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Taurus nameplate doesn't generate sales by itself

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Ford Taurus: What's in a Name Change? Not Higher Sales
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Link to Original Article @ Edmunds


DETROIT — At the Chicago auto show in February, Ford announced the return of the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable names as well as the addition of the Taurus X nameplate, in hopes of boosting name recognition and ultimately increasing sales of vehicles that a year ago were called the Five Hundred, Montego and Freestyle, respectively.

Thus far, the name changes haven't hiked sales; in fact, sales are off from year-ago levels and way below previous peak levels under the less-famous names.

So it's back to the drawing board for Ford marketers, who now have a new boss, former Toyota exec Jim Farley.

Ford is expected to announce new marketing plans for the trio of vehicles in the fourth quarter, details of which have not been announced. One element, however, will be a customer loyalty program for owners of the old Taurus who buy a new Taurus.

Meantime, the Taurus is getting bigger play in Ford's current advertising, including its Swap Your Ride promotion. Shot like a reality TV show, the Swap Your Ride ads chronicle the experiences of competitive-make vehicle owners as they evaluate new Ford models. The commercial featuring the Toyota Avalon swapped for a Ford Taurus ranked as one of the Top 10 most recalled new TV ads in September, according to research firm IAG.

With Farley onboard, expect more changes ahead.
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Sad to say, the new Taurus is a flop, even though it is a good car.

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Proof they should've left well enough alone. Either Keep Taurus/Sable from the start, or keep Five Hundred and call the Freestyle the Five Hundred X.

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Or, alternatively, keep it named the Freestyle...

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Well,

It would help if they promoted the car a litte.

Other than the "Swap your ride" ad, I've seen "0" exposure for the new Taurus... Which is a shame, since it's a pretty damn competitive car with the updates.

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Well,

It would help if they promoted the car a litte.

Other than the "Swap your ride" ad, I've seen "0" exposure for the new Taurus... Which is a shame, since it's a pretty damn competitive car with the updates.

Besides the ubiquitous ads about it being the "safest full-size car in America"... OK, so it's safe. But what beyond that?

FoMoCo advertises the Mercury cars better and more often than the Ford ones... which is interesting because they're the same daggone car!

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Well,

It would help if they promoted the car a litte.

Other than the "Swap your ride" ad, I've seen "0" exposure for the new Taurus... Which is a shame, since it's a pretty damn competitive car with the updates.

+1

actually, I haven't even seen the "Swap your Ride" ad even. Other than what I've seen on C&G and the one Taurus I've seen in person... I've seen NOTHING from Ford about this car or the Sable.

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Mercury has this commercial way back when that was really good an memorable. <must be since I remember it clearly and it was for the 1st gen Sable>

30's aged guy is being told the "perks" that come with the new position he's being interviewed for... the older "Executive" starts rattling off things like "access to the executive wash room, full use of the company spa, 8 weeks paid vacation" while he's wandering around behind his desk....

The executive pauses and then says wistfully... ".... and any color Mercury Sable you want." as he's looking out the window at a parking lot full of Sables.

That is an Ad.

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The new Taurus is a darn good car. 260hp 3.5L DOHC V6 and decent looks lots of room and better than average performance. Plus its a barigan Avalon, still order me a Lucerne CXL V6 with navy before I get a loaded Taurus. They need to pound the &#036;h&#33; out of the Avalon in this new ad.

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… that's a bit too much like "you can have any color you want , as long as it's a Sable."

what's wrong with that? the commercial is suppose to promote the brand.... the old executive makes it sound like the Mercury Sable is the best perk of them all.....

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Jesus Christ, the name change has only been 3 months ago and they haven't even advertised the f\/cking car.

I read something on BON I think that said Ford's real media push for the Taurus wasn't going to occur until Oct or Nov or something.

I sat in a few cars today at the dealer. An Aura and CTS. After wedging myself in and out of the damn things, I remember why I got the 500. Space. No Malibu for me. I think the G8 might be the only attainable car GM makes you have generous cabin space in. And, like poster on BON said, there is no reason the Impala should be outselling the Taurus.

