TBT: Key Dates in Ford Taurus History

Ford introduced the Taurus for the 1986 model year. The car later had a five-year streak as America's best-selling vehicle.

The last Ford Taurus recently rolled off the line at Chicago Assembly Plant, marking the end of U.S. production of the pioneering nameplate. We look back at some significant moments in the vehicle's history: 

1985: Taurus is introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It represents the latest in Ford engineering and design, developed to meet shifting consumer needs. Its sleek looks were a departure from the boxy sedan shapes of the time, setting a new bar in passenger cars.

1989: Taurus continued to evolve with the addition of the SHO model, which came equipped with a 220-horsepower high-performance V6.

1992: Taurus begins a five-year streak as America’s best-selling car which included a peak in annual sales of more than 400,000 units.

1998: Taurus enters American stock car racing as NASCAR’s first four-door sedan entry. It replaced the outgoing Ford Thunderbird, which had been Ford’s entry in NASCAR’s top series since 1978. Three Taurus drivers: Dale Jarrett (1999), Matt Kenseth (2003) and Kurt Busch (2004), take the NASCAR Cup series championship before it is replaced by the Ford Fusion in 2006.

2004: Chicago Assembly plant ends production of Taurus, begins work on Ford Five Hundred, Ford Freestyle and Mercury Montego.

2006: After nearly seven million vehicles sold, the Taurus nameplate briefly discontinued, as production ends at Ford’s Atlanta assembly plant.

2008: Taurus is revived as an all-new car featuring an exterior design influenced by the Ford Fusion. Its new powertrain had 60 additional horsepower. It also featured a new all-wheel drive system and other updates. It went on sale in the summer of 2007, as did the Taurus X, a crossover vehicle which replaced the Ford Freestyle. The Mercury Sable, which replaced the Mercury Montego, also returns.

2019: Taurus production ends at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant after 34 years of near continuous production. More than 8 million Taurus passenger cars were built there.

2019: Ford is investing $1 billion into Chicago Assembly Plant and nearby Chicago Stamping Plant, and adding 500 jobs to expand capacity to build the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer and Ford Police Interceptor Utility, along with the all-new Lincoln Aviator.

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