DETROIT -- Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.
Ford is reported to be readying a renaming of the doddering Five Hundred to the Taurus, the former top-selling mid-sized sedan in the U.S. that was just discontinued in October.
The Taurus potentially joins a recent spate of brand-name revivals. In the auto industry, Volkswagen last year changed the name of the sluggish-selling Golf to the Rabbit, a yesteryear model that was fondly recalled. The result was 11,610 sold, respectable for the smaller VW brand. Brandweek reported this week that Goodyear would bring back its blimp for an ad campaign that launches Feb. 18, the first time the blimp has been part of ad copy since the ’80s. And Whirlpool is currently looking for a new Maytag repairman, who has been MIA since late 2005.
“Marketers often assume that their audience is addicted to new and improved,” said David Altschul, president of Character in Portland, Ore., a branding agency. “That can sometimes lead them to walking away from a character or a brand name that still has quite a bit of life left in it.”