Another factor here is the Edge and MKx stealing taurus and sable and explorer sales. I think crossover sales in general are killing the sedan market. Maybe not camcords but a lot of the fringe makes.

I took a party of 3 to lunch the other day and it was another one of those new person getting in my 500 and saying, 'wow, nice car' followed by the look around the cabin and then the 'this is a ford'? bit. This has happened to me too many times to count. I am convinced if Ford can just get more butts in the car to drive it and look at it, they could sell more.

It is puzzling sales haven't taken, but just today i saw 2 new tauri on the road and a new sable as well. Merc already has a sweet lease deal on Sable going and I am sure the Taurus will have promotions planned too.

Edited by regfootball
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Changing the names back and forth just means more confused customers. They get frustrated enough, they just shop somewhere else.

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That car is deadly ugly. They can call it anything they want, but it is over.

(I've only ever seen one... one... on the road. I saw my first 2008 accord on the road the other day.)

Edited by GXT
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That car is deadly ugly.

(I've only ever seen one... one... on the road. I saw my first 2008 accord on the road the other day.)

Compared to what? The disgusting pig Avalon? Next to the Avalon it's like looking at an looking at an XKR compared to that Brilliance car after it was crash tested.

I've seen several on the road, although in all honesty I've seen a lot more Sables.

In terms of advertising, I've seen Sable commercials but not a single Taus commercial.

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1. Ford's (and GM's, for that matter) see-sawing and dropping of names only confuses the crap out of the consumer. STOP IT ALREADY!

2. In a crowded segment, the Ford is boring. Sorry. I prefer it over the Avalon, but that isn't saying much either. Yes, it's big inside, but I found it almost truckish.

3. I haven't noticed any advertising for it in this market.

I think Ford dropped the ball with this vehicle. They have some nice vehicles that have come out - the Edge, the Fusion, the MKZ, even the new Escape is stylish, but I just find the 500/Taurus or whatever it's called BORING. The Altima and its spin offs are better looking, IMO.

Both GM and Ford really need to stand out in this segment if they are going to woo people back. C'mon, Ford, you've done it before. The original Galaxie 500s were fantastic. What happened?

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Wow. I haven't paid much attention to Ford sales figures, but based on how many of the new Taurus I have seen on the road, I would have thought it was doing a lot better than that. I probably see more of the new Taurus than I do the 500. It is a good car if that is what you like.

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With Farley onboard, expect more changes ahead.

Maybe he will change the car's name again, but this time call it the Farley 500!

Too bad this guy isn't available as a celebrity spokesman.

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The car is so bland. Just because because people reconize the name doesn't mean it will sell or that reconizing the name is even a positve thing. Taurus to me means "Rental Car"

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I don't like the looks of the Taurus IMO they overdid it with the new front end. I was at a Ford dealer last week with my wife cause she wanted to check out the Fusion so I got to compare the two side by side. I find the Fusion to be a perfect size whereas the Taurus is a monster, great for comfort and space but maybe a bit too intimidating for a lot of people especially with people looking to downsize because of fuel economy. I agree that the name changing nonsense is confusing people and also the lack of advertising doesn't help.

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:blink: I think Ford has created a lot of confusion with their models that will take a lot of time and advertising to fix.

First, they introduced the Five Hundred sedan while they were still producing the last generation Taurus. The Five Hundred was essentially a large front wheel drive vehicle whose direct competition would have been the Toyota Avalon and Buick Lucerne (as well as Ford Corporation's own Mercury Montego). Unfortunately, the car suffered from a lackluster exterior design, underpowered V6 engine, and crippling CVT transmission. While this car was introduced, Ford still offered the Taurus sedan; whose main competition would have been the midsize Toyota Camry if Ford would have updated and redesigned this car on a timely basis to keep it competitive. Instead, Ford let it grow stale and outdated in the auto market to the point that the once great model name became synonymous with "rental car queen special". Ford decided to cut its losses by dropping the model name that was once the best selling car in the U.S. in the early nineties.

