Ford Motor Co.'s original Taurus was credited in a 1991 book as "the car that saved Ford." The sequel isn't doing as well.

Sales of the Taurus sedan, a restyled version of Ford's Five Hundred, slid 35 percent from June through October compared with the predecessor's year-earlier totals, based on figures the company reported Thursday.

The results are a setback for one of Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally's efforts to restore profit at the second-largest U.S.-based automaker. With the Five Hundred falling short of its one-time "flagship" billing, Mulally renamed it the Taurus in February to revive sales.

"The American consumer doesn't perceive it as a new car," said Eric Noble, president of consulting firm Car Lab in Orange, California. "The name change isn't enough to get a second date with the American consumer."