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Road Trip: 2008 Ford Taurus - Exclusive Analysis and In-Car Review - VIDEO

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Take a Road Trip with The Auto Channel and special guest Del Coates in the new 2008 Ford Taurus.

Produced and edited by Marc J. Rauch

SEE ALSO: Compare All Ford Models - Ford Buyers Guide

Del Coates, award-winning designer, author, professor, and veteran automotive journalist.
In this episode of ROAD TRIP, Del Coates, one of the world's most influential industrial design experts, offers up some fascinating insights and straight talk to TACH's Mark Fulmer about the new/old Ford vehicle that's critical to their financial survival.

The drive took place in South San Francisco just prior to a formal Ford Taurus presentation to the Western Automotive Journalists' June meeting.

To learn more about the 2008 Ford Taurus don't miss reading Chris Kassab's story below.


by Chris Kassab, FCN

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The new Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable are rated the safest full-size sedans in America based on crash test ratings, but can safety sell a vehicle?

Absolutely, says Mark O’Brien, president and general manager of Roy O’Brien Ford in St. Clair Shores, Mich.

"When it comes to choosing between our Ford cars, a foreign car or another domestic vehicle that all have a certain visual appeal, customers do ask the pointed question, 'What's the crash rating on this car?' " said O'Brien, whose family dealership has been selling Ford cars and trucks since 1946.

O’Brien says that historically, it was predominantly mothers asking questions about safety but today, safety is a concern for many car buyers.

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"It's not just the moms anymore," he said. "I think it's starting to filter through all society now because today's consumers have a lot of choices. So why not choose a vehicle that will save you if you have an accident."

According to a survey conducted earlier this year by Consumer Reports, seven in 10 customers consider safety to be one of the most important factors to consider when evaluating a new car.

Ford studies support those findings, according to Ed Molchany, Ford Division communications manager.

"We've done a great deal of research to determine what factors drive overall brand opinion, and safety is definitely one of them," he said.

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Molchany says that while most people expect cars to be safe, there is still an opportunity to stand out from the competition with vehicles like the new Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable. Both vehicles earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick rating and the U.S. government’s highest available five-star ratings in all crash test categories.

"When you know safety is one of the key pillars that drive opinion and you can lay claim to being the safest, that's not only going to help us sell Tauruses and Sables, it's going to help the entire Ford brand," said Molchany.

According to Robert Parker, Ford Division car marketing manager, safety is at the heart of the recently launched print and television ads for the new Taurus.

"We're going to beat the safety drum as loudly as we can and get out there with the message that Taurus is rated America's safest sedan," he said.

The 2008 Mercury Sable will be launched later this summer, but the new Taurus has already begun arriving in dealerships throughout the country.

Mark O'Brien says his dealership received its first Taurus last week.

"It was sold before it even arrived," he said. "The questions that people had about the Five Hundred regarding its power and styling have all been answered with the new Taurus. If you combine that with the class-leading safety of the vehicle, I think we've got a one-two punch here that’s going to be pretty hard to beat."