Last post on Aug 22, 2008 at 10:00 PM
You are in the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable
What is this discussion about?
Ford Five Hundred, Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable, Future Vehicle, Sedan, Wagon
#45 of 530 Ford.... one mess after another....
Feb 09, 2007 (10:38 pm)
The problem with the 500 wasn't the name, but the creation of a car nobody wants. Ford buyers who want a big boring car are going for the Crown Vic. Ford buyers who want a nice looking family sedan are going for the Fusion.
Honda and Toyota have kept their brand names alive through continuous improvement. You know that your 2007 Civic or Accord is going to be a step from your 2003 Civic or Accord. (And I'm talking about perception here, I know Toyota's quality is slipping). With the Taurus, I honestly can't see much difference from the time they gave their cars the spaceship design (mid 90s) to the last ones to roll off the line. Why buy a new one if it looks no different and the interiors aren't markedly better?
Loyal Ford fans and Taurus lovers aren't going to warm to the 500 just because it is now renamed the Taurus (they probably bought the Fusion). And I don't think the design will suddenly become more exciting because it has a name that most of us now associate with rental fleet cars and the car that our grandfather uses to visit flea markets and haul potting soil from Wal Mart in. The 500 is simply a car without an audience. It's a dumb move by a company that continues to make them.
#46 of 530 Re: Actually... [jchan2]
Feb 10, 2007 (7:53 am)
Again, the name change does not make the car better, or save Ford. The name change, no matter how anyone feels about it, will get more people to at least look at the Taurus--people for whom the 500 wouldn't have even hit their radar. If someone looks at or drives a car, they are more likely to buy it.
Most new cars these days are reasonably comfortable, quiet, decent handling, etc. Nonenthusiasts test driving the Taurus, Impala, 300, LaCrosse, Charger are likely to fixate on features that appeal to them when they sit in it, and the deal offered as well. Ford needs to get more people to sit in these relatively boring sedans.
The Taurus/Crown Victotia are not exactly "redundant" though Ford needs to differentiate them more. Right now, the Taurus/500 is front drive, much more tidy on the exterior, given its interior space, now has more hp, and is just more modern in execution. The CV could be updated to offer a RWD alternative, something akin to a toned down Interceptor. Then Ford would have roomy sedans to compete with both the FWD and RWD competition. Why not, if the platforms are both available? One way Toyota succeeds so well is that they offer more models and choices under the Toyota nameplate than almost any other manufacturer.
The Taurus X name is no more silly than a lot of car names. Taurus wagons were part of the mix for most of its run. Why not? Is Explorer Sport Trac not silly? What is so not silly about "Freestyle," especially given that so many people confuse the name with stablemate "Freestar"? What about the BMW X3 or X5? Not silly? The Volvo XC (sometimes called Cross Country)? X does seem to suggest shorthand for crossover or CUV. And Ford learned with the LS that adding a number onto a letter name cam spell trouble (it was originally to be the LS6 and the LS8, but Lexus objected). So, it seems to me the development of the Taurus X name is pretty clear.
I have been and continue to be one of the vocal critics of FoMoCo these past 10+ years. It comes from having owned more Ford brand products than any other, and being a longtime stockholder as well (but no more). This strikes me as one of several rational decisions that have appeared since Mulally took the helm from well-meaning doofus Bill. They have a long way to go yet, if they hope to survive at all.
Too bad some people got attached to the 500 name...that's another bit of fallout from yet another stupid move. But they are fixing this error now, and doing it before all the previous Tauri have even been sold out. Good for them. Tempest in a teapot. It won't save the company, but it is a move that cannot hurt them at all. It's just so surprising to see such a rational move occur so quickly.
#47 of 530 Re: Ford.... one mess after another.... [crutnacker]
Feb 10, 2007 (9:02 am)
Ford buyers who want a big boring car are going for the Crown Vic. Ford buyers who want a nice looking family sedan are going for the Fusion.
Not me . . I wanted a nice big "boring" family sedan, and I chose the Five Hundred.
The Crown Vic drives like a boat.
#48 of 530 Re: Actually... [gregg_vw]
Feb 10, 2007 (9:06 am)
Too bad some people got attached to the 500 name
I'm attached to my Five Hundred, but not the name.
Actually, I don't CARE what they call it . . I won't be out looking for a Taurus name-plate to replace my Five Hundred with, that's for sure. And hopefully others won't, either.
#49 of 530 Re: GREAT Idea to salvage $1B in Mktg [grega]
Feb 10, 2007 (9:32 am)
"Ford "will" see a significant increase in sale (50-100%) with the Taurus name because too many "baby-boomers" grew-up with a Taurus over the last 20-years and have an immediate connection with it... and will buy it again (I might)!"
50 to 100% sales increase becaue they changed the NAME??!! Boy do you have a future in marketing.
