It was almost a year ago today that we stood in a meeting room at McCormick Place in Chicago and listened to Mark Fields go on and on about how big of a deal renaming the Ford Five Hundred the Ford Taurus was going to be. And then they sold 20% less in 2007 than they did in 2006. But they're ready to admit they made a mistake. And what's the carefully orchestrated way that they share this information? In a big meeting CEO Alan Mullaly and product chief Derrick Kuzak compared the Five Hundred (which they're still going to be trying to sell for a while) to Homer Simpson and showed a slide of Homer Simpson over the the current generation Taurus. Unfortunately, they pulled the slide of Homer Simpson over the Taurus from their website. (ANYONE WHO HAS THE SLIDE AND EMAILS IT TO US GETS A PRIZE!)

Why do something so seemingly stupid? Something so Homer Simpsonesque? If you're going to convince people that you're a company that's embracing change, you have to pretend to be candid. In addition to dismissing the current Taurus, Alan Mullaly and Derrick Kuzak said the next Taurus is going to be awesome. Said Mullaly: "The new Taurus that you're going to see in the next year or so is the one we should have made originally. It is just fabulous." We can't wait. [AP via MSNBC]