Posted by: David Kiley on February 6, 2007
Okay, maybe it wasn’t my idea exactly. The way I remember it…I said to Ford’s Mark Fields over a year ago that I thought it was nuts to dump the Taurus name, and why, for goodness sake, didn’t they call the Five Hundred the Taurus and rename the Taurus fleet car something else, like the Ford Ambassador.
The Taurus had reclaimable equity, I argued. Ford could have done the same thing with Fusion, a heckuva good car that is only known to about 30% of car buyers. It could have named the Fusion and “Taurus” and really hit the ground running with that car.
Then, last December, I posed this notion to CEO Alan Mulally, who took the bait right away, and said he wondered the same thing; that is, why Ford was frittering away a huge investment in the Taurus name. A week or so later, I posed the question to a Ford advertising exec who said that he had heard “stranger ideas” than renaming the Five Hundred “Taurus.”
I blogged on all this on January 4. Tomorrow, Feb. 7 Ford will announce the change at the Chicago Auto Show. So, where do I send my invoice?