TAURUS ADS REFOCUS ON THE CAR

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Stung by a steep drop in sales, Ford is revamping Taurus ads to emphasize the car itself.

The redesigned Taurus went on sale in October, supported by a $110 million campaign for the model year from J. Walter Thompson USA, Detroit, that featured warm lifestyle images with a musical anthem, "Making the Dream Come True." October sales were down 16% from the year-ago period and were off 27% in November and 35% in December.

Taurus still finished 1995 as the nation's No. 1-selling car for the fourth straight year, though sales fell 7% to 366,266 units.

The song's lyrics already have been eliminated from ads, and spots breaking in February will be even more product-focused, said Bobbie Gaunt, Ford division's general marketing manager.

"SHOW US MORE!"

Customers "said they want to see more of the car, especially the interior, and more of the car's features," she said. "We also have to tell people that the new model is larger than the one it replaced."

Price may be a reason for the sales decline. The $18,600 base price is $1,015 more than that of the 1995 Taurus, which also carried a $2,000 rebate at the end of its product cycle.

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