Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Ford To Resurrect Taurus Nameplate for Slow-Selling Five Hundred

CHICAGO — The Ford Motor Company is hoping that the Taurus, a storied name that helped to revive the company in the past, will once again work its magic on the Five Hundred, a sedan that has failed to capture the imagination of the buying public. The Dearborn automaker will announce the name change of the Five Hundred here on Wednesday.

Ford Five HundredThe name change has been rumored for months, as new Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally indicated he's been interested in the Taurus and why the automaker would put the name in mothballs since he joined the company last year.

The Five Hundred has sold poorly compared to the Taurus, with year-on-year sales dropping more than 50 percent last month.

The Taurus is widely considered to be the car that saved Ford when it was introduced in 1985. The Taurus had a longer best-selling run than the original Model T and was the best-selling car in the U.S. between 1992 and 1996. Ford ceased production of the Taurus in October after sales of nearly 7 million.

This is not the first time that Ford has experimented with rechristening a model. Most recently, the automaker renamed the Lincoln Zephyr, now calling it the MKZ — an alpha designation patterned after a trend that was started with upscale Japanese brands such as Lexus and Acura.

© Source: article on insideline

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