Although the final generation of the Ford Taurus was mostly shunned by sedan buyers, at one point, it was innovative and even the best-selling car in North America.
The story of the Ford Taurus will long serve as an example of what not to do. The first Taurus, launched in 1985, was a revolution on four wheels on numerous level. The second generation carried the torch but subsequent versions missed the mark, and reliability and desirability both collapsed.
It was so bad that by 2005, Ford dropped the nameplate in favour of the Five Hundred (500) – no one remembers it, don’t worry. For three model years, the “500” suffered the ravages of an all-new name and failed even worse.
By 2008, the Ford Taurus was back but other than fleets and octogenarians, no one was interested – not even the quick and powerful EcoBoosted 365-horsepower SHO could spark an iota of love from the buying public. It will be a future classic however, mark our words.
The combination of poor sales, the ever-shrinking sedan market and the growing infatuation with utility vehicles has pushed Ford to not only cancel the Taurus but to cut all “cars” from their line-up save for the Mustang (there were going to be two of them.)
We can’t say that we’re sad to see it go as none of us have driven one in at least five years nor have we ever included it in any discussion, comparison or otherwise. Having said that, my family and I actually owned two Tauruses, a 1998 and a 2001. Um, we liked them…
The bright side is that the end of the Taurus will affect no one at Ford. In fact, Ford will invest $1 billion in the Chicago Assembly and Chicago Stamping Plants to build the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer and Ford Police Interceptor Utility, along with the all-new Lincoln Aviator. The move will add 500 jobs and expand capacity.
Let’s hope it’s goodbye for good this time…