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.”