With the Cash for Clunkers program history, Tim Milligan at Capital Ford is betting the completely redesigned, technologically advanced 2010 Taurus will help boost sales going into the new model year.
Ford chose to roll out the new car in 100 smaller markets - one of them Carson City - to give those dealers a boost. He said the vehicle now includes a list of high-tech features until now associated more with high-end vehicles costing much more.
"You're getting the value you'd find at the higher end," he said.
Some economic experts have been predicting the Clunkers program might hurt September and October sales of 2010 models by selling 2009's to those who might have bought them. Milligan said he thinks that program brought out customers who, in many cases, had been nursing a real clunker. The new model year, he said, should bring out a different type of customer.
Ford brought two of the new cars to Carson City Friday to show off.
Pei-Wen Hsu, Ford's marketing manager for the new model, said new safety features include a radar-based system that tells a driver there's a vehicle in his blind spot and detects cross traffic when backing out of a driveway.
She said the car also offers on-board navigation that can find a gas station and even give the driver the latest fuel prices.
"You have this little Google right in your car," she said.
The dealership's first two customers, Steve Panter of Carson City and Charlie Moore of Fernley, were so impressed by reports on the redesigned Taurus they ordered two months ago without even test driving the car.
"It took two months to get it," said Moore, patting the side of the bright red car. He said he ordered the car fully loaded.
"He got everything but the Jacuzzi," said Sales Manager Chris Ecclesine.
Panter, whose silver Taurus arrives in about a week, said he bought the 365 horse SHO model even though, "I haven't driven one and (until Friday) haven't seen one."