By on August 17, 2015

New Ford Taurus

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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104 Comments on “Could the Ford Taurus be Imported From China?...”


  • avatar

    Those that take pride in “buying American” (xenophobia). Will refuse to buy it. This will destroy Taurus sales.

    …more than they already are – cause it already sucks.

    MOPAR or NO CAR

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      You overestimate the knowledge of the American car buying public. After all, these are the people who buy zillions of mediocre Corollas every year.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Those Corolla buyers are getting what they paid for. They spend years enjoying trouble-free, efficient motoring and then kill it at resale time. Compare that to the outcomes achieved by Buick buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Nope. They’ll buy it and then deliberately door ding my Marysville, Ohio built Honda Accord, brimming with American pride in the process.

      Of course, their car’s electronics will probably go bad like a gas station cell phone charger within a few months, but they’ll have the ‘Murican label.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Gooooodd…..Let the butthurt flow through you

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        And you are full of it as a Christmas Turkey.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        “You come visit Sh!tty Ford, your hometown domestic vehicre deawrer! We pwoudry sherw American vehicles, and service what we sherw. Ford: Quarity is Job One!”

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Not to be outdone, General/Guangzhou Motors is planning on “exporting” Chinese made/assembled Buick Envisions to North America.

          “http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/08/17/gm-may-export-china-made-buick-us/31864817/”


          General Motors is close to becoming the first major automaker to sell a China-made vehicle in the U.S. in a move that could fuel political consternation over the decline of the American manufacturing sector.
          Industry analysts expect that the automaker will import the compact crossover Buick Envision from a plant in China to U.S. dealerships by the end of 2016. In fact, IHS Automotive analysts are so sure it will happen, they’ve already integrated it into their official U.S. sales forecasts.
          “That’s what we expect,” IHS analyst Stephanie Brinley said. “It will be interesting to see, if GM follows through on this plan, how consumers will react.”
          The move could come in the heat of the U.S. presidential campaign, which has already focused intensely on barriers throttling the U.S. economy amid stiff foreign competition with manufacturers in China, Mexico and elsewhere.”

          Welcome to no-matter-how-low-your-wages-are-or-how-lax-your-environmental-regulations-are-we-will-always-push-wages-lower-and-environmental-regulations-even-less-meaningless-WORLD.

          Guangzhou Motors (GM) thanks American Taxpayers for the bailout.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “Even so, analysts don’t expect GM to make it obvious the Buick Envision comes from China, if it decides to make the move.”

            What will sales people say when asked, “23.1333° N, 113.2667° E”?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @BBall
            I suspect due to the relatively small numbers to have the Taurus imported from China. If GM sets the the precedent, then Ford will follow. Like Ford does with the Transit Connect, except from Turkey not China

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          If the US a Dollar remains high compared to other major industrial producers , guarantee, you can say Sayonara to US production as more and more goes too Mexico , China or elsewhere

        • 0 avatar
          morbo

          You know that’s a Japanese stereotype and not a Chinese one right? the L to R thing. If you’re going to make a bad joke, at least get your racist stereotypes correct.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      If someone takes pride in buying American while driving a Canadian Fiat…

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Those who take pride in “buying American” aren’t buying it as is lmao.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      The current Chinese Ford Taurus was redesigned in Australia for the Chinese market, but I have no idea how it is selling. Current U.S. Taurus was mooted as replacing the Falcon, when it stops being sold in 2016. I could not see that happening and now Ford said that will not happen

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The current Taurus wasn’t scheduled to be sold anywhere in 2017. Ford was just planning on replacing the Falcon with a Taurus. Not necessarily the D-platform current generation.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    The D3/4 Taurus is produced in North America, and this is what police buy as it is pursuit rated among other things. The next Taurus will be a CD4 Fusion variant IIRC, and I’m not sure if there will even be a police model. What Ford may do is import a CD4 Taurus and continue to sell D3/4 as fleet only until such time as the line is shut down. I do not see the logic in migrating the existing D3/4 product line to China only to re-import it back to the US.

    “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.”

