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Changing Five Hundred's name to Taurus doesn't boost sales

Amy Wilson

Automotive News | October 8, 2007 - 12:01 am EST

September sales of the 2008 Ford Taurus, above, are 30 percent below sales of the Five Hundred in September 2006.

DETROIT — Bringing back the Taurus name hasn't translated into a sales boom for Ford Motor Co.'s large sedan formerly known as the Ford Five Hundred.

In fact, the 2008 Taurus has gotten off to a slow start since going on sale in June. Combined September sales of 4,230 units of the new Taurus and the old Five Hundred are 30.1 percent below sales of the Five Hundred in 2006. Combined sales were down 3.2 percent in August.

“We're not where we want to be,” Ford sales analyst George Pipas said. “But the retail sales trend is in a positive direction, and that's good.”

It's not an inventory issue — the 2008 Taurus is widely available, Pipas said. Instead, he attributed the year-over-year decline to several factors:

A tough comparison against September 2006 sales that were fueled by a blowout clearance sale advertising 0 percent financing for 72 months. By contrast, with inventories in better shape this year, the 2008 Taurus carried financing of 5.9 percent for 60 months in September.


“I assure you, if we put 0 percent for 72 months on it, it would stack up to the Five Hundred sales last year,” Pipas said.

For October, Ford added $500 to the $1,000 cash incentive already available on the Taurus.

A midlaunch advertising hiatus. Taurus ads were halted for about four weeks before resuming on Labor Day.


Ford marketers feared the ads would get lost in the 2007 clearance sales frenzy.

A sluggish full-sized-sedan market. That segment is “very weak” this year, Pipas said, with many competitors “loading up on fleet to beat the band.” Retail sales in the segment are soft as buyers downsize into smaller cars.

But Pipas said retail sales for the 2008 Taurus appear to be on the upswing. He said a good performance would be the sale of 60,000 Tauruses to retail customers during the car's first full year.






Source: www.autonews.com
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I now understand why Ford execs probably ignore stuff like this.
They engineered over 500 improvements to the Taurus and TaurusX, not including the name change itself, and created what is arguably the best and safest family sedan value on the market with this extensive re-freshening - and ignorant pseudo-journalists with a deadline produce headlines like this.

How dull.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
...are you saying this is factually incorreect?
 

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...are you saying this is factually incorreect?
Considering that (i) as per the article 2008 Taurus sales are "in the upswing" and (ii) that Ford is drastically reducing its fleet sales. I would say that the Headline (which is what wignsnut is complaining) about is factually incorrect.

Unless by upswing they mean that sales are decreasing or something.
 

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...are you saying this is factually incorreect?

Not at all, I completely agree that if the 2007 model had incentives and 0% financing like the compared 2006 model, then it would match it. Ford knew this and is refraining from the usual temptations of fleet and high incentives to boost sales. That may change in time, but they are about to slam the airwaves with a multi-media and print assault in advertising, which is something else the 500 never had either.

One other thing that is affecting sales that nobody seems to notice, is the huge success of the new Edge. I realize that they are car-vs-CUV sales, but someone like me, who is considering both for future purchase has to make that decisison. The Edge is so different and cool that it is certainly stealing sales in the showroom. Just look at the sales of it.
 

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Not at all, I completely agree that if the 2007 model had incentives and 0% financing like the compared 2006 model, then it would match it. Ford knew this and is refraining from the usual temptations of fleet and high incentives to boost sales. That may change in time, but they are about to slam the airwaves with a multi-media and print assault in advertising, which is something else the 500 never had either.

One other thing that is affecting sales that nobody seems to notice, is the huge success of the new Edge. I realize that they are car-vs-CUV sales, but someone like me, who is considering both for future purchase has to make that decisison. The Edge is so different and cool that it is certainly stealing sales in the showroom. Just look at the sales of it.

I got to tell you but atleast Ford is making sure that people learn about the new sable because I have seen a lot of commercial on the sable and Mercury in the past 2 weeks
 

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I couldn't find a review of the new Taurus/Sable in MT, C&D or Automobile...that might be aiding it's invisibility, slow sales.
 

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I couldn't find a review of the new Taurus/Sable in MT, C&D or Automobile...that might be aiding it's invisibility, slow sales.

I believe that they've all had reviews. Let me see if I can get you some links.

Car & Driver: http://www.caranddriver.com/shortroadtests/13669/tested-2008-ford-taurus-limited.html?al=157

I can't get a link but Motortrend DID review the Taurus.

I can't find anything from Automobile, though the Taurus doesn't really sound like a car they'd be interested in.

Really, I think they'd be better off advertising in non-car magazines and newspapers. Generally only car enthusiasts read car mags. Not that a car enthusiast wouldn't consider a Taurus, but that's not going to be it's target market.

Though I haven't seen many ads for the car.
 

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Thanks for the link. I wanted to compare the specs of the bench marks:Avalon and Maxima.

Qtr mile: While at 15.5 the Taurus/Sable isn't slow, the 14.6 Avalon is quick. I know, it's a family car...but "dad" may be a latent racer.
 

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Thanks for the link. I wanted to compare the specs of the bench marks:Avalon and Maxima.

Qtr mile: While at 15.5 the Taurus/Sable isn't slow, the 14.6 Avalon is quick. I know, it's a family car...but "dad" may be a latent racer.

The Avalon is slightly less torque and slightly more HP, hundreds of pounds less and thousands of dollars more.

Lots of ways to compare and prioritize I guess. The added weight of the Taurus obviously adds to the 1/4 mile deficit, but also adds to it's better safety rating.

For a family car, I know where my priorities would be.
 

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Alot of automakers are making adjustments to keep track of inventory and too many cars of the same model. Chevy has temp. reduced production of the 08' Impala to make way for the new Malibu, it just so happens that I see tons of Taurus' and i think in time people will realize what a good makeover this was.
 
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