Jalopnik reported that Ford Motor Company intends on ceasing production of two models as of Spring 2009. First up?
Ford Taurus X
Known to us first as the Freestyle in 2004, the Taurus X was Ford’s first attempt at a crossover. Critics praised the Taurus X for its packaging and handsome looks. The general consensus was that the car made a lot more sense to typical suburban families than the Explorer. On the negative side, the Freestyle was saddled with an underpowered V-6 engine and an unimpressive CVT transmission.Ã‚Â
Ford eventually wised up, and changed the name to Taurus X, hoping for some old name recognition magic to boost sales. The real improvements came in the form of a more powerful engine, and a conventional automatic transmission. Nonetheless, the buying public still was not impressed, with little sales growth to show for the improved car.Ã‚Â
With the introduction of the Edge, and the hip new Flex, Ford had a total of three crossovers for sale. The role of the Taurus X had become even more confusing, so its loss is hardly a shock.
The Sable, as we know it, first bowed as the Montego in 2004. Engine and chassis are shared with the Taurus and Taurus X (Mercury never offered a crossover version). Mercury had hoped to win back old Sable fans with the name change, but sales of the large sedan never took off.Ã‚Â
The demise of the Sable has pros and cons. Apart from different styling cues front and rear, and a slightly more upscale interior, nothing separates this car from the more popular Taurus. It goes without saying it costs FoMoCo good money to sell a different version of the same car. I doubt many will weep at the loss of the Sable. But the loss of this car leaves Mercury with an even thinner product portfolio than before.Ã‚Â
The press has been writing Mercury’s obituary for well over a decade, yet Ford insists that discontinuing the brand is not in the cards. With no unique car of its own (as they have had in the past), it is difficult to make a case for the continued existence of Mercury. The elimination of the Sable forces us again to ask why this brand is still here.