Ford then introduced the Fusion, which in reality replaced the Taurus in Ford's lineup as a modern midsize competitor to the Toyota Camry. After the Fusion's introduction, Ford decides to restyle the Five Hundred with new exterior elements, a more powerful V6, and a proper, competitive 6 speed automatic transmission. After introducing this car at an auto show as the new, improved Five Hundred, Ford then decides a month later to change the name of this fullsize car to the old recognizable midsize name of Taurus. Without really advertising the Taurus to let the general public know what this car has become, we show a "Swap Your Ride" commercial now depicting the Taurus as an Avalon competitor. All the owners of past generation Taurus models are probably trying to figure out why the Taurus (which they probably assume is still a midsize sedan) is now competing against Toyota's fullsize flagship sedan.

There has to be a lot of confused folks out there who don't follow the car business as close as the enthusiasts on this website. Imagine their astonishment when they step on a Ford lot and see a Taurus window sticker and the MSRP is in Crown Victoria territory while the Fusion's MSRP is in the old Taurus territory. While the Taurus is a good bargain in the fullsize sedan segment, customers who are accustomed to the bargain midsize pricing of the previous generation might be a little shocked.

Ford needs to advertise its entire sedan lineup so customers know what models they offer in what segments as well as advertise the heck out of the new Taurus on its own. I agree with a lot of forum members that the Sable (and Mercury products in general) have received a lot more advertising than Ford lately.

I also agree that while the style updates have been improvements to the blandness of this car, it still doesn't look all that great sitting next to a Lucerne or Avalon. If there is a next generation of this car, it needs more desirable styling. I realize that customers in this segment won't buy anything very avant garde; but when there are more stylish alternatives in the segment, nearly absolute blandness won't draw customers to your showroom.

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The whole point of a family sedan is to have something subtle, or subtly elegant, if done well. The Taurus's flash grille, bling bling wheels, and stupid fender vents look like aftermarket add-ons on a geriatric's car. "Look at me! I'm proud of my boring family sedan!" Tacky.

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Look at the Avalon. That thing is tacky, a poor large car, and yet people still buy it...well, sort of.

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I don't like the looks of the Taurus IMO they overdid it with the new front end. I was at a Ford dealer last week with my wife cause she wanted to check out the Fusion so I got to compare the two side by side. I find the Fusion to be a perfect size whereas the Taurus is a monster, great for comfort and space but maybe a bit too intimidating for a lot of people especially with people looking to downsize because of fuel economy. I agree that the name changing nonsense is confusing people and also the lack of advertising doesn't help.

ok, its ok for camrys to be ugly and reliable? and bland?

the taurus is reliable.

gas mileage? my 500 got 29.6 on a recent road trip and regular exceeds 20 in town. mpg is equal to the smaller midsizers.

hard to maneuver? the wheelbase is barely longer than the g6. The wheelbase is like 7 inches less than the chrylser cars.

I think Ford has created a lot of confusion with their models that will take a lot of time and advertising to fix.

I'm tired of hearing people say, 'nice car' to me. i know its not a looker, but how many mid and large decent priced cars are sexy? um.............

if folks drove the car they would see it handles and rides pretty well. better than a camry i bet

Edited by regfootball
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ok, its ok for camrys to be ugly and reliable? and bland?

the taurus is reliable.

gas mileage? my 500 got 29.6 on a recent road trip and regular exceeds 20 in town. mpg is equal to the smaller midsizers.

hard to maneuver? the wheelbase is barely longer than the g6. The wheelbase is like 7 inches less than the chrylser cars.

I'm tired of hearing people say, 'nice car' to me. i know its not a looker, but how many mid and large decent priced cars are sexy? um.............

if folks drove the car they would see it handles and rides pretty well. better than a camry i bet

Bland is OK; it sells. Bland *and* gaudy doesn't.

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