By on April 20, 2017

2017 Ford Taurus - Image: Ford

The Ford Taurus’s North American demise is not unanticipated. Full-size car sales are flagging. The Taurus nameplate’s positive brand recognition is based on the success it enjoyed in another era. And Ford already revealed a new China-specific Taurus, based on the same CD4 platform as the Fusion and Lincoln Continental, with no announcement regarding the import of that vehicle to North America.

It also seems Ford, riding high on a wave of crossover and SUV sales on this side of the Pacific, won’t be bringing that Taurus to America anytime soon.

While speaking with Global Product Communications Craig von Essen on another matter, TTAC learned Ford’s plan for the Taurus is very much focused on China.

“The Taurus built and sold in China was introduced as an all-new flagship sedan for China, designed specifically to meet the needs of the Chinese consumers. At the moment, there are no plans to offer this vehicle elsewhere,” von Essen says.

China Ford Taurus - Image: Ford

As for the Taurus that continues to wither on the vine in North America, sales are down 6 percent through 2017’s first-quarter after falling 10 percent in calendar year 2016, 22 percent in 2015, and 22 percent in 2014. Ford is on track to sell approximately half as many Taurus sedans in the U.S. in 2017 as Ford sold just four years ago.

That includes the Taurus Police Interceptor Sedan, sales of which are sliding even faster in early 2017. Through the first three months of this year, Taurus Police Interceptor sales are down 19 percent, year-over-year, after declining in each of the last three calendar years. This year, 14 percent of the Tauruses sold are built as Police Interceptors.

Meanwhile, the Explorer Police Interceptor is attracting more than four times as many buyers as its Taurus counterpart. Ford has also unveiled a Fusion Hybrid-based police car that is now “pursuit-rated.”

If the Police Interceptor isn’t a reason to save the Taurus, what about the strength of America’s full-size sedan market?

Uh, what strength?

The fleet-reliant large sedan segment has already lost more than 23,000 sales in the first three months of 2017, an 18-percent drop compared with the same period in 2016. Whether it’s the new Buick LaCrosse, the top-selling Dodge Charger, or the Taurus itself, big sedans at volume brands are tanking. Full-size volume brand sedans now form only 7 percent of America’s passenger car market.

Ford Motor Company builds both the Taurus and Explorer at its Chicago, Illinois, assembly plant. The Taurus’s Lincoln partner, the MKS, saw its production come to an end last year as Lincoln replaced the MKS with a Continental. The Continental is built alongside the Mustang in Flat Rock, Michigan.

The Taurus’s home market future isn’t the only Ford passenger car about which we have doubts. Two months ago, we questioned why Ford wouldn’t commit to the new Fiesta in America after revealing the car for European consumption. At the time, a Ford spokesperson told TTAC, “We’ll have more to say about other markets at a later date.”

We have twice inquired since as to whether Ford is ready to announce whether the new Fiesta will actually make it to the United States. Ford has declined to comment.

The current Fiesta has been on sale in the U.S. since 2010. The current Taurus rides on Ford’s Volvo-derived D3 platform, continuing a D3 sedan tradition that dates to the Ford Five Hundred’s introduction in 2004.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @timcaingcbc.

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39 Comments on “Ford Has No Plans For China’s Taurus To Become America’s Taurus...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    There’s also a Ford Escort which is only sold in China.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      Indeed there is. It’s a “compact executive” car based on the Focus classic. I had no idea.

      Looking over the Ford of China web site with Chrome translating is quite funny.

  • avatar
    quaquaqua

    “This year, 14 percent of the Tauruses sold are built as Police Interceptors.”

    I know sales are low overall still, but seriously, cop cars are only 14% of Taurus sales? Never would have guessed that. But since they’re only selling about 4000 Tauruses a month, most of those are going to fleets/rentals I suppose.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      And me. Best car I’ve ever owned.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Here, here. My mom loves hers. She said if something happened to it, she would buy another one. I would find her another 2012. Gonna be hard to find Ginger Ale SEL with low miles/good history.

        I know three other people who have a 6th gen Taurus. They bought them new. There is a lady in town with a brand new SHO, but most I see are SEL or Limited. I rarely see a SE (unbadged base model, no LED markers unless that’s changed, usually cloth) that are the rental flock.

        But yes, name anything not a truck, SUV or crossover that is selling well enough to avoid fleets. Especially dated big cars, which are falling out of fashion.

