Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

Ford Plans an SUV-Like Tall Sedan; Taurus to Play a Reduced Role

March 28, 2002

At the New York auto show March 28, Ford Motor Co. is expected to bid a partial farewell to the Taurus, once America's best-selling family car, by confirming plans for a new type of sedan, according to a Wall Street Journal story by Norihiko Shirouzu.Ford is betting that the new vehicle, called the Ford Five Hundred, will largely replace the Taurus, according to dealers familiar with the move. Ford won't say what will happen to the Taurus, which hasn't had a major redesign since the mid-1990s, after the production of the current model ends. But the same dealers said Ford's plans call for the No. 2 automaker to relegate the Taurus primarily to rental and commercial fleets, according to the Wall Street Journal.The Five Hundred is a "tall sedan," part of an growing class of vehicles that have the commanding seating position and roomier interior of a sport utility vehicle. It is one of two new vehicles Ford hopes will sell in large volumes to become America's new family vehicles.Ford will overhaul a plant in Chicago that currently assembles the Taurus to start building both the Ford Five Hundred and a car-SUV hybrid called the CrossTrainer there, while keeping a second plant, near Atlanta, to produce the Taurus, according to the Journal.
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