    The Taurus also sucks in several key metrics, and its not the roughly same car (unless same refers to being a passenger sedan). I do wonder if the Taurus had not been tampered with during the “recovery” if it would have sold better than what was actually delivered for MY10.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s worth noting that some jurisdictions aren’t allowed to purchase vehicles not made in North America.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      I still from the speech by Mulally when he said a mistake was made by getting rid of the Taurus name and promised to bring out the car that the Taurus always should have been.
      Then we saw what I thought was a pretty nice car, the FiveHundred, get replaced by this huge car.

      The MKS, Taurus and Explorers are all built at the Torrance plant so there is no way it should be built in China.
      There is enough economics of scale to keep it here since it is produced in a plant that builds plenty of other shred chassis and parts.

      What I don’t understand is how they build the Flex alongside the Edge and MKX…which I thought used another chassis. If it is the same as the Taurus, you’d think it would be at the Torrance plant. Unless I have the chassis sharing all wrong….

      Driving behind any MKS. Taurus, Explorer and Flex…you can see they are the same underneath.
      They all look exactly alike. They must be able to build the next Taurus if it has so many cousins.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The MKS is leaving Chicago (Torrance Ave) and going to Flat Rock (as the Continental). If Ford builds another Taurus, it will be built in Flat Rock with the Fusion, Continental, and Mustang.

        Chicago will get the next gen Explorer and a Lincoln that is Explorer based.

        Oakville will continue to build the MKX/Edge.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          that’s great information.

          So, here is hoping Ford doesn’t simply to a Taurus of Continental…leaving the Lincoln with more nasty commenting from Ford haters.

          I didn’t think there is enough volume in just the Explorer and the Lincoln to keep the Torrence plant happy. Not that the current Taurus/MKS volume is exciting.

          And I hope the Flint plant does a better jb on the Continental than they did on my 09 Mazda6…it has more piss poor built/quality issues than you would expect from a “Japanese” car design.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          Torrence Ave not Torrance.

          The current D3 Taurus stays until it becomes fleet only for police. Rumor has it that there is going to be a fleet Fusion to play some “detective” role.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Chinese Taurus is being built in China

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    “45,000 cars this year” That’s pretty low

    BUT, the Ford Explorer & Flex and Lincoln MKS & MKT share the same basic platform, so production could be moved to one of those plants.

    However, if the new Taurus is on a stretched Fusion platform, it could go to that plant.

    Then again, if the TPP treaty goes through… who knows?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Bloggers will care; buyers won’t.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Oh but they might, this isn’t some niche Volvo. This is a ‘murican icon, the Ford Taurus.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      My cubicle neighbor who replaced his 500 with a Taurus, doesn’t like it.

      • 0 avatar
        MrGreenMan

        Does he have the latest model? They have been screwing the pooch on the Taurus.

        I loved my Five Hundred – it brought back memories of my Olds 88 – gigantic, boatlike, plenty of room in that cavernous trunk – and visibility galore. I could park that thing anywhere in reverse, like my 88.

        I traded up for 60k fewer miles and 60 more horses and no giant rust holes (did they just forget to rust proof the Five Hundreds, or was it because of those stupid mud flaps?). I did not go to the current iteration. Whereas the 3.5 EB is a whole lot of fun, the car has some serious drawbacks at present. The current Taurus has really screwed up the insides – but I don’t like the Ford cockpit in any new iterations. I encouraged somebody to get a used Edge instead of a new Escape because I knew he wouldn’t like the Ford cockpit, and he didn’t, and he bought the Edge. The Lincoln cockpit seems a little less onerous than the Ford cockpit when comparing MKS to Taurus – but it still feels like you’re wasting a lot of space.

        I don’t like having to use cameras and screens and indicators to know how to backup or when to pass, but I don’t think you can safely drive the current Taurus or MKS without all these nannies. The ones in the Lincoln seem better, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

        And, lastly, I don’t know why they keep porking up. All the new Taurus weight went into increased blind spots, which seems like a lose-lose to me.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    “analysts speculate Ford could…”

    Come on TTAC.

