DEARBORN - The 2013 Ford Taurus – with its refreshed styling, enhanced driving experience and optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine – is drawing more and more customers to Ford showrooms.
July calendar-year-to-date retail sales were up 8 percent versus July of last year for the company’s technology and performance flagship sedan.
According to Wendy King, Taurus Marketing manager, sales have been particularly robust for the new Taurus SHO.
“We are attracting younger customers who are starting to trade in luxury makes for the SHO,” she said, noting that 23 percent of SHO customers have come from luxury manufacturers such as BMW, Audi and Cadillac.
“It tells us that people are taking notice and looking at the SHO in a different way,” King continued. “They’re recognizing that it’s a great performance sedan with all the premium features as other luxury makes without having to pay the brand tax.”
According to King, the national television advertising campaign for Taurus that launched in April featuring NASCAR driver Carl Edwards and nine real Ford engineers went a long way to increasing awareness and improving favorable opinion of the vehicle.
“The ads highlighted Taurus in a completely different way,” she said. “We had a professional NASCAR driver putting the SHO through its paces on the track with Ford engineers along for the ride trying to talk about the vehicle features in an authentic, entertaining manner.”
After eight weeks on the air, Nielsen data showed that the ads were driving high levels of memorability, brand and message retention when compared to the overall large car segment average. An impressive 94 percent of those who recalled the Taurus ads could also recall the message that the ads were trying to convey, compared to the large car norm at 71 percent. And 63 percent of viewers who recalled the commercials also remembered that the ad was for the Ford Taurus, versus the large car norm of 55 percent.
The campaign also featured Carl Edwards in an integrated digital site, “Rocket Science”, offering longer videos Edwards with the nine engineers. The site continues to drive traffic to the Taurus page on Ford.com.
“The overall percentage of people who start a Taurus Build-and-Price and complete it is 14.5 percent – 4.5 percent better than our goal of 10 percent and 0.5 percent better than the Ford benchmark of 14 percent,” said King.
And the number of Taurus Facebook fans – which grew by more than 43,000 between the time the ads launched on April 2 to July 1 – is now up to more than 70,000.
The second quarter 2012 Brand Equity and Awareness Tracking (BEAT) study shows that Taurus has significantly improved on all metrics throughout the purchase funnel. Familiarity and favorable opinion are up, and consideration, shopping and intention are up five percentage points compared to the first quarter of 2012.
King says the challenge with Taurus is informing consumers that the Taurus of today is very different from the Taurus they think they know.
“This is a completely reinvented Taurus,” she said. “You really need to experience it for yourself. This vehicle offers the total package – best in class fuel economy, an engaging driving experience, technology and craftsmanship – at a great value. It’s content that you would normally find on a premium vehicle.”