Ford to Roll Out New Taurus

By: Zeke Gervis


Ford Motor Co., maker of top of the line , is set to tout its new Taurus as the "safest full-size car in America" with a new advertising campaign that debuts Monday.

In order to re-establish the once-valuable Taurus nameplate, the Dearborn automaker will launch a nationwide promotion that will use online, television, radio and print ads to target young families and the millions of previous Taurus owners, according to Cisco Codina, Ford's group vice president, North America marketing, sales and service.

Set to hit dealerships this coming summer, the new Taurus -- which is replacing the Ford Five Hundred during the middle of that car's first production cycle - will have a big advertising campaign that will launch in stages, first in print and on television on Monday, and in a span of 10 days to online and radio.

But, make no mistake. The new Taurus is not merely a Five Hundred by another name. It will have a new front end and a new powertrain: a 263-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 with a six-speed automatic transmission. Ford has reportedly made more than 500 changes to the vehicle, addressing many of the perceived shortcomings of the Five Hundred. Highlights include new exterior styling, a new powertrain, a new all-wheel-drive system, more standard safety features - including standard electronic stability control - and structural upgrades to further enhance crash protection.

Ford Sync will also be available, offering new levels of connection, control, simplicity and personalization for electronic devices such as cell phones and MP3 players.

There wouldn't be any mention of the rebirth of Taurus in the ads however. Ford ended production of the legendary nameplate in October when it closed the Atlanta assembly plant. In February, under the leadership of new CEO Alan Mulally, the automaker announced that it would be resurrecting the Taurus name, as well as renaming the Ford Freestyle crossover the Taurus X and the Mercury Montego, the Five Hundred's sister car, the Mercury Sable.

Recent endorsements from J.D. Power and Associates and Consumer Reports, as well as top safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, have boosted the Ford and Taurus campaign.
People should expect a sophisticated touch to the campaign, said Barry Engle, general manager of the car company's marketing division.

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