Ford Taurus…well sort of. Last year Ford announced it had stopped production of the Ford Taurus (they were still being sold outside the US.) However earlier this week new Ford CEO Alan Mullaly said he was disappointed that Ford had stopped using such a successful name plate. So today they formally announced that the Ford 500 would be renamed the Taurus beginning in 2008. The Mercury version of the 500, currently called the Montego, will get Sable badges.

What is ironic is that the Taurus and Sable were once Ford’s best selling cars, while the 500 and Montego have been pure disappointments – with sale of the 500 dropping from 108,000 in 2005 to just 84,000 in 2006.

Clearly the new CEO thinks bringing back the old names will change consumer perception about the new models. Hard to say, but it will certainly make for an interesting marketing case-study.