Ford Might Kill Lackluster Mercury Brand

2010mercurymilan
We take our time when it comes to writing about web reports on major product changes because they usually don’t pan out. That’s why when Bloomberg first reported that Ford is considering ending the Mercury brand, we thought “ah, likely story” and kept looking for holiday gas prices.

Then CNBC’s Phil LeBeau followed up with his own sources who also say Ford is working on a phase-out plan for the midlevel brand that fits awkwardly between Ford and Lincoln marquees.

This is somewhat surprising news as Mercury products have always delivered cheap profits to the Blue Oval. Perhaps Ford has seen the relatively recent success GM had culling its brands from eight to four. It likely also has some support from Lincoln-Mercury dealers, who will be most affected by this move. There are 292 stand-alone dealers, and they likely don’t have the footprint to handle selling the volume of the Ford brand, which would replace Mercury.

If Ford does phase out Mercury, the only product that Lincoln doesn’t already have a version of is the Mariner compact SUV, which is based on the Ford Escape. Ford would have to expand Lincoln’s lineup with at least one less expensive or smaller product than the MKZ sedan that currently sits at the bottom of the brand’s lineup and starts at $34,225.

Perhaps a production version of the Lincoln C concept based on the new Ford Focus would work.

What types of new cars would Lincoln need to make up for the loss of Mercury?

Ford to Phase Out Mercury Model: Sources (CNBC)

Comments 

D

Great idea, Ford. You're only half a decade late.

Paul

After Ford phases out Mercury they'll then return to phasing out GM. Ford is the last Detroit brand that Americans can be proud of.

David

I'm a Dodge fan, but I like Mercury. I drive an '89 Sable. Sad to see it go.

Bowrider

Lincoln should definitely a smaller vehicle, similar in size to the Focus.

Max Reid

Good for Ford as they can concentrate on Ford (people's car) and Lincoln (luxury car).

Meanwhile Toyota is bringing Prius line of vehicles, which means they may scrap Scion make.

Bob

I liked the looks of the 2002 Lincoln Continental concept. Not sure if it's needed to make up for the loss of Mercury or just needed period.

http://www.topspeed.com/cars/lincoln/2002-lincoln-continental-ar1194.html

Scott

I'm agreeing with everyone here on this one. Buick is too much Cadillac and GMC is no different than Chevy trucks.
But there is also a price pinch in product lines of the same companies. The Avenger/Charger comes to mind. The FWD and 4cyl engine are not competing well with the larger RWD with the 4cyl. The street price of a Charger is less than a Avenger and the fuel economy is the same. The new Fiesta vs. the Focus at least has a better fuel MPG on the Fiesta that keeps people going to the bigger car with the same price points. Car companies need to watch their discounting on their other models when releasing their new replacement (and other) models in their line. I'm even seeing discounts on the Fusion that are a better deal than the 5 door Fiesta. I'm also seeing dealer markup (side stickers) coming back at Chevy dealers on models that use Buick/Cadillac engines and major components. It is just not just at combined Buick/Chevy dealers too.

Peppy

"The Avenger/Charger comes to mind. The FWD and 4cyl engine are not competing well with the larger RWD with the 4cyl. The street price of a Charger is less than a Avenger and the fuel economy is the same." Two different models. I see where you were getting with the fuel mileage, but the Avenger is a midsize and the Charger is a full size. The Charger also doesn't offer a 4-cyl...

KeithO

If Mercury goes, then Lincoln would need the following:

1. A modern full-size, rear-drive V-8 powered sedan to replace the Grand Marquis and Town Car. Maybe name it Versailles, Continental or Zephyr.

2. A true rear-drive 5-passenger coupe, along the lines of the '89-97 Cougar XR-7 or the Mark series. Maybe name that one Capri.

3. A compact luxury SUV or Crossover, something between an Escape and an MKX.

4. A more distinctive Mid-size sedan. I don't think the MKZ cuts it here.

Let Ford Division handle the compact and subcompact cars. Lincoln now has a chance to really compete against the likes of Cadillac, Lexus, BMW, et.al. I would like to see it rise to the challenge.

And while I'm thinking of it, could someone PLEASE tell Lincoln to give their cars actual NAMES? The whole "MK" thing is really silly.

BFW

You Americans think you know cars. You have a long way to go. Take a look at the rest of the world, You will notice your way behind.

USA

BFW,
It must suck knowing you are owned.

cody

this would definitely be a good move. until recently, the only difference between ford/mercury/lincoln were the plastic parts and interior trim. they truly were examples of bagde engineering (the bad kind). now we are seeing differentiation of some lincoln products (not enough), but mercury is still closer to a ford trim-level than its own brand with distinct products.

the only reason people don't bag on them more, is because they're still overly focused on who took bailout money.

I hope that ford has finally realized that mercury is just a waste of time, money and parts on the assembly line

I hope that ford has finally realized that mercury is just a waste of time, money and parts on the assembly line

jim

The Ford Brand now advertises improved quality. By insinuating that Mercury is 'a step up' (like the old style of branding), Ford would still be saying it could be better. Without that middle step, Ford wants you to be assured that you'll get quality from their marque.

MWF

Smart move on Ford's behalf. At least they didn't blow it like GM did keeping GMC, and or Buick, instead of Pontiac. Just goes to show you the difference smart leadership can have.

Dan

I recently read that Mercury actually outsells Lincoln, so why dump the brand? Mercury needs some niche models instead of re-badging Fords. Anyone remember the Granada, Monarch and Versailles!!!!

DodgeFan

Ford has been triming down Mercury's product line. So a decision like this has been in the making for awhile. Additional, no money has been put forth to develop unique new models. Based on other companies two 'brand' names is all one needs.

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