In President and CEO Alan Mulally's first major product-related decision since taking over at Ford Motor Co. in October, the move to change the name of the Ford Five Hundred to Taurus comes after the company discontinued the Taurus last year, Forbes reports.
The original Taurus sold well for over a decade but then failed to stay competitive with Japanese competitors in the midsize sedan segment. As demand slid, Ford failed to cut production accordingly and produced a significant surplus of Tauruses.
The automaker offered heavy discounts to offset the softer demand, and also sold off many Tauruses to rental companies. But sales continued to diminish, and production finally ended in 2006. By the end of its life, 80 percent of all Ford Tauruses were in rental fleets, according to Forbes.
Ford has also upgraded the 2007 Five Hundred, soon to be Taurus, with a new facelift, a new engine and transmission to try to restore the Taurus to its once held position as America's best-selling car.