Once upon a time, in a land where crossovers weren’t a thing, the Ford Taurus was a big deal. It debuted back in 1986 and even has a performance variant, the Ford Taurus SHO, which was a pretty hot car in its day. Thirty years later, and the Taurus might not be long for this world with the seventh generation of the car only seeing daylight in China.
Thirty years is a long run, but the automotive landscape has evolved into one that doesn’t look to have a place for the Taurus. It was even briefly discontinued in 2008 only to be saved by CEO Alan Mulally. The evidence of its unpopularity today is in the car’s recent sales numbers which were down 28% through July.
Adding to its woes the fact that the seventh generation won’t even be sold in North America. Instead, the version of the sedan that was introduced in 2010 and had a facelift in 2012 will continue to be what sits on dealer lots. Some speculate that it’s going to disappear from North America altogether, replaced by existing Ford and Lincoln models.
These days, a large number of Tauruses end up as police cars with about 20% ending up in police fleets. That helps keep the Taurus going, but the Police Interceptor Utility which is based on the Explorer is much more popular. Even as a police car, the Taurus isn’t the preferred choice any longer.
The success of other Ford vehicles, notably the Fusion, has pushed the Taurus further into the background. The Fusion is more updated, looks better, and has more passenger room than the Taurus. The only edge the Taurus has is more trunk room which will cost you an extra $5K over the Fusion.
According to Automotive News, Ford sold more Fusions in just the month of July than it has sold Tauruses in all of 2015 if you don’t count police cars. Current trends put the Taurus at 45,000 units by year end including police cars. This will be an all-time low and a paltry number compated to the 290,000 Fusions expected to sell.
Yet another nail in the Taurus’s coffin could come from the Lincoln Continental which is set to make its grand return next year. This full-size luxury sedan is getting lots of buzz with fantastic styling and crazy features like 30-way adjustable seats.
Ford hasn’t said what their plans are for the Taurus, but that it is still an important part of their portfolio in North America. The lack of an update, sliding sales, and competition from within the Ford brand don’t point to a rosy future for the Taurus.