Update: Lexus Confirms Three Row RX Crossover [Formerly RX Trademark Talk]

Gecko

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Whoa, I think the TX nameplate was originally registered for something else, but if I were Lexus, I would refresh the GX with the TX name. This would help it leave its bad history of sales and have a new fresh start.
Honestly, what are you talking about? GX does not have a bad history of sales. Please explain.
 

meth.ix

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Honestly, what are you talking about? GX does not have a bad history of sales. Please explain.
Not necessarily bad sales, but not even close to those of the MDX, Q7 etc. Also (not my opinion) Auto Journalists *ahem* C&D *ahem* criticize the GX HEAVILY and even if a new model comes out, they will always have an image of the old GX, which biases their views on a refresh. Take Mike's (@mikeavelli ) post about the C&D journalist who reviewed the GS like it was an ES.
 

mwyf

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Seeing you guys are talking about the TX trademark, I cannot resist withholding my views.

[I sent this in an email to krew 2 or 3 months ago - as a rant/commentary (sorry krew for adding junk to your inbox) but now it's here]

<rant>

For a long time, I've been sceptical of the rumour that the "TX" nameplate is reserved for a Lexus three-row crossover. So I did a bit of digging in various trademark databases. I've discovered three things:
1. The "TX" name is only registered in US; it is not registered in Australia, Canada, EU or UK. So if Lexus did intend to make a 3-Row Crossover called the "TX" would they be daft enough to restrict it to US only when the X5, (then) M-Class et. al. are all sold globally?

2. The "TX" mark is already in commercial use. I have attached screenshots of the USPTO entries for "TX", "CT200h", "GS F" and "LS500" for comparison.
CT200h.png LS500.png JX470.png GS F.png TX.png
Background:
Lexus launched the CT in 2010 and it was available on the market early 2011.
The GS F was unveiled at the Detroit show earlier this year and was not yet on sale when I took this screenshot a few months ago.
The LS500 is lined up for revelation some time in the near future.​
All that is reflected in the USPTO entries.
Take a look at the "CT200h" entry and you will be able to see dates for 'first use' and 'first use in commerce' in the heading 'Goods and Services'. "CT200h" was first used (in commerce) on 1 March 2011. Since the LS500 is and GS F was (again, old info here) not on sale, there are no dates for 'first use' or 'first use in commerce' in their entries.
Now, compare those three names with "TX'. The surprising thing is, TX is already being used commercially. Its first use was back in 2010. I would dare to imply that the name for the Lexus three-row SUV was never meant to be called the TX and is unlikely to be called the TX.
Toyota, as the parent company, trademarks names for its three marques in America - Toyota, Lexus and (soon-to-be-gone) Scion. Sometimes, with new trademarks like these, it is impossible to tell where they'll be used. We can't simply say, "Right, Toyota trademarks the "TX" name. Because the X suffix fits in with the Lexus SUV nomenclature per RX, GX and LX, therefore, TX is a Lexus SUV."
I tried to trace the source of the "TX" rumour. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it was borne out of an article from Automotive News in 2013. They were 3 years late to discover the trademark, and wrong on their 'facts'. (This point here may cause controversy, I admit).​

3. As of [current] Toyota practice, based on my observations, Toyota files the full name of Lexus models (i.e. "NX300h") as opposed to the family name (i.e. "NX"). In fact, "NX" and "RC" are not trademarked on their own, neither was "HS".

List 3.png List 4.png

ONE FINAL THING: we have to be careful when we talk about trademarks in Europe. A lot of the data (especially the ones krew references) come from OHIM (Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market). The jurisdiction of OHIM enforceability is strictly within the EU. This does not include Russia, a non-EU country. And funny enough, the OHIM changed its name 2 days ago (23 March) to European Union Intellectual Property Office. So there we have it.

</rant>

Thoughts? Comments? Feel free to rip apart my views. No offence will be taken.
 

James

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Seeing you guys are talking about the TX trademark, I cannot resist withholding my views.

