Could the Ford Taurus Be Imported From China?

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
could the ford taurus be imported from china

The Ford Taurus, once the flagship in Ford’s range, apparently has fallen on hard times.

Sales are down 28 percent through July, it hasn’t done much to outrun its perception as a perennial fleet queen and police fleet buyers are picking the Explorer-based Interceptor over the sedan. Automotive News details the fall and rise and fall again of the Ford Taurus (thanks mostly to former Ford CEO Alan Mulally) and throws in a little tidbit in the middle:

If sales keep falling, analysts speculate Ford could eliminate U.S. production of it and … import the small volume it needs here from China …

Oh boy.

It’s clear that Ford will have to make a decision about the Taurus soon. The current Taurus was last redesigned in 2009 and slightly updated in 2012. In April, Ford announced it would redesign the Taurus, but only in China.

Sales of the full-size Taurus peaked only a couple years ago, but the Taurus is on pace to sell 45,000 cars this year — including police cars — it’s lowest total ever.

In fact, the move to a full-size sedan — something Mulally pressed for early on in his tenure — may be what is killing the Taurus. By comparison, the Ford Fusion outsells the Taurus nearly four to one and is about $5,000 less for roughly the same car.

All that may be contributing to the tough time the Taurus is having in the States, and there’s always the Lincoln Continental right around the corner too.

So could the Taurus be Ford’s first import from China?

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10 of 104 comments
  • Jthorner Jthorner on Aug 17, 2015

    The original Taurus was a whole lot of car for the money in its day and offered an international design and packaging sensibility up against which the other similar prices US designs looked ancient. Back then Ford bet that keeping ancient powertrains would be ok if they had a cool, modern vehicle around them with lots of value and practicality. Today the Taurus stands out as none of those things. The Fusion is today's Ford family sedan for everyone, and the Taurus is just silly. Why does it even exist? To compete with the miniscule sales of the Toyota Avalon?

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    • Brn Brn on Aug 18, 2015

      @dal20402 dal, I don't care what you read, it's not smaller inside. It's not as big as the other full size sedans, but it is roomier than the Fusion. The materials are better. It's quieter. It's smoother. It's not more expensive (I would have paid more for an equivalent Fusion). I'll also take the NA 3.5L over the 2.0 turbo any day. I'm not saying the Taurus is tons better, but it is better.

  • Otaku Otaku on Aug 18, 2015

    I dunno. I actually kinda like the looks of this new full size Taurus and from the small amount I've read, it sounds like the passenger/cargo space is supposed to be a lot more generous than the current model. A few months back there was a story about the new Ford Escort that for some reason was being offered only in China. It too looked like a nice, tastefully-styled sedan that placed a priority on interior space and comfort. I think Ford's upper management should seriously consider expanding their current lineup by making both of these cars available in the North American market. I really think they would each find an audience that would appreciate some extra room to stretch out versus the Euro-sporty, but rather small/uncomfortable models like the Fiesta and Focus.

  • Forty2 Forty2 on Aug 18, 2015

    I'm driving a rental Taurus. Last week I had a Fusion 2.3T AWD. The Taurus (NA 3.5) has a little more power but feels more flabby and, insanely, rides worse. This one only has 11,000 miles on it but the ride is like a garbage truck. Very harsh and noisy. The high sills are terrible for visibility. On the plus side it has cooled seats which are nice this time of year... I had a much lower-mileage example a few months ago that felt a lot better, so maybe this one has been abused.

  • Drw1926 Drw1926 on Aug 19, 2015

    How can Ford import cars from China? I thought the "chicken tax" made this concept prohibitively expensive? And if that is not the case, why then aren't they bringing the global Ranger and Everest to the US? I understand the marketing reasons (i.e., not wanting to cannibalize F150/Explorer sales) but the rationale I've always seen used was they won't do it because of the tax.

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    • RobertRyan RobertRyan on Aug 19, 2015

      Same way they import For Transit Connects from Turkey and the way Fiat imports the Promaster City from Italy. Or their maybe exemptions for sedans