Goodbye, Taurus

Ford Taurus station wagon passes the Atlanta Ford Assembly Plant, Hapeville, Georgia 2005/12/2
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Anyone who's ever read a horoscope knows that Taurus is the sign of the bull.

When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Taurus in 1985, it was a bit of a mystery. A car named after a bull would have muscle; it would be masculine; it would kick butt on the street.

Not exactly.

The Taurus was revolutionary in design — it ran on six cylinders, it was oh so affordable, and it would lift Ford above the competition for years. The only American car that sold more in history was the Model T.

But the Taurus ultimately was left to languish as Ford and everyone else made fortunes on pickups and SUVs. With gas more expensive now and environmental concerns growing, the marketplace is hungry again for a Taurus-like alternative.

Today, though, the last Taurus rolls off the assembly line. Its time has come and gone.

With Ford losing billions every quarter, the company is under more pressure than ever to come up with a better idea.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith