Hong Kong Ford importer Wallace Harper is targeting multinational executives in a drive to put the stamp of the new Taurus firmly on the market. Wallace Harper's managing director, Chong Got, said the company was paying courtesy calls to businesses to introduce the vehicle. He was confident the new Taurus would successfully infiltrate the local market. The 1996 Ford Taurus represents a redesign on the Taurus series which has proved popular in the United States. Following a successful launch of the car in Hong Kong in May, 70 of the vehicles were sold within the first fortnight. After the car was unveiled in Hong Kong, US Consul General Richard Mueller took delivery of the first vehicle. Mr Got said business executives from US-owned companies in the Asia Pacific commonly followed the lead of embassy dignitaries - thus his company's strategy for marketing to the 'upwardly mobile' buyer. But he said the market was wider, including Hong Kong people who had lived in the US and Canada. Wallace Harper's marketing campaign includes advertising that recalls the sales success of the vehicle in the US (where it was the number one seller for four straight years) and exhibitions at territory shopping malls. A sneak preview of the 1997 Ford Taurus SHO being developed in Dearborn, Michigan, shows advancements on the same design, with more attention to durability. Although specifications for the right-hand drive model are not yet available, basic configurations would not vary greatly from the American model. The 1997 model's advanced ride and handling capabilities result from a special anti-lift anti-dive MacPherson strut front suspension, Quadralink rear suspension and high body rigidity. The 3.0-litre Vulcan engine delivers 145 horsepower at 5,250 rpm. It is coupled with Ford's four-speed overdrive automatic transaxle with electronic controls. Design and comfort features will include an integrated control panel, flip-fold console and a split-fold rear seat. With 101.5 cubic feet of interior room, it has more leg and knee room than its main competitors. Shortly after the 1996 Taurus launch, Wallace Harper hosted a specialised technical training course on servicing the vehicle for its technicians and invited staff from its service agents in China and Macau. Dealers and service technicians from Regent Motors in Singapore (where the Taurus was launched a month ago) and Bumi-Java Motors in Brunei also attended the one-week course.