Yes, the 08 Taurus looks a lot like the 86 Taurus. The 86 was cutting edge styling, but this is 22 model years later. What was current then is pretty boring and passe now. If you put modern headlights and wheels on the 86 Taurus, you'd have something akin to an 08 Taurus, only a smidge smaller. No wonder few are looking at the blends in too well with old cars.
  • bristol2bristol2 Posts: 736
    Does the Taurus name really have cache?

    Surely the reason for doing a re-name is if that name has cache. Cache is different than recognition. Taurus has recognition as a rental car. Taurus does not have cache. I would think that, as mentioned previously, if the 500 name had been actively sold it would have had a chance. It was roomy, affordable and was not horribly offensive. Add some more power and it could be a I-can't-afford-an-Avalon type vehicle. I also agree that Taurus may be logical for the Fusion, which deserves better sales, but makes no sense for the 500.

    The only cure for Mercury is a swift death. Having the Mercury brand hanging around prevents Ford from being viewed as a higher retail brand but does not make any particular statement for itself other than the apparent desire to be bought by only one gender. Imagine the marketing guys selling that..."Look, we have this great idea....make yourself attractive to only HALF the potential buyers out there!". Genius.

    Look at Ford in Europe ( and the UK, they design cars that look good, go from econo-models through semi-lux and are successful. Whoever is running that division, put them in charge of N.America, stop re-branding/ re-naming and all the other excuses and win back the market.
  • The reason Mercury used the names it did...Sable, Topaz, because Mercurys are "chick" cars. They are trying to appeal to woman buyers.
  • Add some more power and it could be a I-can't-afford-an-Avalon type vehicle.

    Again, the 2005 Ford Five Hundred nearly matched the 2005 Toyota Avalon XLS in the 1/4 miles, according to

    Was the 2005 Avalon underpowerd? Were there hordes of people proclaiming it to be so? Why not?
  • bristol2bristol2 Posts: 736
    Avalon v6 has 40 more hp at 4500 revs.
    'Nearly matched' is a good description.

    Again, I think the 500 was a good enough vehicle, the name change is unwarranted.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "Imagine the marketing guys selling that..."Look, we have this great idea....make yourself attractive to only HALF the potential buyers out there!". Genius.

    Well said, bristol 2 I had a similar post half done then got distracted.

    Imagine even further the pathetic desperation and/or stupidity of the people in charge who bought this idea. Mercury is the God of Speed for Gods' sake. My first few cars were Mercurys - a beautful '64 Monterey convertible that a drunk driver opened up like a can opener one night. A '67 Cyclone GT 390 4Speed black/white/red convertible that would be worth about $30K today. And a '65 Red/white Park Lane convertible that I sold 3 years ago. What a beauty that was and didnt look a thing like the '65 Ford.

    Now the Park Lane will never return, the Monterey is a pathetically horrid and thankfully discontinued minivan, the Cyclone name at least is being revived - but only on an engine, not a car, and then there's the Sable. And Jill Wagoner. "Gee Jill" says the flunky man who works for her, "your Milan is even cooler than your bosses' car." "Sshhhh", answers Jill, "don't tell her that."

    Yep, in the world of Mercury today, the women are in charge and the men are the doltish flunkies. Good job, Mercury Marketing. You've lost this customer forever just on marketing and names alone. Unless of course you do bring out a well-done Cougar. And don't rename it the [non-permissible content removed](cat)
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    was a pretty decent minivan alternative- you could get it with 7 seats, a DVD Navigation System (recent addition), DVD Entertainment, and all the other goodies, without the sliding doors or the SUV fuel economy.

    I never saw an advertisement for it though, and perhaps that's why the Freestyle never sold.

    The Five Hundred and Montego were decent cars too IMO; despite the lack of power, and the 3.5L has fixed this. The problem is that the Avalon is far more stylish and even though reliability may be the same for the Five Hundred and Avalon, people will go for the Avalon as it's perceived as being more reliable...
  • The problem is that the Avalon is far more stylish and even though reliability may be the same for the Five Hundred and Avalon, people will go for the Avalon as it's perceived as being more reliable...

    Except it's NOT more reliable. :blush:

    Also, you can get the Five Hundred for a LOT less dollars than the Avalon.

    And over the course of 8 or 10 year of ownership, the two vehicles will probably depreciate about the same dollar amount.

    I'd rather have "invested" less in the Five Hundred, and truly invested the difference in a good mutual fund . . or even CD.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    You are the first person I have encountered who has thought the Avalon was "stylish." The Avalon has room, power, and amenities. It went after the LeSabre. The latest version isn't quite as dorky as the previous generations, but I didn't think it made the leap to stylish. To each his or her own.

