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Ford to Reduce Chicago Taurus Plant to One Shift

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker, is cutting a Chicago vehicle-assembly plant to one shift from two as sales keep sliding for cars made there.

The move takes effect Nov. 3, spokeswoman Angie Kozleski said today. While Ford hasn't determined how many jobs will be eliminated, the first to be affected will be about 600 temporary workers from a production workforce of 2,100, she said.

The factory builds the new Lincoln MKS sedan as well as the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans and Taurus X crossover wagon. Taurus sales dropped 16 percent this year through August, the Taurus X was down 32 percent and the Sable 13 percent.

The Taurus ``is wrapped in some milquetoast styling,'' said Ed Kim, director of industry analysis at consulting firm AutoPacific Inc. in Tustin, California. ``The car was always at a disadvantage with its competitors.''

The Chicago reductions are part of a 30 percent cutback in second-half North American output announced this week, when Ford reported a 27 percent plunge in August sales. The new production targets mostly involve large pickups and sport-utility vehicles being rejected by consumers amid record gasoline prices.

The current Taurus was called the Five Hundred when introduced in 2004. It has never met sales targets. The Five Hundred moniker was dropped last year as Dearborn, Michigan- based Ford resurrected the name of the best-selling car in the U.S. from 1992 through 1996.

Redesigned Taurus

Ford is bringing out a redesigned Taurus next year. Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said in January that the company's plans for new models were ``very exciting, especially the Taurus,'' without elaborating.

More doubts surround the future of the Sable and Taurus X, which were also introduced in 2004.

Sable is the Mercury-brand version of the Taurus, a midsize car. Mercury is going to become part of the automaker's strategy for selling more small cars, Ford said in July. Meanwhile, the Taurus X may be replaced as part of the automaker's plan for a redesigned, car-based Explorer SUV.

``I'm 99 percent sure that's what's happening,'' AutoPacific's Kim said.

Ford hasn't said where the new Explorer will be built. The Louisville, Kentucky, plant that produces the current truck- based Explorer is being converted to make small cars starting in 2011.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aiFWL0XA0zbM
 

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I doubt any of this has to do with retooling or anything to get the 2010 Taurus ready for prime time?
Wow, four vehicles (OK one new vehicle, two rebadges, and a wagon) and only one shift's worth of demand is needed. Sad.
 

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I just hope that when Superman production starts it can get some volume back to the chicago plant
 

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I just hope that when Superman production starts it can get some volume back to the chicago plant
I'm still hoping when Superman production starts, there's STILL 4 vehicles...
...and TWO of them are Mercurys ;)


ps 1931Chevy, you were "paged" a little while ago...
 

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^hey 2b2 my college its starting to consume all my free time with a lot of exams this days :D b
 

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Retooling does not take 12 months. There is not enough demand for Ford's large FWD cars, simply. And I don't think there will be much for the rather anodyne "Superman" - it's not ugly, which is a feat compared to the current gen, but not a compelling reason to get one :/
 

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The Taurus ``is wrapped in some milquetoast styling,'' said Ed Kim, director of industry analysis at consulting firm AutoPacific Inc. in Tustin, California. ``The car was always at a disadvantage with its competitors.''
As opposed to...the dumpy, droopy Avalon? The equally milquetoast Impala? the completely anonymous Azera? The only competitor NOT guilty of this is the Charger/300, and (IMHO at least) those designs are not aging particularly well.
 

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It's a little disappointing that Ford can't sell these vehicles...the 4 of them are excellent vehicles that seem to be great in every category and are priced right but Taurus/Sable styling is just too plain I guess (NOT ugly)
 

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Actually, if you would look at the entire large car segment............. every vehicle is down alot.

Even the Impala is down. I guess the rental car companies don't need as many this year, since less people are traveling.

Wasn't there even talk of Toyota cancelling the Avalon???

Anyway, I am anxious to see the new Taurus. I find the current one to be a great vehicle, but the styling is nothing special (not bad, just not really me). I really like a large car, and with AWD available, and FE that is almost the same as the Fusion, it really is a compelling vehicle.
 

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"The Taurus ``is wrapped in some milquetoast styling,'' said Ed Kim, director of industry analysis at consulting firm AutoPacific Inc. in Tustin, California. ``The car was always at a disadvantage with its competitors.'' "
:confused:

And its competitors are Baked Alaska by comparison? PUL-EEEZZE! :rolleyes:

It's a little disappointing that Ford can't sell these vehicles...the 4 of them are excellent vehicles that seem to be great in every category and are priced right but Taurus/Sable styling is just too plain I guess (NOT ugly)
I agree re: being excellent vehicles.
Yet I haven't seen any significant advertising for the Taurus/Sable on the tube or in the paper in recent memory.

