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Goodbye to the Ford Taurus [10/26/2006]
Goodbye to the Ford Taurus

DEARBORN, Mich. (UPI) -- The last Ford Taurus rolls off the assembly line this week, the end for a U.S. vehicle that once sold more than 400,000 per year.

Ford Motor Co. said the last Taurus will be built Wednesday or Thursday as sales have fallen to less than 150,000, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Taurus, and its cousin Mercury Sable, had their retail debut the day after Christmas 1985 as replacement's for the Ford LTD II and Mercury Marquis.

"At the time, the midsize car market was almost all domestic and dominated by GM," noted Joel Pitcoff, marketing plans manager for Taurus and Sable at the time and now retired.

By 1992 the Taurus had become the best-selling passenger car in the United States, selling 409,751 units and beating even the mighty Honda Accord.

What many do not known, however, is that Ford spent up to $50 million on incentives in 1992 to lure buyers into showrooms.

The closest thing Ford has to the Taurus today is the Five Hundred, which looks promising but is early in its life cycle.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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