[I sent this in an email to krew 2 or 3 months ago - as a rant/commentary (sorry krew for adding junk to your inbox) but now it's here]

<rant>

For a long time, I've been sceptical of the rumour that the "TX" nameplate is reserved for a Lexus three-row crossover. So I did a bit of digging in various trademark databases. I've discovered three things:
1. The "TX" name is only registered in US; it is not registered in Australia, Canada, EU or UK. So if Lexus did intend to make a 3-Row Crossover called the "TX" would they be daft enough to restrict it to US only when the X5, (then) M-Class et. al. are all sold globally?

2. The "TX" mark is already in commercial use. I have attached screenshots of the USPTO entries for "TX", "CT200h", "GS F" and "LS500" for comparison.
View attachment 1386 View attachment 1387 View attachment 1388 View attachment 1389 View attachment 1390
Background:
Lexus launched the CT in 2010 and it was available on the market early 2011.
The GS F was unveiled at the Detroit show earlier this year and was not yet on sale when I took this screenshot a few months ago.
The LS500 is lined up for revelation some time in the near future.​
All that is reflected in the USPTO entries.
Take a look at the "CT200h" entry and you will be able to see dates for 'first use' and 'first use in commerce' in the heading 'Goods and Services'. "CT200h" was first used (in commerce) on 1 March 2011. Since the LS500 is and GS F was (again, old info here) not on sale, there are no dates for 'first use' or 'first use in commerce' in their entries.
Now, compare those three names with "TX'. The surprising thing is, TX is already being used commercially. Its first use was back in 2010. I would dare to imply that the name for the Lexus three-row SUV was never meant to be called the TX and is unlikely to be called the TX.
Toyota, as the parent company, trademarks names for its three marques in America - Toyota, Lexus and (soon-to-be-gone) Scion. Sometimes, with new trademarks like these, it is impossible to tell where they'll be used. We can't simply say, "Right, Toyota trademarks the "TX" name. Because the X suffix fits in with the Lexus SUV nomenclature per RX, GX and LX, therefore, TX is a Lexus SUV."
I tried to trace the source of the "TX" rumour. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it was borne out of an article from Automotive News in 2013. They were 3 years late to discover the trademark, and wrong on their 'facts'. (This point here may cause controversy, I admit).​
3. As of [current] Toyota practice, based on my observations, Toyota files the full name of Lexus models (i.e. "NX300h") as opposed to the family name (i.e. "NX"). In fact, "NX" and "RC" are not trademarked on their own, neither was "HS".

View attachment 1391 View attachment 1392

ONE FINAL THING: we have to be careful when we talk about trademarks in Europe. A lot of the data (especially the ones krew references) come from OHIM (Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market). The jurisdiction of OHIM enforceability is strictly within the EU. This does not include Russia, a non-EU country. And funny enough, the OHIM changed its name 2 days ago (23 March) to European Union Intellectual Property Office. So there we have it.

</rant>

Thoughts? Comments? Feel free to rip apart my views. No offence will be taken.
Well winded I hear the rant lol I think it was good tho we are all trying to figure out what our great company is trying to do and they are big on not telling people what they do. I love the detail on what you went through it was very informative.
 

Gecko

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Not necessarily bad sales, but not even close to those of the MDX, Q7 etc. Also (not my opinion) Auto Journalists *ahem* C&D *ahem* criticize the GX HEAVILY and even if a new model comes out, they will always have an image of the old GX, which biases their views on a refresh. Take Mike's (@mikeavelli ) post about the C&D journalist who reviewed the GS like it was an ES.
GX never had a sales target close to MDX, though it has outsold the Q7 for many months. When the GX was refreshed in 2014, it was so successful that Lexus execs were shocked at the increase in volume, and have admitted as much several times. If anything, GX overall has sold significantly above expectations and the 2010 - 2014 was on-par with expectations.

