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Ford is one of the most historic brands in America, but it has spent much of the last decade in what may be the most challenging period in its long history. Inattention to its passenger car lines years ago left Ford playing catch up in the market place. Although Ford managed to avoid bankruptcy like its cross-town rivals, it carries more debt on its balance sheet and a less agreeable labor agreement than that of GM or Chrysler.

Ford does have a strong product plan that is beginning to gain traction. In the 2010 model year, Ford has significantly updated several key models including the F-Series, Fusion, and Mustang. Styling and option revisions serve to further improve already strong products.

The Ford Taurus was once the king of the passenger car market. After some years of inattention and a short absence, the Taurus enters 2010 with a significantly new look that is not shared with any other Ford product. The Taurus offers standard V6 power and optional all-wheel-drive. With a healthy list of standard equipment and an impressive list of optional equipment, the Taurus is aiming for the upper end of the family sedan segment. Enthusiasts are rejoicing the return of the Taurus SHO model. The SHO features a turbocharged version of the V6 that produces an impressive 365 horsepower.

The popular Fusion wears a significantly altered front end with an even bolder new grille design. Most models are mechanically the same as last year's models, but two new models will broaden the appeal of the Fusion. The Fusion Sport packages a larger 3.5L V6 under the hood creating a sportier model with more horsepower and larger wheels. The long-awaited Fusion Hybrid posts an impressive 41 MPG in the city.

The return of the Chevrolet Camaro may be big news this year, but Ford has significantly updated the styling of the Mustang for 2010 giving it a sleeker and more refined shape. The interior uses new materials and finishes to upgrade the appearance.

Another intriguing vehicle from Ford for 2010 is the Transit Connect. Ford identified a segment of the small business and contractor market underserved by today's traditional full-sized cargo vans and pickup trucks. The Transit Connect is a smaller cargo van with a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine and a large configurable cargo hold.

Next up for Ford will be the launch of its new small car lineup with introduction of the Fiesta compact next year and an updated Focus after that.

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