Ford Slimmed Way Down and Styled Up

A long-shot gamble on new designs pays off in the Taurus and Sable

For the moment, Detroit's perennial No. 2 is enjoying a turn at being undisputed No. 1. In terms of performance and prestige, Ford is on a roll. While the automaker (1985 sales: $52.8 billion) is only about half the size of General Motors, its projected 1986 profit of $3.1 billion is expected to top GM's for the first time since 1924, probably by a margin of $350 million or so. "Ford is the shining star of the automobile industry now," says Jack Kirnan, an expert on the field for the Kidder, Peabody investment firm. The popular Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable...

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