Because a car is lower volume does not mean it's a poor seller. Auto critics opinions are not relevant to a conversations about sales.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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For a long time, I've been sceptical of the rumour that the "TX" nameplate is reserved for a Lexus three-row crossover. So I did a bit of digging in various trademark databases. I've discovered three things:

1. The "TX" name is only registered in US; it is not registered in Australia, Canada, EU or UK. So if Lexus did intend to make a 3-Row Crossover called the "TX" would they be daft enough to restrict it to US only when the X5, (then) M-Class et. al. are all sold globally?...

2....The surprising thing is, TX is already being used commercially. Its first use was back in 2010. I would dare to imply that the name for the Lexus three-row SUV was never meant to be called the TX and is unlikely to be called the TX.
Toyota, as the parent company, trademarks names for its three marques in America - Toyota, Lexus and (soon-to-be-gone) Scion. Sometimes, with new trademarks like these, it is impossible to tell where they'll be used. We can't simply say, "Right, Toyota trademarks the "TX" name. Because the X suffix fits in with the Lexus SUV nomenclature per RX, GX and LX, therefore, TX is a Lexus SUV."
I tried to trace the source of the "TX" rumour. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it was borne out of an article from Automotive News in 2013. They were 3 years late to discover the trademark, and wrong on their 'facts'. (This point here may cause controversy, I admit).​
3. As of [current] Toyota practice, based on my observations, Toyota files the full name of Lexus models (i.e. "NX300h") as opposed to the family name (i.e. "NX"). In fact, "NX" and "RC" are not trademarked on their own, neither was "HS"....

Thoughts? Comments? Feel free to rip apart my views. No offence will be taken.
Fantastic post. As a fellow trademark geek, I have a few comments, but nothing to rip apart your views or, I hope, offend.

Interesting that TX is a U.S.-only trademark. Not even a Canadian "companion". I was unaware of that. That, and the fact that it has no numerical suffix indeed puts it on shaky ground and likelier to die (more on this in a bit).

I actually wrote about the TX trademark on Kaizen Factor back in 16 June 2010 ( http://kaizen-factor.com/will-the-production-version-of-toyotas-ft-86-toyobaru-coupe-be-called-fr-s/ ) almost as a throwaway afterthought to what I deemed the far more significant FR-S trademark. Indeed, the lack of a numbered suffix led me to erroneously predict that TX was earmarked for what eventually became the NX line instead. Given Automotive News' far broader reach than that of my humble little blog, I certainly won't dispute the notion that the Toyota/Lexus TX trademark went "viral" through their 3-years-too-late account.

I will certainly agree with your notion that a two letters-only, no numbers trademark that appears to fit Lexus naming conventions is likelier to die unused than one with a number attached. But even that is no guarantee that a two letters/3-digit number/possible "h" trademark will see life as a production badge, as dead trademarks for CT 300h, CT 400h, RX 440h, LX 520, LX 550, LX 590, LX 600 and JX 470 will attest.
 

mwyf

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Fantastic post. As a fellow trademark geek, I have a few comments, but nothing to rip apart your views or, I hope, offend.

Interesting that TX is a U.S.-only trademark. Not even a Canadian "companion". I was unaware of that. That, and the fact that it has no numerical suffix indeed puts it on shaky ground and likelier to die (more on this in a bit).

I actually wrote about the TX trademark on Kaizen Factor back in 16 June 2010 ( http://kaizen-factor.com/will-the-production-version-of-toyotas-ft-86-toyobaru-coupe-be-called-fr-s/ ) almost as a throwaway afterthought to what I deemed the far more significant FR-S trademark. Indeed, the lack of a numbered suffix led me to erroneously predict that TX was earmarked for what eventually became the NX line instead. Given Automotive News' far broader reach than that of my humble little blog, I certainly won't dispute the notion that the Toyota/Lexus TX trademark went "viral" through their 3-years-too-late account.

