In a sign of the times, the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] chose to unveil its new Taurus in China where large sedans still rule. With SUVs now the most popular bodystyle in the United States, the move makes sense despite the Taurus nameplate still resonating strongly with many Americas. However, might we not see the new Taurus on these shores at all?
Following April’s reveal of the new Taurus, it was thought that a version for the U.S. would be revealed in time for the 2016 model year. However, Ford remains silent on the full-size sedan’s prospects here. Worse still, the automaker is close to launching an updated version of its mid-size Fusion, a car that comes close to rivaling the current Taurus in interior space and has been stealing plenty of sales from its big brother. Ford is on pace to sell 290,000 Fusions this year compared to just 45,000 Tauruses, of which roughly 20 percent are to police fleets.
Automotive News (subscription required), citing industry analysts, reports that Ford may end U.S. production of the Taurus altogether and simply import the small volume it needs from China where the new model is already in production. There is also the chance that the Taurus may be dropped from Ford’s U.S. lineup altogether, leaving the full-size sedan segment to a new Lincoln Continental. The two cars share a platform and Ford may not want to tarnish the image of its new Continental by offering a cheaper alternative.
Recall that Ford previously dropped the Taurus nameplate back in 2006, only to bring it back a year later when Alan Mulally took over the reins at the automaker. With Mulally out, could the Taurus be on its way out again, at least in these parts?
In a statement, Ford spokesman Said Deep said the Taurus “continues to play an important role” in Ford’s North American lineup.
We’ll bring you an update as soon as we know more.