Ford Ends Taurus Production, Retires The Iconic Nameplate

Ford announced it has ceased manufacturing the Taurus sedan at its Chicago Assembly Plant, marking the end of U.S. production of the historic nameplate.

It’s not the first time Ford pulls the plug on the Taurus; the same thing happened in 2006, before the automaker revived it with an all-new car in 2008.

However, this is likely the last time we’ll hear of the Taurus as a mid-size sedan since sales have fallen abruptly in recent years. Thus, unless Ford decides to reinvent the Taurus into a crossover, or the passenger car market starts recovering at some point in the future, this is the last time we hear about it.

Over 34 years of near-continuous production, Ford has built more than 8 million Taurus sedans and wagons at its Chicago facility. Introduced at the 1985 Los Angeles Auto Show as a mid-size car, the Taurus was a major departure from its predecessor, the LTD.

It adopted front-wheel drive and sleek, Euro-inspired looks that made it both more attractive and fuel-efficient than its boxy rivals. The first-generation Taurus debuted with a 140-hp 3.0-liter V6 with multi-port fuel injection and added a 220-hp V6 in the high-performance Taurus SHO in 1989. By 1992, Taurus had become America’s best-selling passenger car and held on to that title until 1996.

Ford produced four generations from 1986 to 2006, and after a two-year hiatus revived the nameplate as a full-size sedan. The Taurus went on to achieve stock car racing fame as well. It entered NASCAR in 1998 and delivered many championships for numerous race teams and Ford Motor Company.

“Taurus broke new ground at its start and we’re thankful for its role in our portfolio. Those same kinds of innovations will continue for today’s customers with Ford Explorer and the rest of our lineup,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales, and service.

The executive’s statement obviously hints at Ford’s recently-announced $1 billion investment into the Chicago Assembly and Chicago Stamping plants for building the all-new Explorer and Police Interceptor Utility, as well as the Lincoln Aviator. Ford says these models “will continue the Taurus legacy of innovation.”

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  • Six_Tymes

    the most recent was surely a great car. I might shop for a used one in a year or two

    • TennJoe

      Was a lot of car for the money too. A great value. Check out CarMax.

  • ErnieB

    Not one good looking Taurus ever created.. happy it’s being retired.. hopefully it never comes back.. good riddance!

  • erly5

    The latest version was the only decent looking one. We’ll see how long it is before Ford decides it needs a large saloon again to complement its lacklustre range of SUVs.

  • Paul

    Hold on a moment while I shed a salutary tear. Next they’ll give the name a few seasons off and bring it out again as a crossover or SUV or something.

  • Craig

    Sad to see it go. But good for FCA. With the Taurus gone and the Impala disappearing – the Charger/300 are running out of competition. Hopefully FCA is smart enough to take full advantage of that fact.

    • TheBelltower

      The 300 remains a good looking and imposing car. FCA would be nuts to squander the demand for this type of RWD sedan.

  • TheBelltower

    It was a winning competitor when it was launched in the mid-80s. In ’86, the Taurus was the most futuristic sedan you could buy, followed shortly after by the Accord sedan. Then Ford went with the dopey oval design scheme in the 90s, and it was downhill from there. The latest Taurus was a phoned-in half hearted attempt that has been neglected and left rotting on the vine for at least five years.

    • Craig

      I absolutely agree. I remember when the ‘dopey oval’ designed Taurus was first introduced. I thought to myself, “Wow. They sure went out of their way to ruin that car!”

      • ksegg

        I still LOL whenever I see one of those in the wild. The fact that the “dopey oval’ design was actually a thing is amazing.

        • Craig

          The ‘dopey oval disease’ even spread to the dashboard. Frighteningly awful.

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      The latest Taurus was their best attempt hands down comparing the last two generations. They just never gave it a meaningful update.

  • Nelson LiCalsi

    Too bad, the only gripe against the Taurus is the internal timing chain driven water pump….what was Ford thinking

  • schnittz

    Taurus was alway POS

  • TennJoe

    Had a great run.RIP

  • dll1183

    In some way’s this car was a victim of it’s own success. The 2nd generation was a very conservative restyle of the first. The 3rd generation was a much wilder attempt to be a style leader and sold mostly on price. The 4th generation was a super conservative restyle that was intended to replace three different models (retail Crown Victorias, the Contour, and the prior Taurus) and was dumped onto fleet buyers. Once those fleet cars flooded the used market resale values plummeted, and this made selling the Taurus that much harder.

    Ford has repeated many of the same mistakes they made in the 90’s and 2000’s. They didn’t invest in car models in favor of trucks and SUV/crossovers, and let models like the most recent Taurus, Fiesta, and Focus wither on the vine.

    If fuel prices increase suddenly, or people’s tastes change, Ford will be in an extremely awkward position.

  • Althea Later

    It wasn’t “revived” with an “all new” car in 2008. All they did was take the 500 decal off the 500 and stick the taurus decal on it to see if it would help sell any better. And… nope, it didn’t.

  • no25

    I’ll never forget when they “replaced” it with the 500. Then facelifted the 500 and gave it a Taurus badge. Then they made the Freestyle the Taurus X.

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