    The second T stands for something… I’m having a hard time putting my finger on it.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Donald Trump will burst a righteous blood vessel.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Chinese factories are capable of turning out very high quality products, but you have to ride shotgun over them continuously.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    No. Ford won’t be importing the Taurus from China. While either get it, assembled in the same factory as the Fusion and Continental, or we won’t get it at all.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I haven’t paid attention to any sedans for many years, domestic ones even longer. When did the Taurus that used to be a potent competitor with the Accord get its terminal affliction?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      When they made it all ovally in the 90s. Then Ford never really did anything with it and let it languish on rental lots. After that, Alan Mullaly changed the Ford Five Hundred to the Ford Taurus. Then Ford redid it, guessed the market wrong, and let it sit around for another 6 years.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Those would be the infamous “jelly bean” Taurii, then? Sure saw a milliondy of them around once and still not too infrequently today in Flyover. Shame, this denouement for a once serious seller.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The first gen Taurus is the jelly bean Taurus. The oval one is the third gen car that was pretty much designed by committee. That was the ’95 model, that basically was built with few changes until 2007. That was the car that lost the best seller crown to the Camry.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I’ve ridden in and driven a pre-refresh Taurus/500 (2008-2009 model) and found it spacious and airy but styled by engineers not really confident of their drawing ability. I did actually give it serious consideration when used car shopping.

          However the 2010 refresh went too far the other way and made it so STYLED that it impeded on usable space.

          It is sad when you design a product to the point where it is less useful than it’s predecessor and then throw up your hands and go: “Well I guess no one wants one anymore.”

          My argument against killing your big car would be Chevy’s success with a new Impala. Perhaps you could sell a stretched Fusion just as GM sells a stretched Malibu and calls it an Impala.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Ford thought that’s what consumers wanted. They went for the “cockpit” feel because they thought it would sell. They guessed wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Since we’re here and we’re Ford – when is the center portion of the MKC lamp supposed to be illuminated?

            https://s.yimg.com/lo/api/res/1.2/yy5CMaQ5wwtHJEwYvN2IZA–/YXBwaWQ9bWFnYXppbmVzO3c9ODAw/https://s.yimg.com/os/publish-images/autos/2014-11-14/97c893e0-6c47-11e4-b53b-f70f4408f108_merkur-scorpio.jpg

            Shown here. I noticed the other morning behind an MKC, that it does NOT light up upon brake application. So it would seem to me the center part is on with the lamps or running lights, and at no other time. :( During the day it looks busted.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It should light up when braking…

            I’ll have to go look at one.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Omg! It doesn’t light up for braking!

            https://youtu.be/d-koz7pVIYA?t=6m19s

            Very no bueno. Look at the appearance there.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            >>would be Chevy’s success with a new Impala. <<

            I'd like to see that documented. Since GM refuses to break out old fleet Impala from new Impala sales, the inference must be the new Impala is not a success, because if it were GM would readily provide such.

            The new Mailbu is striking, much better-looking than the “new” Impala. That will not improve Impala sales.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      First gen: ’86-’91
      Second gen: ’92-’95

      The first gen was the most serious midsize car to come out of Detroit, ever, and put a real scare into the Japanese. The second gen was a mild restyle of the first gen and was when Taurus sales reached their peak of over 400,000/year.

      Third gen: ’96-’99
      Fourth gen: ’00-’06

      The third gen was an all-new car with the notorious oval-everywhere styling. The platform was excellent for a mass-market sedan of the time, very stiff and with refined ride and handling. But it was expensive to build. So Ford cheaped out on the interiors and priced the cars too high. No one liked the oval styling enough to pay the high prices and sales plunged. The fourth gen was a restyle of the third-gen that took out ovals and replaced them with utter blandness, while continuing the cheap, cost-cut interiors. Over seven model years it gradually became totally uncompetitive, suitable only for fleets and price buyers.

      No Tauruses were produced for ’07.

      Fifth generation: ’08-’09

      This was a re-engined and slightly restyled Ford Five Hundred. This is when Taurus became a full-size car and sales went from six figures to low-ish five figures. By this point the Fusion was in the volume midsize role.