        (Yes, Honda does sell cars to rental companies, too, just not like others do. I’ve seen rental Accords. But the Accord is the strongest retail seller still I believe, even if counting those.)

        I love it when people balk at the 2010 Taurus as the turning point towards doom. Sales, including strong retail (far stronger than with the Five Hundred remake), were higher. They didn’t drop down back to Five Hundred/08-09 Taurus levels until years later, in accordance to the overall decline in its segment.

        This is the last Taurus for now because the market it would be competing for is dwindling.

        If FCA were hawking some stretched Galant-based full-size sedan tragedy, they never would have held on to a second generation (etc) like the LX. Clearly its a good platform and it has the RWD playing card.

        Anything can come back, but a full size non-luxury sedan is an iffy one. I like them. I’d take an Impala over a Malibu.

        I wouldn’t choose a brand new non-SHO Taurus because they changed things I liked with the refresh. So, Fusion Sport.

        • 0 avatar
          Dy-no-mite Jay

          I have a 13 Fusion in ginger ale metallic (and a 6 speed stick!). This color (and trans for that matter) is almost as rare as hens teeth. Though I’ve also seen the color on maybe 2 Lincolns and 1 previous generation fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The MY12s used by our local police had numerous issues in police service and have now become X-cars (second tier, used when first tier are in service). Perhaps under civilian use they fare much better.

  • avatar
    quaquaqua

    Considering the Explorer and Taurus (and their Interceptor variants) are built on the same line, I guess we can expect the current Taurus to wallow along for a while, as Ford is also letting the Explorer go far past its expiration date with only small updates. They better hope that doesn’t backfire. The old Equinox also trudged along far too long and this last year experienced a sharp decline in sales amidst a sales boom in its very category.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I was looking forward to an extended wheelbase Fusion with a Taurus badge.

    “Coming With Length!”

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Not surprised about the slide in Taurus Police Interceptors. All the police in my area use Ford Explorers. I hate it, because there are far too many soccer moms driving these things, making it harder to figure out whether you should pass them or slow down.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    Pity, the Taurus in the pictures (is that the Chinese one or the old one?) sure is a nicely looking automobile.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Well there are two pictures. The white one on top is the 2013-2017 (presumably) N.A. Taurus, the grey one in the second picture is the China-only Taurus.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Ermel
      Ford Australia had a lot to do with the design and engineering.
      “AN ALL-NEW Ford Taurus, a potential Ford Falcon replacement, has been revealed ahead of today’s Shanghai motor show in China.

      The Taurus will be built in China specifically for the Chinese market. However, its design – overseen by Australian Todd Willing, who gave us the stunning modern-day Ford GT at January’s Detroit motor show – may well be a carbon-copy of a large sedan destined to replace the Falcon in 2016.

      Wheels caught the Taurus testing in Australia late last year, with its larger-car proportions including a 2.95m wheelbase and 5.0-metre overall length evident, with the show car riding on 19-inch alloy wheels. That makes it even bigger than the current, and last, FGX Falcon, which sits on a 2838mm wheelbase with a 4949mm length.”

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    The Fusion is the true successor to the midsize Taurus. I cannot think of a single reason to pick a non-SHO Taurus over a fully-equipped Fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      If you want a naturally aspirated V-6, and yes it does have more room than a Fusion, despite the opinions to the contrary. I have done the measurement comparison. The Taurus “feels” confined to some due to the thick door panels and wide console. My leg has never rubbed on the console, and I’m 5’11” weighing as high as 200lbs at one point.

      My parents aren’t small people, but they don’t feel confined or squished in the car. Its more like cozy and comfortable. The B&b seem to feel the need to make it sound tiny inside, I guess to justify bias against it? I mean you don’t like the car, I get that, but why to I have to read about how it’s a “big subcompact” when I am more than comfortable in it.

      Yes you sit differently in it, its more upright, but its less fatiging and helps my bad back a lot more than the phucking Grand Marquis. THAT was the most uncomfortable car, to me. It felt like you were sitting on the floor. The driveshaft tunnel intruded on foot room. The ride was uncontrolled and that caused me to subconsciously tense up. I hated it.

      Anyway, the 2010+ Taurus doesn’t give the impression of room as the open/airy/BLAND 08/09 did, but I find it hard to not question people who claim its so tiny inside.