Like GM (and most advertisers, for that matter), the billion-plus FoMoCo ad budget is sloshed away mostly on foolish or forgettable folderol, as a slipping transmission sucks up all the potential forward motion of a healthy engine.

Ford might want to copycat one of IMO GM's smarter efforts in getting well-known radio peoples like el Rushbo, Glenn Beck Glenn Beck, etc. to drive and talk.
AND do it on NPR, too. Maybe they could put superhero Mikhael Mooron in the trunk to illustrate its carrying capacity.
And the Focus? I never hear boo about the Focus.

Ford needs advert focus.

Most ad budgets, to paraphrase Walter Williams about taxes, would be better spent tossed in the fireplace dollar bill by dollar bill to heat the house, rather than spent in futility as they now are.

As opposed to...the dumpy, droopy Avalon? The equally milquetoast Impala? the completely anonymous Azera? The only competitor NOT guilty of this is the Charger/300, and (IMHO at least) those designs are not aging particularly well.
Yes, I agree that the only styling standouts are the Mopar Intrepid-class replacements.
While it goes against the flow, IMO Chrysler would have been better served updating the Intrepid/Concorde and developing them parallel to the large-car Charger/300 than to introduce and waste zillions on the floundering Sebring.


Actually, if you would look at the entire large car segment............. every vehicle is down alot.

Even the Impala is down. I guess the rental car companies don't need as many this year, since less people are traveling.

Wasn't there even talk of Toyota cancelling the Avalon???

Anyway, I am anxious to see the new Taurus. I find the current one to be a great vehicle, but the styling is nothing special (not bad, just not really me). I really like a large car, and with AWD available, and FE that is almost the same as the Fusion, it really is a compelling vehicle.
There is no better space bang-for-the-buck in its class than the Taurus/Sable.
Hire some NBA team, or better yet (and way cheaper too) a bunch of unknown 6' 8" basketball players from Sarah's college, to illustrate the interior room of the Tauble. You're tagging onto some tremendous free publicity that is following the VP-nominee around, and making a point at the same time, in a (hopefully) memorable manner. Isn't that smart advertising spending?
Ford needs to do something to bring attention to these neglected children. :yup:
 

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^ I think Ford or Mullaly have decided not to spend not much on the current ones because the new Taurus its just 8 months away from starting production
 

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Actually, if you would look at the entire large car segment............. every vehicle is down alot.
:yup: I think what is going on is that mid-sizers keep getting bigger and bigger and are eating up the demand for larger cars. The new Accord is even categorized as 'large' by the government.

The Taurus is perceptually a very big car, especially because of the height. I wonder if buyers are scared away thinking "too much car for me". The superman styling can only help if it makes the car look smaller and sportier (even if it actually isn't).
 

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That's the point - nobody needs THAT much of car anymore. At least sedan. Same thing happened in Europe somethime ago, with non-premium executives dying out, and large family cars growing in size. People with the means to foot the gas bill would rather have a crossover instead anyway.
 

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The Taurus/500 is a perfect example of a great car wrapped in a bland package.

I blame the styling of the car for 100% of it's lack of popularity. It came out looking bland as the Five Hundred, now it looks cheap as the Taurus.
 

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^ Imho they (500/Taurus,Freestyle/Taurus-X,monSABLEtego) aren't bland as much as too subtle for "popular tastes" - the proportions are all excellent imho MUCH better than the camvaloncordians
That's the point - nobody needs THAT much of car anymore. At least sedan. Same thing happened in Europe somethime ago, with non-premium executives dying out, and large family cars growing in size. People with the means to foot the gas bill would rather have a crossover instead anyway.
^that^ is exactly why I'd prefer that the Superman be a Mercury
so with the exception of a the nextgen unibodied Explorer, the D3 platform would be a Lincoln-Mercury exclusive.
(think Not doing a tauter 'D' along with a not-much-larger E386 was a mistake - esp. since now the longer wlb D4-Flex is in production... ...although
maybe even this could work in Ford's favor, facilitating the GRwdP being smaller & lighter than it may have turned out otherwise)
It'll be interesting to see how D3 segues to the Global Rwd platform (Or splits into EUCD2 + the GRwdP) & what happens to the Chicago plant.
 
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