      Sixth generation: ’10-’16

      This is the current car. Well received at first because of its styling and premium interior, but people quickly figured out that it had horrendous packaging (less interior room than a Fusion!) and was mediocre to drive. Sales have been falling ever since.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        I remember the period of what, maybe 8 years, when Accord and Taurus swapped #1 for midsizers. I also remember the original ballyhoo over the original gen-1 Taurus’ aerodynamic efficiency with its flush windows and all. Taught a lot of mildly curious Americans what a drag coefficient was.

        Wasn’t there an Audi that the Taurus was always compared to in this context?

        Wow… pioneering aerodynamics… if I’d only known what a nightmare that would neoplasm into I’d have sold enough drugs to buy and store four gen-1 Troopers.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          Audi 5000, which had to be one of the first aerodynamic everyman cars (i.e. not a sports car or a low-volume product).

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Thanks, from my googling it appears the Audi predated the Ford by a few years? The first Taurus looks correspondingly puffier.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Yes! The beautiful Audi 5000 was the first sedan with flush mount glass and a very low drag coefficient, which was introduced in 1982 as the 100 in Europe.

          http://www.audicentremelbourne.com.au/etc/medialib/ngw/brand/company_history/models/1965_1990/audi_100_c3.Par.0012.Image.jpg/704x396_3_100_1982.jpg

          As we see here, there are quite a few styling elements shared between it and the later 1986 Taurus.

          http://drivemeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Ford-Taurus-1986.jpg

          Like, a lot. Ford also did the same thing a couple years later with the Merkur Scorpio failed experiment.

          https://s.yimg.com/lo/api/res/1.2/yy5CMaQ5wwtHJEwYvN2IZA–/YXBwaWQ9bWFnYXppbmVzO3c9ODAw/https://s.yimg.com/os/publish-images/autos/2014-11-14/97c893e0-6c47-11e4-b53b-f70f4408f108_merkur-scorpio.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Also note, due to stupid US headlamp regs, the 5000 as sold here did not have sealed lamps until 1987. Prior years had quad fixed lamps and a higher COD.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            I’ve always hated our headlight regs, the crowning insult being what they did to imports like the E-Jags.

            But my obsession with this let me spot a production flaw in a TV show yesterday. An episode of ITV’s “Endavour”, supposedly set in 1965-ish Oxford, England showed a post-1967 XKE (bare headlights) in a background scene!

            I was so proud of myself! And also puzzled why the Brits ever messed up its headlights, too.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Our headlight regs are part of the reason we couldn’t continue to have nice things like Citroens.

            I would suggest the model they could be using for the TV show was brought back into the country from somewhere else. Clarkson got a Fiat 124 convertible for the last segment on the final Top Gear episode, and he’d found an American spec one with lifted ride height and the extra American fatty bumpers on it.

            So because those sorts of cars aren’t valued in the “home country,” they fall away, but are kept other places. He indicated specifically that his Fiat had spent its life in California.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Yeah, I’m going with the repatriated American version, too, because I just have more respect for the Brits than to believe they ever unnecessarily messed with that beauty for domestic sale.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          The Taurus borrowed heavily from the Audi 5000, a much better car.

          The 5000 had virtually flush side glass that sort of popped in as the window closed. The Taurus was no pioneer. The 5000 was.

          CBS “journalism” wrongfully wrecked Audi’s sales.

          • 0 avatar
            jhefner

            “The Taurus borrowed heavily from the Audi 5000, a much better car.”

            Yet another tiring repeat of an age-old fable. The Taurus was well into the design stage when the 5000s came out; the Audi only convinced Ford they were on the right track. Besides this being stated in “Taurus — the car that saved Ford”; there are design drawings that survive that predate the 5000s.

            The heaviest influnce on the Taurus/Sable was in fact the Probe III concept car, designed by Ford of Germany to brace buyers for the pending Sierra. The original Taurus/Sable design was going to be a five door sedan as well; but later became seperate sedan and station wagon models. All of this is well documented to anyone who cares to look it up.

