The REAL Truth of Ford Taurus, once America’s best-selling car in 2023 | Rise & Fall of Ford Taurus


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# The Rise and Fall of the Ford Taurus

## The Rise of Japanese Automobile Manufacturing
For nearly all of the 20th century, automobiles were the domain of American manufacturers, and Ford was the gold standard of American manufacturers. The iconic Model-T hit markets in 1908 and immediately became a best-seller. By 1921 its market share was 61%. In 2020, the best-selling manufacturer, General Motors, had 17% share. The leadership position ultimately changed hands but stayed in the American market: the likes of Chevrolet and Oldsmobile jockeyed for US leadership. Things began to change in the 1980s with the ascendance of Japanese manufacturers. Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda, became an existential threat to the traditional champions.

## The Rise of the Ford Taurus
United States manufacturers were slow to respond to the rise of Japan, especially Ford. Ford had practically invented modern manufacturing with the Model-T and its assembly line production techniques. Now, half a century later, it was left behind as manufacturing technology moved ahead. Between 1979 and 1982, Ford incurred $3 billion in losses as it struggled to keep up. Ford knew it had to compete with the new Japanese cars, and it laid out an ambitious plan to do so. Who better to lead this plan than W. Edwards Deming? The very same Deming who introduced quality-control techniques to Japanese companies was recruited to introduce those techniques to Ford. Around Deming’s teachings Ford created a special team that eventually created the Ford Taurus. The Taurus marked a complete change of control at Ford rooted in Deming’s teachings, which the company called Total Quality Management. Ford’s new motto became « Quality is number 1. »

## The Ford Taurus Golden Age
The Taurus was a hit. It sold over 200,000 units in its debut year and sold 1,000,000 by 1989. But Ford wasn’t done yet. It released the second generation of Taurus in 1992. The redesign was extensive but well-received. The now-iconic style of the Taurus, the famous jellybean body, was little changed. Again it was the manufacturing excellence that pushed the car forward. The Taurus SHO was a highly rated variation that was available with a V6 engine designed by Yamaha. There was a passenger airbag, a first for a non-luxury car, slimmer headlights, a two-tone paint job, a new dashboard, and much more. From 1992-1996 the Taurus was the best-selling car in America. The Taurus even had a presence in NASCAR, winning the championship in 1998.

## The Fall of the Ford Taurus
In 1996 the third generation of the Taurus was released. This time, the styling changes were significant and not as well received. The exterior was more…


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