Don't Diss The Taurus

Posted by: David Kiley on January 30, 2008

taurus.jpg

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.

Reader Comments

maicaquenzo

January 31, 2008 3:30 AM

nostromo

January 31, 2008 9:10 AM

True. But behind the scenes Ford had best be moving with a 'Manhattan Project' styled urgency to get that next generation bread 'n butter Taurus onto the shelves as it were as swiftly as is safely/humanly possible.

Dave

February 2, 2008 10:06 AM

I've wondered about Mulally's comment about the Taurus they should have build, Ford's move to global products, and his stated love of the Mondeo (in the Bond movie). It adds up to an American Taurus name on the Mondeo sedan. THAT is a car that could be rolled out in a year or so, because it's ready to go. Look at pictures of that car; it is beautiful. Ford - - build the Mondeo in Chicago, build the Verve in Mexico, and switch to the euro Focus ASAP. Small turbo direct injection engines and DSG transmissions, and you will have MPG numbers that get attention.

rick

February 2, 2008 9:56 PM

I am very happy with my 2005 five hundred and I think the new 2007 taurus looks even better.I dont no why ford couldn't have stuck it out with the five hundred name anyway.I belive they had a lousy advertising campaing for the five hundred also. C'mon Ford,instead of changing a name plate next time due some changing in your media department.Every time the televisions on theres another F-150 commercial.Why dont you put some that money behind your autos and you might sell a few more.The five hundred is a great car.

Jackson

February 6, 2008 5:03 PM

I disagree. Ford should not have touched the Five Hundred or Taurus or whatever the next name will be.(I am checking now, yes, it is still Taurus, updated every 15 minutes from Ford) I could see a Ford dealership, nameless cars arrive and the dealer must stencil in whatever the market department whips up and sends out over the internet as to the name of their cars. Instant marketing!! Any improvement in the model will make present owns feel cheated. The Ford idea to bring out poor designs is to allow the Ford buyers time to detox themselves from less than a fair effort on Fords part as a company to build cars for the market segment. The Ford Mondeo in American showrooms would be emotionally difficult for the shopper, "I could be driving this well designed Ford, how did I suffer with this bread box...?" Yes, I do know many Aunt Shirleys in the middle lands of America will go buy her Ford every 3 years regardless of the appeal. But I might actually stop in the showroom if the Mondeo, (Euro disign Ford) showed up.

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