While Ford CEO Alan Mulally tries to convince the government to provide much-needed bridge loans to the Detroit Three, the much-expected death sentence for the Ford Taurus X and Mercury Sable has finally been handed down. Automotive News is reporting that the final Taurus X will roll off the assembly line in March and the last Sable at the end of April, citing a conversation with Ford spokesman Mark Schirmer.

The two vehicles share their underpinnings with the Ford Taurus, which is due to receive a redesign for 2010 but, according to Schirmer, the Blue Oval can no longer afford to have the extra nameplates. The Taurus X started life out as the Ford Freestyle and the Sable was known as the Montego before Mulally brought back the Taurus and Sable nameplates early on in his tenure. The name change, however, failed to generate an improvement in sales and neither has fared well in the current market.

By discontinuing these two vehicles, Ford is removing two nameplates that have largely been considered to be surplus, but is there more fat that should -- if anything -- go next? Perhaps the geriatric Panther triplets of the Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, and Town Car? Maybe Ford can shrink its SUV lineup some more by axing either the one mighty Explorer or its Mercury Mountaineer clone?


Source: Automotive News (subscription required)