Posted by: David Kiley on January 30, 2008
Okay…we all know the Ford Taurus is a pretty bad looking car. It is bulbous. But dealers have to sell the darn things.
We like the honesty of Ford CEO Alan Mulally. He has referred to the old Taurus as looking like a football. But dealers don’t have to sell that one anymore, except off the used car lots.
As reported by the AP, Mulally and Ford product chief Derrick Kuzak recently dissed the current Taurus. During a speech to industry insiders, Mulally hinted that a new, nicer-looking Taurus is coming in the next year or so, adding a crack about the current car.
“The new Taurus that you’re going to see in the next year or so is the one we should have made originally,” he said while addressing a seminar. “It is just fabulous.”
Kuzak went even further while speaking to a group of analysts. He projected a slide with Simpson standing above a Ford Five Hundred, the sedan that was renamed the Taurus last year. Next to Homer were cartoon images of Superman and Mr. Incredible, each above small drawings of sleeker versions of the Taurus that could hint at the next generation of the family sedan.
“As you walk from a Homer Simpson design to a Superman design, it’s all about millimeters matter,” Kuzak told the analysts. He pointed to minuscule differences in the bumpers and the proportion between the window glass and the body side. He also noted the need to fill the wheel well with the right-sized tires.
Bob Lutz got in dutch with CEO Rick Wagoner shortly after he arrived at GM because he was being extra frank with reporters about how awful some of the models were—the Malibu, the Lacross, the Saturn Ion. IN later scrums, Lutz muzzled himself, even saying…”You can’t diss the product that our dealers are out there trying to sell.”
I look forward to the new Taurus. It’s a segment that Ford has to get right if it’s going to recover market share. Pssssst. Alan and Derrick…no cracks about the Ford Crown Victoria either.