    Thanks for reminding us that Mercurys used to offer power and style, and did not always share everything with the corresponding Ford. The 1960's Mercurys offered that great breezeway roof. The Cyclones were contenders for many years. The original Marauder, though it didn't sell much, was a hot looking large car. Hot rods have been defined by the 32 Ford and the 49-51 chopped and channeled Mercury (which shared a platform with Lincoln, not Ford). The Cougar had some great years (among several mediocre ones). Mercury never had a consistent advocate in the company, I think.

    I also will repeat, I love the Taurus X name. Beats the heck out of the stupid Freestyle/Freestar monikers.
  • i hate the name changes-i prefer the 500 and montego.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    To each his or her own. I think it's a horse apiece. "Taurus" is definitely better than "Five Hundred." BTW there was a 2007 Taurus, which a lot of people seem to forget (ok, it is a forgettable car). It is still Ford's best selling sedan ever. So, having an 08 version makes sense, even if it won't work wonders for the car itself. (And Taurus X is way better than "Freestyle," one of the dumbest names ever...and did you know they first proposed to call the insipid thing "Crosstrainer?").

    But Sable I agree is a dumb name, and Montego has a Mercury history too. It's good when marques honor their heritage with new versions of models that people once cared about. I don't know that Buick did itself any favor by changing the Regal and Century into the laCrosse, and the LeSabre and Park Avenue into the Lucerne. Neither is hardly burning up the sales charts, even though they are better cars than what they replaced. I bet if Buick did a 4 door coupe (a new segment that could get hot), and called it the Wildcat, I don't think most people would barf.
  • I think the 500 would have done better if it had been a Galaxy 500 instead AND had the better engine/styling in the first place. I agree about the Taurus X being a better name than Freestyle and especially Crosstrainer....what did Ford they were naming a running shoe?

    There's no doubt that Buick made a mistake changing ALL it's cars name. I mean the names Regal, Century, Le Sabre and Park Avenue were very successfull. So I don't understand why they would dump them!
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Galaxie 500 was what I was waiting for. After all, Chevy brought back the Impala. What is so great about Taurus anyway? And Taurus X is just lame lame lame.

    I'm losing hope for all the American car companies. Chrysler is a money losing pig that Daimler might sell to Burger King or something pretty soon (you want a Dodge with your fries?) Ford is grasping at so many straws and flailing around wildly yet keeps releasing "Brand New or Totally Restyled cars that are neither or if they are new, they are not as good as what the other guys have been selling for years. GM (surprise) is the only one seeming to make progress. But, they are still overburdened with insane UAW costs and they're making some of the same silly naming errors that Ford is doing.

    I've always been an American car guy. Only had 2 imports - oops - 3 if you count Renault (hides head in shame) out of a couple dozen vehicles. But that may soon change. Many Americans wont even look at an American make anymore. And who can blame them? Pouring money into an old Chevy just gets old old old. My Mom, rest her soul, kept pouring money into her Chevys because she swore she'd never buy Japanese because of Pearl Harbor. Lots of folks felt that way, but they are soon to be no more. Today's buyers' are children of Toyota owners and they go to Scion to get their first car.

    Anyway, rant off, but I wish it would change. If the frequency of repair records for the latest American models drop into the tank as they traditionally have, I think it will be the last nail in their coffins.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Nothing is "great" about Taurus, but it isn't lame like "Five Hundred," plus people at least know we are talking about a Ford.

    "Five Hundred" bears no relationship to "Fairlane 500, Galaxie 500, Custom 500, etc." At least they are using the Galaxie name in Europe. You say Taurus X is lame; I say it has some panache, and simply doesn't sound as stupid as Freestyle (running shoe). I think its the car that's lame, though I like the front end re-do of the X better than the plain Jane 08 Taurus. But it is still a pretty boring shape, which has also been a problem for the Pacifica and Cadillac SRX. "X," like it or not, is what several companies are already using to name their crossover thingies (X3, X5, SRX, SX4). Just like what they did with the LS, Ford isn't hanging a number on the X too.