            The original Taurus was mostly hampered by it’s AXOE transmission; though I still see one every now and then, along with a 5000s. Both had their weak points; I preferred the styling of the 5000s sedan, but thought the Taurus/Sable station wagon looked better than it’s Audi counterpart. Love these early aero cars as well.

            “The Taurus was no pioneer. The 5000 was.”

            While the 5000s made a bigger splash because it came out first; it was the Taurus/Sable that you soon saw EVERYWHERE; and after that anything aero that came out of Detriot “looked like a Taurus.” As others mentioned, the second generation even outsold the Camry for a few years. But nice try at downplaying the Taurus/Sable’s role in ushering in the jelly bean era.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            >>Yet another tiring repeat of an age-old fable. The Taurus was well into the design stage when the 5000s came out;<<

            The fable is all yours. Ir's been well-documented that Ford borrowed from Audi:

            "inspired by the design of the Audi 5000" – See Taub, Eric (November 1991). Taurus: The Making of the Car That Saved Ford. E. P. Dutton. ISBN 0-525-93372-7.

            Ford may have been committed to an aerodynamic shape before the Audi actually came out, but everyone concedes the 1982 Audi had an undeniable influence on 4 year later 1986 Ford. The evidence is too obvious.

            “The Audi 5000/100 had an aerodynamic look, achieving a drag coefficient of 0.30 for its smoothest base model. The increased aerodynamic efficiency resulted in better fuel economy. The design was in contrast from the boxy shape of the C2. Audi innovated flush windows on the C3, a key area for aerodynamic drag that has been adopted by virtually all manufacturers today. The aerodynamic body gave the 100 higher top speed than other cars of similar engine size.[24] A new technology introduced in the C3 included the procon-ten safety system.”
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audi_100

            >>While the 5000s made a bigger splash because it came out first; it was the Taurus/Sable that you soon saw EVERYWHERE;<<

            Ford did a mediocre job overall – engines, handling, etc – but like the Falcon, it sold well. Fleet cars do that. During the Taurus halcyon days the Honda Accord actually outsold the Taurus among retail customers.

            THe Audi 5000, before the CBS hit, was the best selling imported luxury car in the US. The premium 1982 Audi inspired the imitators (yes, Taurus everyone concedes that to at least some degree), not the 4 year later 1986 Taurus as the fabulists counterintuitively insist.

            Let’s face it, it’s the original that gets imitated, not what comes later. The Taurus is less significant as an automobile but rather in the fact that its sales success saved Ford when it was on the ropes.

          • 0 avatar
            jhefner

            Thornmark said:

            “inspired by the design of the Audi 5000″ – See Taub, Eric (November 1991). Taurus: The Making of the Car That Saved Ford. E. P. Dutton. ISBN 0-525-93372-7.”

            That book in my library said:

            “On an adjoining panel the designers had mounted several pictures of competing vehicles, to illustrate styling cues that had been adapted for the Taurus. As Schulte looked at the photo of the upcoming Audi 5000, a car that bore an unmistakable resemblance to the new Ford, he sensed some of the designers resented the fact tha a European manufacturer was thinking along the same cutting edge. yet they were also proud of their accomplishments, Schulte could see. The photographs of Audi and other competators were not road maps to follow, but signs that they had been going in the right direction all along.” p 192.

            I won’t bother quoting the reference on page 228.

            Thornmark said:

            “Ford may have been committed to an aerodynamic shape before the Audi actually came out, but everyone concedes the 1982 Audi had an undeniable influence on 4 year later 1986 Ford. The evidence is too obvious.”

            The book said:

            “While the Team Taurus members knew they were creating something unique and for progressives, a visit to the biannual 1981 Frankfurt auto show reassured them that the world’s designers were working in concert. Audi displayed its soon-to-be-released 100 (sold as the Audi 5000s in the U.S.), and a number of other German manufacturers premiered prototypes of stylilng themes for the 1980s. Everyone seemed to be thinking along the same lines. The boxy look was giving way to aerodynamic styling, rounded edges, and a general sense of robustness. Indeed, Audi’s and Ford’s stlying directions were so similiar that when the Taurus was later launched; Ford would be accused of copying the design of the 5000.” pp. 158-159.