"Baby-boomers grew up with the Taurus"??!! Certainly you're no mathemetician as Baby boomers bought their first cars in the 60s.
The idea that you might buy a 500 cause it's now named a Taurus makes even less sense than the idea that I WONT buy a Montego cause it's now named a Sable. Doncha think?
ANd the fact that Ford is so lost in the woods that it's renaming a dog after a former sales champ to try to boost sales has absolutely NO relationship to the fact that Toyota and Honda have kept the same names for their quality cars for 30 years. None. Zippo.
As I've said, if Ford sells ONE more Taurus than it sold 500s it will be because they finally gave it the engine it needed.
#50 of 530 Re: Taurus Rising [pnewby]
Feb 10, 2007 (9:35 am)
"The LS is a perfect example of that. When a VP of marketing was leading the LS, it was doing exactly what Lincoln needed, good sales, stirred emotions and was better than anything you could find at any price even close. When he was dumped (office politics I imagine), it just died away. "
pnewby: I know who you're speaking of. He was not dumped. He left Ford for a startup when Ford made the decision in 2002 to drop the manual transmission from the LS, effectively sealing it's fate. Jim dorve a manual LS - a blue one in fact - and once he could see that his vision for Lincoln was not shared with Bill Ford and the other schmucks in charge at Ford, he got out. A smart move on his part.
#51 of 530 Re: Actually... [gregg_vw]
Feb 10, 2007 (9:52 am)
Given the fact that the Taurus is a couple of years from its last appearance in the showroom, I don't see that it will steer anymore traffic to the dealer to look at the car than before the name change.
Yes, Toyota has a lot of models, but the majority have brand positioning. The Yaris is an entry level, the Corolla a runabout/ fall family sedan, the Camry the big family sedan, and the Avalon the luxurious sedan aimed at older Honda buyers. Ford really has no Yaris and no Avalon (and we can't count Lincoln)
WHere does the 500 fit in? It reminds me of the Tempo and the Contour, a car that occupies a no man's land between other more established models.
I personally like the 500's look and the space inside. But if I'm going boring big car, I'm looking elsewhere. The Fusion, at least, has a distinctive look, and the NASCAR connection. That should have been the new Taurus. Thankfully they weren't stupid enough to do that.
#52 of 530 My suggestions..
Feb 10, 2007 (9:55 am)
Rename the Focus the Mustang Jr. Rename the Fusion the Model T. Rename the 500 the Escort. Rename the Crown Victoria the LTD. And rename the Mercury stuff with a bunch of random letters.
#53 of 530 The part that makes no sense...
by KCRam@Edmunds HOST
Feb 10, 2007 (10:25 am)
Over the last 30 years, when Ford introduces a new family sedan with a new name, it usually has done pretty well: Fairmont, Tempo, Taurus, Contour, Fusion. The 500 is the only one that "failed" and mostly because it needed more horses for its size.
When Ford goes backwards with names, the cars usually fall on their face: 1977 LTD II, 1981 Granada (Fairmont-based), 1984 LTD (Fairmont-based).
There's a limit to nostalgia. Mustang was the perfect car for this theme - family sedans are not. Buyers don't want to think of family cars as "retro". Unlike the Camry and Accord, Ford didn't evolve the Taurus. It got new lines a couple of times, but nothing groundbreaking. The Camry and Accord were completely rethought several times over the same period - every 5 years or so, Toyota and Honda basically announced "forget what you thought about Camry/Accord - this one is better." The Taurus never had that.
Now, Ford wants the public to essentially ignore the 500/Montego by saying, "Here's what we should have done 3 years ago - sorry we're late with a redesigned Taurus/Sable!"
Ford market share will not recover with this kove. better they should aggressively market the Fusion and let that be their sales leader.
#54 of 530 Re: The part that makes no sense... [kcram]
Feb 10, 2007 (10:42 am)
Good post. I agree.
Ford marketing is to blame here in large part. They do not advertise a car, they advertise a theme. Like "Bold Moves" most of which have managed to offend me, but that's another story.
I cant recall EVER having seen a TV ad for the 500/Montego twins. Maybe there were some, but they were forgettable if so. I do recall ONE TV ad for the Freestyle. Except the Freestyle was never mentioned, only shown in the background. No, this was another of the Bold Moves stupidity, this one as offensive to me as the N word is to others. This ad showed a divorced mother actually letting her ex-husband see his children for the weekend. What a BOLD move. She was sitting in a Freestyle.
Now I see the same already tired ad for the Edge day and night. OK, so the Edge is an Orange boxy vehicle that can ride on 2 wheels and on the sides of buildings. That is ALL this ad conveys, besides a catchy tune. Now I pick up Motor Trend, and there's another Edge, riding on two wheels with NO information on what other virtues this vehicle may have.
Marketing people, in general, are overpaid grown-up third graders. Fords' marketers apparently ARE third graders.