    I have a lot of hope for GM too. But I'll buy what suits me at the time. I've owned over two dozen vehicles, and the most common nameplate has been Ford (sedan, coupe, Mustang convertible, three pickups, a Sport Trac), but also a German Mercury Capri, an Opel (ugh!), Oldsmobile (unreliable), an Audi, three VWs (satisfied with all), Accord, both a Subaru sedan and a wagon, a Toyota, Honda Del Sol (a chick car I sold to my sister 6 months after I bought it), two Mazdas, even briefly had a turbocharged Corvair Corsa. Now, I'm thinking about such disparate things as a heavily discounted Acura RL, a CTS, a Volvo, the Kia Rondo, the 08 G8, and even the Suzuki SX4 and the coming 2008 Smart Car. However, if Ford could sell me an 08 Mondeo, or begin building an MKR-like sedan in a couple years, they'd have my business back.
  • The year I purchased my first car, there were 5 cars wearing the Ford name..Pinto, Maverick, Mustang, Torino, LTD.
    I could recognize any one of them. Today, only one of those names lives on (and that's the only one I would instantly recognize).

    The top selling nameplates today are the names that have not changed in years Camry, Accord, Impala, and .....
    Hmm, I seem to remember something called a Taurus. But it wasn't on the list last year. The Five Hundred was not there, either.

    Maybe Ford should not mess with success.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,974
    Besides being underpowered, I didn't think that the 500 or especially the Montego were horrible. They're not in the same ballpark as the Avalon, but they don't scream rental car either.

    If this is the best that they can do, Ford is in trouble. If the 500 isn't selling, why will the same exact car with a Taurus name? This rename is just weak and screams desperation. The should at least take a better shot a restyling the car to go along with the name change.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Well, of course. But they didn't take the better shot they should have, and are now stuck with the tepid 08 styling. Yes, it is weak and screams desperation.

    It also is recognition that they should never have abandoned such a well-recognized name. Ford screwed up several times with the Mustang over the past 40 years. Remember the big pig 1971 to 1973 version? How about the Mustang II? The late 80's and early 90's long-in-the-tooth versions of the 1979 re-style?

    If they issue a 2010 Taurus with cutting edge styling and dynamics, all will be forgiven. (And if they don't, I'm with heyjewel on their future prospects.)
  • I actually think that the Taurus name works pretty well. I just wish that hte car looked better. The new styling elements - 3 bar grille, fender vents, and clear taillamps all work good on the modern looking Fusion, but on the dull FiveHundred body they just look tacky and added-on. However, the look is much more integrated to me on the Taurus X. I have a feeling that this car won't exist for more than 1-2 years b/c of the new unibody Fairline and Explorer in upcoming years. Personally, I dont think that either will sell great, just because neither of these cars are revolutionary enough to get people to come into Ford showrooms. Most people may never even notice them.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Wow, nice bunch of rolling stock in that list, gregg.

    Amazingly the only overlap I have with you is a Sport Trac, which I sold 3 months ago. It was OK. Sold it for money reasons, nothing else. Wife has been wanting a Del SOl for years. But it's near impossible to find one with reasonable miles and price anymore.

    Interesting list of possible cars in your future too. And the Acura RL is heavily discounted in part because - the name sux. I read just the other day that Acura screwed up with their switch to alphanumerics too. Apparently "RL" stands for "Ruined Legend" in a lot of minds.

    Alpha name or not though, if I were you I'd take a good long look at the 2008 CTS. That looks like one great car to me.

    emmkayarrr in a couple of years? Dont hold your breath. Look how long they've been talking about the emmkayess. When will we see that in metal?

    Not gonna argue with you about names in this post. Tired of tellin you how wrong you are ... ;)
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    OK, I'm wrong. Fortunately, it doesn't matter!

    If I bought an RL, it would be to keep it for awhile. The name didn't help, but like Lincoln is about to do now, they insisted for too long they did not need a V8 option. Still, it is a well-built car, with good lines, lots of equipment, and an expensive looking interior. I wouldn't care about depreciation.

    And yes, I wouldn't take any bets that Lincoln will get a new rear driver out in two years. But they ought to, and as DouglasR points out, if they had the resolve, it could be done. We could call it the Marker.
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    And over the course of 8 or 10 year of ownership, the two vehicles will probably depreciate about the same dollar amount.
    Well after 7 years of ownership, no average car-no mercedes is worth anything. But let's look att the time when most actually sell. after 4-5 years, Avalon will be worth WAY more than the 500. The 500 isn't worth any thing after a year. i could go to a dealer right now, and I would be giving the Dealer a break by giving him 16000 for a lightly used 2005 500 in good condition!
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Speaking of depreciation ...

    Did anyone else see the article (I found it linked from 2 days ago) listing the 10 best and 10 worst cars for depreciation?

    Guess which list Ford took first place in, along with second and fourth and placed a total of 5 of the top 10 cars? Yep, 1/2 of the fastest depreciating cars are made by Ford. Only 5 spaces left for Chrysler and GM combined. Way Forward!