            I again counter your wikipedia reference to the Audi 100 (of course it would say that because it was indeed a major influcence in the jellybean era along with the Taurus, but they are not going to mention the Taurus) to these lovely pictures of the Ford Probe III of 1981 (whch also appeared at the Frankfurt auto show); complete with flush glass:

            http://sa4.1-themes.com/ford-probe-iii.php

            While the “Salemen’s Spaceship” Ford Sierra did not have flush glass, the Probe III concept did. The following undated Taurus design drawings clearly show that the Probe III was initial design influence, and not the 100/5000:

            http://autosofinterest.com/2012/09/21/design-notes-1986-ford-taurus/4/

            Thornmark said:

            “Let’s face it, it’s the original that gets imitated, not what comes later. The Taurus is less significant as an automobile but rather in the fact that its sales success saved Ford when it was on the ropes.”

            Prior to the release of the Taurus BUT after the release of other less mainstream early aero cars like the Thunderbird/Cougar, Tempo/Topaz, and the 100/5000; Detriot was not willing to go full aero. They remembered what a bomb the Chrysler Airflow was, and no one was going to make that mistake again.

            When the Taurus/Sable surprised even some Ford insiders and was a huge hit, Chrysler and GM had no choice but to join the aero bandwagon. Both quickly slapped aero nose caps with composite headlights on their current offerings; and began working on truely aerodynamic offers for release around 1990. As these new offerings were released; the comments heard most often was “that looks like a Taurus”; not “that looks like an Audi.” And for all your jabbering about flush windows; it was the flush glass design of the Taurus/Sable that most later cars developed, and not the Audi design with the glass pinned to an inside frame that was actually flush with the exterior of the car.

            Yes, the Taurus/Sable had teething problems; but for a clean sheet Detriot design of the 1980s, it did very well, and went from strength to strength through 1995.

            I may be a fanboy, but your Detriot hate also clouds your preception. Like I said, the Audi 5000s is still one of my favorites; I actually perfer the design of the 5000s sedan over the Taurus sedan.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            >>As Schulte looked at the photo of the upcoming Audi 5000, a car that bore an unmistakable resemblance to the new Ford, he sensed some of the designers resented the fact tha a European manufacturer was thinking along the same cutting edge. yet they were also proud of their accomplishments, Schulte could see. The photographs of Audi and other competators were not road maps to follow, but signs that they had been going in the right direction all along.”<<

            The Audi came out years before the Ford. Years. The fact is the Audi was first by a mile. Some at Ford want people to believe they did it w/o the Audi influence. Some may buy it. Most aren't that naive. As time goes on the Taurus will continue to fade into the long shadow of the Audi.

            Even Taub concedes the Audi influence on the page noted. As does the World History Project.

            "The Taurus displayed a rounder shape than its contemporaries, often likened to a 'jelly bean' or 'flying potato', inspired by the design of the Audi 5000 and Ford's own Tempo."
            http://worldhistoryproject.org/1985/ford-taurus-is-first-produced

            My family had that 5000 and the windows were a marvel. I rented an original Taurus for Yellowstone travel and I remember its 4 cylinder was woeful and gas smell entered the car at times as did dust from the dirt roads though the inside door handles. It looked good, but it was more show than go.

          • 0 avatar
            jhefner

            “Even Taub concedes the Audi influence on the page noted. As does the World History Project.”

            STILL beating this dead horse to death, Thormark? Old loves and old hates die hard I guess; and using general sources to prove it (“Everything I know about cars I learned from Wikipedia and World History”.)

            If instead you would be the B&B, put on Sajeev’s head dress, and do a Vellum Venom comparing the two, you would realize that the wind tunnel influenced the design of the Taurus more than the Audi did. Without looking a pair of pictures; I can rattle off:

            * Diffeent flush glass design
            * Different greenhouse/window shapes
            * Plug vs clamshell doors
            * Grill vs no grill

            All of these are design cues that date back to the Tempo/Topaz (which the World History article mentioned, but not the Probe III; a major omission) and T-bird, which came out roughly at the same time as the Audi. (The Taurus was major redesign of the whole process starting with forming Team Taurus and not just a whole new car, so it took longer and also involved building the Atlanta Assembly plant.)

