Ford Ads Position Refreshed Taurus Against Infiniti M45X, Lexus LS

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Ford’s taking a page out of its own history (and Hyundai’s playbook), positioning the refreshed Ford Taurus’ talents against significantly more expensive competition. According to The Detroit News, “In one spot, the Taurus and the $67,000 Infiniti M45X have their radar systems challenged by an obstacle course and a pair of aggressive drivers. It is designed to show the [$26k starting] Taurus’ blind-spot detection system, which the Infiniti doesn’t have.” Passive construction aside, props to Bryce G. Hoffman for getting Infiniti to play the dozens with The Blue Oval Boyz. “We’re flattered that Ford would pick us,” Infiniti spokesman Kyle Bazemore to the DetN. “But features don’t tell the whole story. The M45X is a world-class luxury sedan. Our entry-level Infiniti G beat the Taurus in a head-to-head test by Edmunds.com.” ZING! Point – counterpoint on Lexus after the jump.

In another spot, a Taurus and a $69,000 Lexus LS trail behind a gravel truck spilling its load to test each car’s paint quality.

“Only one aspect of the car is being featured and we’re not sure what the basis of any claims would be,” said Deborah Senior, Lexus corporate marketing manager. “The LS and the Taurus tend to appeal to different audiences so it will be interesting to see how the message resonates with consumers.”

Interesting, as in what do you call your wife’s dress when it’s hideous? Probably. Meanwhile, despite the head-to-head comparison, Ford says it’s not about . . . head-to-head comparisons.

Ford said the ads are not designed to win customers from the foreign luxury brands.

“Our goal is not to position this car as a luxury product,” said Matt Vandyke, U.S. marketing communications director for Ford. “We have very different customers…. They’re not looking for a badge. But they are people who absolutely want advanced technology.”

Absolutely positively? I jest. While the idea of a Taurus as a budget Infiniti or Lexus may have legs, one wonders where that leaves Lincoln.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Anonymous Anonymous on Aug 02, 2009

    I think we will slowly see Ford quietly let Mercury die. They will not make noise about it, unless financial problems force its death publicly. This year we saw the Sable exit. Soon more.

  • PartsUnknown PartsUnknown on Aug 03, 2009

    FreedMike, Point of order - a 528i with leather, heated seats, navigation, HD radio, wood trim, sunroof, prices out at $49,200. Plus, a sweet-singin' I6, 6 speed manual and RWD are standard. The MK-whatever is not only not in the same league, it's playing a different sport.

  • Wjtinfwb I'd like to see a Ford/Mazda relationship restarted. Both companies have some car guys keeping the flame alive and could develop a sports car slightly bigger than a Miata and pick and choose from each other's parts bin to put together some attractive powertrain combo's. Even a Mazda 3 AWD with the 300HP EcoBoost 2.3L, manual and AWD from the Focus RS would be welcome. Even better, a factory Miata V8 with the 480 HP Coyote (i know it wont fit...) and a manual gearbox. And how about a CX-5 with a 2.7L EcoBoost V6 with AWD and an chassis tuned for sport. Lots of possibilities.
  • Blueice Patient 28, sorry, but it is Oktoberfest. Bring a kegof Kraut beer and we will 50% you.
  • Bd2 Probably Toyota, Hyundai is killing them these days.
  • Bd2 Japan is evil, stop buying their vehicles. I hope TTAC has a holiday for PEARL HARBOR.
  • Wolfwagen If Isuzu could update this truck and keep the cost between $25K - $30K they would sell like ice pops on dollar day in a heat wave.
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