I will certainly agree with your notion that a two letters-only, no numbers trademark that appears to fit Lexus naming conventions is likelier to die unused than one with a number attached. But even that is no guarantee that a two letters/3-digit number/possible "h" trademark will see life as a production badge, as dead trademarks for CT 300h, CT 400h, RX 440h, LX 520, LX 550, LX 590, LX 600 and JX 470 will attest.

I really appreciate your response. I totally agree with your final comment. Even when 'complete' names (XX ###d/h/t/L) are trademarked, there is absolutely no guarantee those names will translate to production models (though CT300h would be a welcome addition). I think it is just a product planning strategy. Companies tend to apply for lots of trademarks hoping to use them one day. The primary reason, I believe, is to prevent other companies from securing them. As far as I know, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi and Hyundai do the same. Lexus is not alone.
 

mikeavelli

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I wonder will the RX finally get an all-new engine, or another hp bump?

Also note the MDX just debuted a hybrid, though it doesn't run on EV power alone and it uses a 3.0 V-6 instead of the 3.5. The 450h will have nothing to worry about.
 

IS-SV

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I would think RX will need a new engine for both power and fuel efficiency bumps fairly soon. Yes, 3rd row RX is a nice way for Lexus to get some incremental sales volume, at the expense of competitors mostly.
 

mmcartalk

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I've got the actual 3rd-row announcement from the New York Auto Show in another thread, but it might be repetitious and perhaps (?) can be combined here. Mods...your call on that.

https://lexusenthusiast.com/forums/threads/three-row-version-of-the-rx-confirmed-at-the-new-york-auto-show.1770/

IS-SV said:
3rd row RX is a nice way for Lexus to get some incremental sales volume, at the expense of competitors mostly.
Agreed that an incremental increase couldn't hurt, though it is arguably the best-selling vehicle in its class (luxury-grade mid-size crossover SUV) as it is.
 

Gecko

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I wonder will the RX finally get an all-new engine, or another hp bump?
I personally think we will see the 2GR-FKS for at least another 3-5 years in it's current form: 295hp/267 lb-ft mated to an 8AT. Soon, Sienna and Highlander will get the engine, and I'm sure that at their redesigns, Camry, ES and Avalon as well. I expect RXL to use the same engine setup.

~300hp is pretty rich for some of the sedans, but RX could certainly do with more power. At some point, Toyota/Lexus is going to have to figure out how they want to handle higher power FWD vehicles as it's just a reality. As it stands now, you jump on the throttle in a Camry V6/ES/RX and the front end gets pretty jumpy, and even at highway speeds you can feel it getting squirrely. Even the models with (DTC) AWD start to dance a little bit before the AWD kicks in, as it's part-time.
 

meth.ix

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GX never had a sales target close to MDX, though it has outsold the Q7 for many months. When the GX was refreshed in 2014, it was so successful that Lexus execs were shocked at the increase in volume, and have admitted as much several times. If anything, GX overall has sold significantly above expectations and the 2010 - 2014 was on-par with expectations.

Because a car is lower volume does not mean it's a poor seller. Auto critics opinions are not relevant to a conversations about sales.
I never said that the opinions were related to sales, but I was just saying that the GX has a bad rep amongst journalists.
 

IS-SV

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Agreed that an incremental increase couldn't hurt, though it is arguably the best-selling vehicle in its class (luxury-grade mid-size crossover SUV) as it is.
Yes, RX is best-selling vehicle in this lucrative class and has been for years. To clarify when I mentioned incremental sales gains, I meant that most of the 3rd row RX sales will come at expense of competitions' mid-sized crossover SUV sales, not cannibalization of Lexus sales.
 
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mikeavelli

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I wonder how this plays out
RX 350
RX 350 F-Sport
RX 450h
RX 450h F-Sport

Will the "L" get all 4 options as well? Also will the RX get the 200t base engine in the future as the GS/RC have?

If I recall its "LS 600h L" so we would have "RX 450h L"

Note the current RX has a 109.8" wheelbase and the ES/Avalon have a 111" wheelbase. I wonder will the RX grow here as well? This would mean not just a 3rd row but potentially an even roomier 2nd row.

