Not Yet Official: Ford Cancels The Taurus X
The Taurus X may be on life support, ready to be killed off by Ford this winter. This CUV has never been popular, a model crowded out in a field over run with competing models.
One vehicle that has never caught on is the Taurus X, the crossover version of the company's large sedan. Originally called the Freestyle, Ford made some changes to the car for the 2008 model year and gave it the Taurus designation in a bid to capitalize on that model's popularity. Unfortunately, the Taurus X has never caught on and Jalopnik and Edmunds are now reporting that the 2009 model year will be the last one for the crossover.
Ford had been planning to cut back on production of the Taurus X as well as the Taurus sedan, Mercury Sable, and the Lincoln MKS for several weeks over the next few months to bring production in line with demand. With sales off drastically compared to the previous year, the automaker wants to make sure that dealer supply is much more manageable. However, the Taurus X hasn't been a strong seller in part because Ford already sells several other competing models including the Edge and the Flex.
In many respects the Taurus X has been a good model for Ford, proving that the automaker can build a crossover that meets the demands of former minivan owners who need the passenger room (six or seven seats depending on configuration) while offering decent fuel economy and robust power. When the car received a face lift for 2008, Ford made its 3.5L Duratec V6 the standard engine, a workhorse that has received accolades from automotive engineers.
Yet, with two other crossovers to compete with as well as the smaller Ford Escape and larger Ford Explorer sport/utility model, Ford's line up has been stretched too wide. With the demise of the Taurus X, look for Ford to redirect buyers to its funky Ford Flex, a model that was introduced in Summer 2008.
Will Ford consider canceling other models? That is quite possible especially if sales continue to drop. With money being a huge issue, Ford may have no other choice, a slow death that can only be halted if and when sales eventually rebound.
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Matt Keegan is a freelance writer who resides in North Carolina, USA. Matt writes on a variety of topics including hangers and shackles as well as leaf spring bushings.