DETROIT (Dec. 5, 2008) — The Ford Taurus X crossover and Mercury Sable sedan will die early next year.
Ford Motor Co. has notified dealers to prepare their final orders for the two vehicles before production ends in the spring.
Ford spokesman Mark Schirmer told Automotive News, a sister publication of Rubber & Plastics News that Ford will assemble the final Taurus X in March. The final Sable will roll off the assembly line at the end of April.
"Basically, it's the last call at the bar," Schirmer said.
Automotive News had reported that the two vehicles were expected to be discontinued, based on information from suppliers and industry product analysts. But Ford had not confirmed the decision until now.
Both vehicles are assembled at Ford's Chicago assembly plant. The Taurus X is the former Freestyle, introduced in 2004. It was renamed in 2007. The Sable is the former Mercury Montego, also introduced in 2004 and renamed in 2007.
CEO Alan Mulally had advocated the revival of the storied Taurus and Sable names after the original vehicle line was dropped in 2006.
The two nameplates will end as a next-generation Taurus sedan will be launched next year. As Ford restructures to lower sales levels, it can no longer support as many nameplates, Schirmer said.
The 2010 Taurus will go into production in the spring and be on sale by the end of June, Schirmer said. It is expected to be unveiled at the Detroit auto show next month.
The dying vehicles haven't been big sellers. U.S. sales of the Taurus X were 22,141 through November, down 40.7 percent. Sable sales were 15,586 for the same period, down 20.7 percent.
"It's sad to see it go because it's a great car," said Jack Straub, a Lincoln-Mercury dealer in Keyport, N.J., said of the current-generation Sable. "It's a great car nobody ever knew about."