RX is now 192.5"long
X5 is 192.4" (and offers a 3rd row)
MDX is 193.6" long
QX60 is 196.4" long
Enclave is 201.9" long

The "L" will likely add some length and will be right where the major 7 seat cars are.

I'm also very curious what Lexus sales goal/mix forecasts are. Do they anticipate many current 5 seat RX buyers to jump to the 7? Will it mostly be new buyers that want a 7 seat to add to sales to the 5 seat?

Again based on the interior alone and the RX technology, I can't see how this "L" doesn't decimate the class.

 

mwyf

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I wonder how this plays out
Will the "L" get all 4 options as well? Also will the RX get the 200t base engine in the future as the GS/RC have?
I don't think 200t would be offered. The RX in its 5-seat configuration already weighs about 2 tonnes and the 2.0L turbo is adequate. The "L" might feel underpowered if more seats, more passengers and more mass were piled on.

Note the current RX has a 109.8" wheelbase and the ES/Avalon have a 111" wheelbase. I wonder will the RX grow here as well? This would mean not just a 3rd row but potentially an even roomier 2nd row.

RX is now 192.5"long
X5 is 192.4" (and offers a 3rd row)
MDX is 193.6" long
QX60 is 196.4" long
Enclave is 201.9" long

The "L" will likely add some length and will be right where the major 7 seat cars are.
The current RX shares the same wheelbase dimension with the Toyota Highlander (I think they use the same platform?? Could be wrong), yet the Highlander has up to 8 seats. The overall length of the RX is about 1.4 inches longer - pretty much the same size. I reckon it's got to do with the design of the body. The RX has a raked rear hatch, but the Highlander has a boxy back-end - this means space can be used more flexibly in the Highlander. The x5 has a boxy back as well.
 

James

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I don't think 200t would be offered. The RX in its 5-seat configuration already weighs about 2 tonnes and the 2.0L turbo is adequate. The "L" might feel underpowered if more seats, more passengers and more mass were piled on.



The current RX shares the same wheelbase dimension with the Toyota Highlander (I think they use the same platform?? Could be wrong), yet the Highlander has up to 8 seats. The overall length of the RX is about 1.4 inches longer - pretty much the same size. I reckon it's got to do with the design of the body. The RX has a raked rear hatch, but the Highlander has a boxy back-end - this means space can be used more flexibly in the Highlander. The x5 has a boxy back as well.
I agree there is no way the RX can use the 2.0 engine it's 0-60 is already pretty slow compared to the competitors.
 

mmcartalk

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Fantastic post. As a fellow trademark geek, I have a few comments, but nothing to rip apart your views or, I hope, offend.
A little off-topic maybe, but, since you are (apparently) a trademark expert, I have a question: is there any standard time-limit on the legal use of automotive names or letters (alphabet-soup)? I ask because I once owned a Mazda GLC, back in the mid-1980s, and now Mercedes is using the designation. Ferrari once had a GTO designation, but Pontiac used it in the 1960s for their fabulously successful GTO series....and, of course, again from 2004-2008. Renault marketed a small hatchback, named the Encore, in the 1980s......Buick now uses it for their small, sub-compact SUV. Ferrari once used the name Berlinetta........so did Chevy's Camaro Berlinetta. And EVERYBODY has made a "GT" at one time or another LOL.
 
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meth.ix

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I wonder how this plays out
RX 350
RX 350 F-Sport
RX 450h
RX 450h F-Sport

Will the "L" get all 4 options as well? Also will the RX get the 200t base engine in the future as the GS/RC have?

If I recall its "LS 600h L" so we would have "RX 450h L"

Note the current RX has a 109.8" wheelbase and the ES/Avalon have a 111" wheelbase. I wonder will the RX grow here as well? This would mean not just a 3rd row but potentially an even roomier 2nd row.

