New Taurus, New Sable, Old Blueprint

When the Ford Taurus went on sale on Dec. 26, 1985, it heralded the renaissance of Ford Motor Co.--and something of a comeback for U. S. carmaking. Proof that the Dearborn (Mich.) company would no longer be a patsy to imports, the Taurus and its smaller-selling twin, the Mercury Sable, wooed back many foreign-car buyers, led to a major shift toward more aerodynamic car design, and drove Ford past rival General Motors Corp. in profits for four of the past five years. Through July, Taurus has held its place as the No. 2-selling car in the U. S., behind Honda Motor Corp.'s Accord.

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