Ford ends Taurus production in Chicago as it prepares to launch new SUVs

The Ford Taurus is dead.

Again.

At least in America.

The last of the full-size sedans rolled off the line at the automaker’s Chicago Assembly Plant on Friday as the latest casualty of Ford’s shift to a lineup comprised almost exclusively of utilities and trucks.

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The silver four-door was one of over eight million Tauruses (Taurii?) built since the revolutionarily aerodynamic first-generation car was introduced for the 1986 model year.

(Ford)

The midsize Taurus was replaced by the new Fusion in 2006, but the name was resurrected in 2008 on a full-size sedan that was originally called the Five Hundred, in an effort to boost interest. It didn’t help much, however, and even a redesign in 2010 failed to find many customers, peaking at just over 68,000 units, which was a far cry from the nameplate's record of 409,000 in 1992.

The Taurus-based Police Interceptor was also outsold by the law enforcement version of the Explorer SUV, which was built alongside it in Chicago. An all-new Explorer is launching this year that will effectively replace the Taurus in Ford showrooms.

But the Taurus name will live on across the Pacific in China, where an all-new version debuted in 2015 and sedans are still popular…for now.

As for that last American-made one, Ford won’t be putting it in a museum. A company spokesman told Fox News Autos that it has been sold to a customer, but that the person’s name is not being released.

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Whether or not it ends up in display in a museum is yet to be seen, but the final 2006 model already is.

The Atlanta-built car was purchased by Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, who credited the lunch crowd from the Ford factory there with the early success of his restaurant and is among the collection of cars featured at the company’s headquarters.

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