RX is now 192.5"long
X5 is 192.4" (and offers a 3rd row)
MDX is 193.6" long
QX60 is 196.4" long
Enclave is 201.9" long

The "L" will likely add some length and will be right where the major 7 seat cars are.

I'm also very curious what Lexus sales goal/mix forecasts are. Do they anticipate many current 5 seat RX buyers to jump to the 7? Will it mostly be new buyers that want a 7 seat to add to sales to the 5 seat?

Again based on the interior alone and the RX technology, I can't see how this "L" doesn't decimate the class.



I don't n=know if all 4 will be offered, but, if an RX 450h L would be offered, it would be really rare. First, it's a hybrid variant, and it's also the long wheelbase variant. On top of that, it's also an F Sport! If I were to ever see one on the road, I would consider myself lucky.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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A little off-topic maybe, but, since you are (apparently) a trademark expert, I have a question: is there any standard time-limit on the legal use of automotive names or letters (alphabet-soup)? I ask because I once owned a Mazda GLC, back in the mid-1980s, and now Mercedes is using the designation. Ferrari once had a GTO designation, but Pontiac used it in the 1960s for their fabulously successful GTO series....and, of course, again from 2004-2008. Renault marketed a small hatchback, named the Encore, in the 1980s......Buick now uses it for their small, sub-compact SUV. Ferrari once used the name Berlinetta........so did Chevy's Camaro Berlinetta. And EVERYBODY has made a "GT" at one time or another LOL.
LOL! I'm hardly a full-fledged trademark expert, just a layman with a perhaps irrational interest in the subject. My early December 2014 Kaizen Factor piece on Lexus' LC 500 and LC 500h trademark filing ( http://kaizen-factor.com/lexus-registers-lc-500-lc-500h-trademarks/ ) did cite a couple of outside sources that addressed the time-limit questions you're asking about. Stephen Edelman of Motor Authority, in his piece on Ford's refiling of the Mach 1 trademark ( http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1087911_mach-1-trademarked-again--possibly-for-2015-ford-mustang ) notes that trademark applicants are typically allowed six extensions lasting six months each before actually putting a product with the trademarked name on sale. Once the product goes on sale, however, the trademark can be extended indefinitely or until allowed to lapse by the original holder. Greg Migliore of Autoblog wrote an excellent piece on trademark rules and cars ( http://www.autoblog.com/2014/08/07/trademark-next-iconic-car-name-feature/ ) that cites the example of General Motors' Buick Electra trademark. Although last used on a production car in 1990, the carmaker kept it alive for 24 more years, until finally abandoning it on July 28, 2014.

In the GLC and Encore examples you mention, I'm guessing that Mazda and American Motors/Renault abandoned the trademarks, allowing Mercedes-Benz and GM's Buick division to pick them up. GT is seemingly too generic to be trademarkable, and European trademark authorities feel the same way about GTI (which Peugeot and Suzuki used in addition to Volkswagen). VW was able to convince American trademark authorities to grant them sole use of GTI, however, and Suzuki had to rename its Swift GTi hot hatch Swift GT in the U.S.

I know I'm going in an off-topic tangent here, but I find the history of the Montego model name particularly interesting. This was first used by Ford's Mercury division in the 1968 model year for its so-called intermediate model line, essentially a gussied-up Ford Torino. Mercury continued using it until the end of the 1976 model year, when an expanded Cougar lineup took its place. During the 1980s, British Leyland's Austin marque, like Mercury, became enamored of model names starting with the letter "M" and Montego in particular. Although I haven't found an internet source to back it up, I recall reading in a Car magazine of the day that BL paid Ford something like $1600 or $1900 (or, perhaps it was 1600 or 1900 pounds sterling) for the rights to the Montego name. The Austin Montego (and a sportier MG Montego companion) went on sale in 1984, continuing until its death in 1995 as a Rover. A decade later, the Mercury Montego reemerged as an upmarket twin to the Ford Five Hundred (née Taurus) until the 2008 model year, when then-new Ford CEO Alan Mullaly decreed the return of the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable badges.
 
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