      • 0 avatar
        Chocolatedeath

        I am 6 ft even at 250 however my legs do rub the console however the backseat is fine with more than enough leg room. Could it be better….um well yes yes it could however it aint that bad.
        John you have to remember these are the same folks that claim the Mazda6 is the same size in back as Chrysler 200. It the Mazda as big as say an Accord or Passat in back….well no , no its not but to say its closer to a Civic (in real world practice not just numbers) is crazy. The overall issue with both Taurus and the six is head room in back..thats it.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          Well, I get it, the smaller greenhouse in modern cars like the 2010 Taurus vs. 2008/9 will make it feel enclosed too. And as I said, the console is a bit intrusive to some, I get that too, but if it isn’t a problem, it sure is more stylish and comfortable (I can rest my hand easily and reach any control with minimal diversion from the road) than the cold, flat, soul-less console in the Five Hundred and 08/09. It was very European, it was a Ford Passat and I guess that’s why the elite like it more than the brash, American, substance-with-style 2010+.

          I don’t have a problem with visibility out of the 2012. The only aid this SEL has is back up sensors which is just perfect for getting it the optimal distance from the fence/house/etc. to access the trunk and unload.

          I take them places in it when they can’t drive, and I come and run errands in it for them, I also borrow it sometimes if I need it but I can’t remember the last time I did. My point is, I’m in it a fair amount. I am also partially physically disabled, and have chronic nerve pain from my neck to my feet. I do not get to hurting as bad or as quickly when driving that car all day, even in a multi-state trips.

          I would love to try out Active Motion, but these SEL seats are awesome. Supportive, comfortable, and the pinched nerve in near my upper spine goes A LOT longer without killing me. I also have fewer muscle spasms because I guess my body is better supported. This is quite different from most any other car I drive. Worst is my friends 2012 Altima. Uhhggg. But she gave it to her daughter and bought herself a 2wd Durango (first gen) with like 135k on it. She loves it and says she didn’t realize how much she grew to dislike the Altima until after she noticed how well she is enjoying her Durango.

          The 1995 Taurus I have is good for what it is as far as my pain issues, especially since I added power lumbar support. My 1995 Accord was worse ride and comfort wise (not to mention its “race car” automatic which seemed to expect you to be driving aggressive *all the time* despite a noticeable lack of power in the I-4/LX), and I don’t like the way a equivalent Camry sits (how I sit in it) or how it drives. If not for a Taurus, I would likely get the Accord, especially a coupe or something. Had my Taurus been a 3.8L when I called on it, it would be mine today. See, I knew the one to get lol. But it does show its 232k, without a doubt. It was parked in the sun, it shows. It was maintained okay earlier but but some items were ignored (struts/springs, for example).

          There is a early/mid 1990s V-6 Camry coupe (two door sedan) on craigslist down south if anyone cares to see it. I marked it just for you guys, lol.

      • 0 avatar
        Bee

        +1 Everywhere opinion on the Taurus I read here is of the wide console and thick doors, I really couldn’t care less. I absolutely loved the 2010 when it came out and remember the buzz on the TCCA forums years ago. I agree on the 2010-2012 front end looking nicer, there was more brightwork than the Police Interceptor-copy 2013.

        The Chinese model looks like it would work in the NA market…reminds me almost of a Genesis G90.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          I know. Unless you’re a big person, like real big, it isn’t that much of an ACTUAL space issue so much as it is a PERCEIVED issue because it looks like its closing you in. It really isn’t but that’s hard to get over for some I guess.

          It is entirely possible to adjust the seat and find a comfortable position, but most people decide if they like it or not in the first 15 seconds and then spend the rest of their time looking for reasons to justify their initial assumption.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Ford is probably right to let the far more profitable Continental carry what full size buyers with money are left.

    The current Taurus is very dated, but when it was introduced in 2010, it was leaps and bounds above GM (W body) and had a SHO that would out accelerate a V-8 Audi.

    My parents had a Grand Marquis LS Fleet that they were not impressed with. I went to a Ford dealer and got a used 2008/9 (think it was a 9) Taurus SEL and drove it to their house. My mom drove it. She was pretty “meh” about it.

    They started looking at new large cars and said they liked the then-current (2012) Taurus. They went and drove a new one. They liked it, but the dealer acted like they didn’t want the Mercury and weren’t really willing to budge on the price. Frustrated, they left.

    I found them the 2012 they ended up buying, it had less than 2,000 miles on it and at almost 100k, it just had its first issue. The blendor actuator on the passenger side isn’t working. I’m going to order the part, I looked it up, should be something I can do. I do most of the servicing on it, its dry as a bone and clean as hell underneath.

