As the last Ford Taurus rolls off the assembly line in Chicago, the Chevrolet Cruze is also bid a tearful farewell in Ohio.
It was a sad goodbye for Ford as the oldest carmaker in America ended production of one of the longest-selling vehicles of all time, the Ford Taurus. Introduced at the 1985 Los Angeles Auto Show as a smooth, rounded sedan in an era where almost every car was shaped like a box, the Taurus is remembered fondly by both Ford and Ford drivers.
Since its introduction, 8 million Tauruses have rolled off the assembly line at Ford’s plant in Chicago having been produced nearly continuously for 34 years (there was a brief break in 2006, but Ford started things up again in 2008). The Taurus began life with a 3.0-L V6 with just 140 hp, but by the current model year, you could get a Taurus with a 3.5-L V6 with either 263 horses or 365 hp from the top-of-the-line SHO trim.
In 1992, the Taurus was Ford’s best-selling automobile. Then the global SUV apocalypse struck and car sales started declining around the world. They bounced back up again during the global recession of the late 2000s, but have once again tanked as gas remains cheap.
So cheap, in fact, that Ford has bet that nobody will ever want to buy a regular car again. Last Spring, the Blue Oval announced they’d eliminate their entire car fleet in favor of trucks, SUVs, and Mustangs by 2020, replacing 75% of their entire vehicle lineup. We’ve already got the Ford Ranger last January, and expect to receive the all-new Bronco and baby Bronco sometime later this year.
An all-electric crossover based on the Mustang is also waiting in the winds.
While Ford closed down the Taurus, Chevrolet also ceased producing their Cruze econocar. According to WKBN (via Motor1), workers at GM’s Lordstown, Ohio plant wrote inspiring quotes such as "the future is uncertain but the end is always near - Jim Morrison" on the last Cruze’s unfinished body.
The last Cruze is expected to be completed on Wednesday with production to shut down entirely by next Friday. No other vehicle has come forward to replace the Cruze at this time.