            Bothering to pull up a picture and actually compare the two; I can also rattle off the cowl area design, door handles, and antenna placement. But I know that is not enough to change your mind, so be it.

            “…and I remember its 4 cylinder”

            Well there was your problem man, the four cylinder was so slow that Ford discontinued it after a few years; the mountains would have made it worst. The 3.0L Vulcan was still no powerhouse, but it developed 140 HP compared to 100 PS, later 136 PS for the five cylinder in the Audi. If you wanted powah, you should have rented a Taurus SHO; or found a later model with the 3.0L Duratech engine in it.

            …”as did dust from the dirt roads though the inside door handles”

            Yeah, I have noticed warm or cold air coming from the door handles of mine; but at least the power windows have always worked; unlike most examples of your fine Audi.

            It’s been fun beating this horse with you. Take care.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        The problem with the 500/Taurus was they took the then current Passat and made the styling even more boring. It looked like the generic cars drawn in the DMV driver’s manual.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        That 2nd-Gen Taurus was the best-looking of the bunch, IMHO. The 1st-Gen was a little over-the-top, while you had toned-down aero stuff and a few more airbags beginning in 1992.

        However, wasn’t that the period of the incredible grenading AX4S transmission?

  • avatar
    threeer

    Speculation only at this point. I’d not buy one, as (hard as it is to define these days) I do my best to avoid items made in China. It most certainly is not easy, given the plethora of all goods made there. I see a small core of folks caring, however, if Ford does import the Taurus (or any other car, for that matter) from China. The rest of the buying public simply doesn’t care and then wonders why their neighbor is out of work. Look at the sales of the Buick Encore…something like 70% Korean and 20% Chinese content, yet “Buick!”

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    I would have guessed that, since the Impala sucks a lot less, people would switch to that, but its sales don’t look so great. There’s also a wild card: The MKZ is no longer a rolling failure and it’s within the price range once you put some features on the Taurus. The MKZ gives you the 3.7V6, and, it inherits the better interior packaging from the new Fusion that makes it feel about as big on the inside as the Taurus and a bit more nimble than the less-than-raging bull. MKZ has been on an upward trend in sales – not the whole difference, but the additional 10k/year sales came from somewhere, and it wasn’t Japanese or German luxury buyers.

  • avatar
    Sky_Render

    Why is the title image of a Ford Fusion?

  • avatar
    brn

    “about $5,000 less for roughly the same car”

    I cry foul! I cross shopped the 2013 Fusion and the 2013 Taurus. I bought the Taurus because I could get a lot more car (not just size wise) for the same money.

    I’m tired of vehicles being called “roughly the same”. This is stated by people that do nothing more than look at specs.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    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?

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      So I could own one.

      The Fusion is a great car. The Taurus is better.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        How is the Taurus better? It’s bigger (and hundreds of pounds heavier) outside, smaller inside, more expensive, and uglier. Its only advantage is the availability of the heavy-huffer 3.5 turbo V6.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          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.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      None of the large sedans are selling well; this has been well documented. The fact that the current Taurus is several years old now along with it’s cockpit interior design has not helped it do well against other large sedans.

  • avatar
    otaku

    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.

  • avatar
    Forty2

    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.

  • avatar
    drw1926

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      STS_Endeavour

      It was my understanding that the chicken tax only applied to trucks, while passenger cars get to be exempt. I’m not sure how it all works, but it’s how America was introduced to some delightful odd-balls like the Chevy Luv and the Ford Courier, as well as the Subaru Brat – with seats in the bed of the truck. The 10 year old in me still thinks that’s darn cool. It’s also why Ford eats $2500 for every utility Transit Connect they import from Turkey as they are all imported as passenger carriers, and converted to utility/cargo haulers once in North America. The chicken tax also keeps the ultra-cool Falcon Ute out of my garage. :(

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      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


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