Taurus Is No Five Hundred

Ford's decision to bring back the Taurus and Sable names is ill advised. While the Taurus may have been a big seller, a large percentage of its sales was to fleets, which eventually flooded the consumer used car market and killed resale values.

To many, the Taurus name conjures up images of an entry-level American sedan of dubious quality, although one cannot deny that huge improvements in quality were made on the last model. But to denigrate the Five Hundred and Mercury Montego with these monikers is a terrible decision.

Having previously worked on the electrical system for the Five Hundred and Montego while in development, I have always been amazed at the significant advances made over the Taurus model and the level of refinement achieved. There is no comparing the Taurus to the Five Hundred, and to change the name now may deter many potential buyers from considering the vehicle on name alone. I could convince the wife to buy a Five Hundred but not a Taurus.
Matt Kievit
Mattawan, MI

Time to Fight Copycats

As an owner of a tool and die shop in Michigan that primarily builds tooling for the auto industry, I really enjoyed your articles about intellectual property violations ( see WAW — March '07, p.38).

What I find amusing are the Big Three auto makers complaining about a situation they have created. What did they think would happen when they sent our work overseas and trained people there how to do it? How can our government and auto industry let the problem get to this level in the first place?

I realize copycatting is unethical, but what is ethical about putting Americans out of work for the economic gain of a few individuals? Most of this could be avoided simply by not purchasing the copycat items or by putting a heavy tariff on the goods coming from China.

We have to at least level the playing field or this problem will just get worse. I am very fearful that we do not have any politicians or big business that are capable of fixing the issue.
Mike Alderink
Grand Rapids, MI

More Research Needed

You may ask John McElroy to perform a little more research before writing his next column. In his “Japan Isn't Closed” piece ( see WAW — March '07, p.15), he said “the only U.S.-based GM, Ford or Chrysler plant that I am aware of that builds right-hand-steer vehicles is the Jeep Liberty plant in Toledo, OH.”

He should have easily been able to find out that in addition to the Jeep Liberty plant, there are at least two more plants. The General Motors Lansing, MI, Grand River Plant (Cadillac CTS and STS) and the DCX Belvidere, IL, plant (Dodge Caliber and Jeep Compass) also make RHD vehicles.

Also, Japan allows left-hand steer vehicles to be sold in its market. Besides the Cadillac CTS and STS, GM also sells the LHD Cadillac DTS and SRX in Japan. I was once told it is considered a status symbol to have a LHD vehicle in Japan.
Todd Barnes
Grand Blanc, MI

Duratec Leads Ford Comeback

I enjoyed your story on Ford's Duratec 35 engine ( see WAW — March '07, p.28). Hopefully this goes to show the buying public that Ford is not dead meat. Do not count them down and out — at least not yet.

Also, the Duratec 35 is built at Ford's Cleveland Brookpark site, engine plant No.1. This engine is going to help drive Ford's comeback.
Bill Thomas
Brookpark, OH

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