    Their car has been superb, I really prefer the front end of the 2010-2012 over the 2013+, the instrument cluster and the paddle shifters as well. The Ginger Ale metallic really looks good on that car, less so on other Ford vehicles I’ve seen it on. The white leather still looks great, hell the whole interior aside from the chrome on the top of the shifter (peeling) looks like new. The Grand Marquis by 90k look like this one will at 190k.

    But, as I said. The car is dated and needs to end production, the market is declining and it is well past the redesign-needed stage.

    Ford could come out with a RWD full size sedan to replace it based on the next gen Explorer. Fairlane? Galaxy? Torino? Make them BOF/Unibody hybrids like the XJ!

    Its only okay to base your full size on the same related platform as your generic midsize, not to mention a rebranded luxury variant, if your name is Toyota. Otherwise, NOPE, doesn’t pass the B&B Elite class’ sniff test.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    This car should have dies when Big Al stupidly renamed the Five Hundred, Taurus for 2008. The D3 platform was horrible then and it continues to be horrible now. Everything that has ridden on the D3 platform has been a colossal failure…except the Explorer. And the Explorer inst a success because it’s a good vehicle. It’s incredibly cheap, tinny, and unrefined. Ford must have used some of the marketing team for the F-Series to sell Explorers.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    Ford’s doing the right thing by letting the Continental stand on its own not introducing the next generation Taurus here. All it would do is cannibalize Taurus sales and the auto journalists would only further enable that to happen by calling the Continental a “badge engineered Taurus!”. The only way Lincoln succeeds in the US is if the Ford brand makes room for them in the market.

    We’ve owned our 2010 Taurus SHO since 2010. We love it and have no plans to get rid of it. We’ve purchased other vehicles since, but the Taurus has a special place in our garage. Dirt cheap to operate, quick, fairly roomy and fun.

  • avatar
    Tumbling-Dice

    Son a butthead, what the hell is going on at Ford? Are they using those record profits just to make speeches about how they’re re-branding themselves as a mobility company, rather than a simple automaker?

    Their car lineup is old as hell. Other than the Mustang, all the cars are in their fifth model year at minimum. Yes, I am aware car sales are down and crossovers are the hot ticket, but what about when consumer tastes shift? What if gas prices rise again, making anything that gets poorer mileage than a four-cylinder Edge look far less attractive? You need to have a well-rounded updated lineup to combat systemic shifts. Ford has had very conservative design-length cycles for years, but this is especially eternal.

    After all the celebratory hootenanny when the Taurus name was given new life on a car that didn’t suck in 2008, they have let it whither on the vine again since 2010. That is such a waste. And they also won’t commit to bringing the new Fiesta here, despite it being one of the strongest sellers in its segment. So…Ford doesn’t want to hook’em while they’re young with a strong entry-level vehicle?

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Tumbling-Dice
      Having all your eggs in one basket is not doing Ford much favours here. Mitsubishi is now outselling Ford in Australia. It will be soon be like Jeep, going rapidly out of the market

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Build it for America…they will come! The Chinese Taurus is a far better looking machine than the current old platform model we are stuck with.
    For some reason, the Chinese Taurus has a greenhouse that looks much like the Audi A8L…not a bad thing. It just needs a better looking front end to differentiate it from the Fusion.

  • avatar

    I’m going to miss the nameplate more than the current car, which is just an average automobile.

    Growing up so many people I knew had Tauruses, especially the very sleek wagons. The Taurus name will always have a special place in my heart.

    The idiotic decision in the mid 2000s to name everything with an F, brought us the Fusion, which should have been names Taurus. Domestic manufacturers change nameplates too much!

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I have driven and rode in my close friend’s 2014 Taurus Limited AWD numerous times. The best part of that car was the V6, 6 speed transmission and the large trunk. Back seat legroom was good but not as good as some other full size cars and even a few mid sizers. The 19″ factory tires gave it a busy thumpy ride but handling was sound considering it weighed in at over 4300 LBS! Gas mileage as a result was usually hovering around 17-18 with any city driving involved and highway stints generally saw about 23-24.

    The car did need 3 out of 4 of it’s wheel bearings replaced before 100K, the blendoor motor went south and then it developed two separate oil leaks in the oil pan and a oil return line tube that rusted out. It also strangely went through 3 sets of tires in but 3 years time despite religious tire rotation. If it were my money it would be a 2014-17 Epsilon Impala every time over this car.


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