    There were no American cars on the 10 best list. 7 [non-permissible content removed] 3 Ger
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    I'm personally excited about the return of the Taurus/Sable name plates. People identify with these names, and many will return to Ford/Mercury showrooms. Consumer Reports, although always favoring imports, rated the Taurus as a "good car". I had a Sable S.W. and I can attest to its virtues.

    However, If Ford expects to surpass sales of Toyota's Avalon and Chrysler's 300 it may be an unrealistic goal at this point. The company should aim for getting out of the red. I'm optimistic at the improved Sable/Taurus as they are offering a lot of features. As per the Taurus X wagon, it's not a name that will resonate, and it will have to be changed for a more apt name.

    All in all I see that the new CEO had a good idea to revive the defunct names and bring them back in a more improved package. Who knows, maybe Camry and Avalon buyers will opt for the Taurus or Sable instead Given Ford's quality control issues and marketing flaws, the picture doesn't look all that rosy. I wish and hope that Sable and Taurus are well executed, reliable and succeed.
  • But let's look att the time when most actually sell. after 4-5 years

    I like to look at when RATIONAL people (like myself) actually sell. ;)

    Those looking to save money by buying the "low depreciation" imports and selling every 4 or 5 years are deceiving themselves about saving money. So why should I listen to their logic? :P
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    They had to give away the Taurus cars they had on the lots, or sell them to fleet sales. Now they are replacing names of a brand new car with the old dead cars name plate. Strange days have found us. And the Fairlane, which was a nice looking mid-sized car is to become some SUV looking thing -- yuk! Bring back the RWD Fairlane 500 and Galaxie 500 cars.
  • In end of 90s Toyota changed name of compact car sold in Europe from Carina to Avensis. Carina was the most reliable car (Corolla was at second place) in Europe for more than a decade. It also was previously known as Corona. So go figure - they changed name not once but twice.

    BTW Toyota never renamed Corolla or Camry in Europe. And before Avensis all Toyota cars names in Europe started with 'C'.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I also think it's a good move for this reason: I thought it idiotic to discard the brand recognition the Taurus had, if not equity, as much equity has been squandered by Ford on this car the past 10 years - but EVERYBODY knows Taurus, most everybody had one! They're not great, but they are also not bad, and frankly, a good bargain these days. Properly cared for, they'll go 300,000 miles, albeit with more repairs than your Camry will need. The 500 is a flop. Reskinning the 500 won't help as much as reskinning the car, and restoring the Taurus name to it will do. I'd have fired the guy who killed the Taurus - they should have brought out a brand new Taurus - I thought the Fusion should have been the new Taurus meself, but whatever - a new 500 will do. See, the 500 is a very good car - but fugly. Now, Sable - I owned 2 of them, but always hated the name. Wish they'd keep Montego on that one.....just my preference.

    I'm delighted to see the Taurus revived, and the 500 killed.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    I just dont understand this:

    "Reskinning the 500 won't help as much as reskinning the car, and restoring the Taurus name to it will do"

    You're saying more car buyers will line up to buy a car that looks like the 500 but is called 'Taurus' than would buy a car named '500' with improved looks? Man, sounds like PT Barnum to me. Plus, the 500 is not fugly, it's just not exciting. At least that's the opinion I hear most often.

    And to me bringing back the name after you've killed the car is kinda like remarrying your ex-wife isn't it? I mean, you make the decision and - DONE. Live with it and solve the new problems. Should the Fusion have been called Taurus? Makes more sense, but there already was a Taurus at that time so that couldn't happen.

    This name thing is just Stooopid and it does nothing to improve Fords' credibility in the publics' eye and thats' exactly what they need to do now - get the public to think they know what they're doing and to trust them. I dont trust a company who tries to sell me with smoke and mirrors. IOW, you don't turn a sow's ear into a purse merely by calling it a purse. Do any of these points get thru?

    And then to compound it with Taurus X? What the h__l is THAT? Sable you agree with. Hooray.
  • I would not bet that the vast majority of non-enthusiasts even know that Ford DID kill the Taurus. Of course, it is a "rental car" in the minds of us enthusiasts but to the many thousands of satisfied Taurus owners, it is a useful, friendly transportation device. To me, the name change is just correcting a prior mistake. I am glad they changed the name but they should be a bit embarrassed that they had to.

    As for Sable: George, you seem to like furry varmints, so how would you feel about Mercury Mink? Keeps up the "M" philosophy. Ford Ferret also has a ring to it. ;)
This discussion has been closed.