Ford: Bolder Moves Required

By Michelle Krebs February 8, 2007

Markfieldsfordtaurus

Let’s hope Ford’s new CEO Alan Mulally has bolder moves up his sleeve than just the renaming of a few cars.

Ford announced this week at the Chicago Auto Show that it would re-name the Ford Five Hundred and Freestyle and the Mercury Montego. Their names change to the Taurus, Taurus X and Sable, respectively, with the introduction of the 2008 versions. Reviews were mixed on the move (see yesterday’s post).

Ford’s President of the Americas, in his keynote speech to open the show, vowed Ford’s “Bold Moves” advertising tagline is more than a tagline. It's the company's guiding light.

Prove it. Bring it on. Let’s see some bold, smart moves – something more than changing the names on some cars.

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Dan says: 1:29 PM, 02.08.07

And "Bold Moves" isn't even much of a tagline. And how about those Edge commercials? You know, the ones where an Edge is balanced on... an edge. Boy the creative juices sure are a-flowing over there.

C'mon guys. My first and second cars were Fords. And I've got a '57 Del Rio in my garage. Make me really want another one!

Sylvia says: 7:33 PM, 02.08.07

There's plenty of mixed reaction about this move. Bringing back the name is one thing but bringing back the sense of excitement and revolutionary move that Taurus had the first time around will be difficult for Ford to do.

What happened to the Ford Fairlane they were going to bring back?

Michelle says: 11:21 AM, 02.09.07

I think Ford should get out of the sedan market and focus on their current bestsellers. They need to innovate the Mustang in advance of the Dodge Challenger and the Chevrolet Camaro coming on the scene, and they need to keep their trucks competitive against the Japanese. I think they could gain some real market share in the crossover space if they don't try to keep it safe -- that is where the boldest moves need to be made.

Michal says: 5:20 PM, 02.09.07

I was just recently in the market for a new compact SUV. I wanted to keep and open mind and looked at domestic and import brands: Honda CRV and Element, Mitsubishi Outlander, Saturn Vue, Ford Escape and Ford Edge but ultimately settled on a Toyota RAV4. I think quality and perception have come a long way for brands like Ford and Chevy, but in order for them to earn my buck in the future, they will need to continue to improve their fuel efficiency and value.

Rich says: 7:26 AM, 02.11.07

I agree that this one move on the part of Ford is not bold. But it represents two key events; one is that Ford will not be re-branding every other year, which is a good thing, and two it represents action on the part of Alan Mulally, the new Ford CEO. This is good news from an organization point of view and promises that further moves are ahead. I do agree with Sylvia's comment above that this move from a product stand point is nearer to warm milk than the bold inventive product leadership that Ford exhibited in the 80's.

HKT says: 6:14 PM, 02.12.07

This could be something good for Ford. It brings the Taurus name back and brings at least some attention to the sedan. It also sets Ford up nicely for the redesign, whenever that comes about. Though for ford it needs to be as "BOLD" and inovative as the original. The name change will make people talk but the design will move the iron.

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