• Jan 8, 2007
In the interest of not going belly-up, Ford will be hard at work over the next three years to remake their entire Ford, Lincoln and Mercury fleet. We've got high hopes that the Bold Moves will start to come at us quickly now, and that great new product will offer significant improvements over their current offerings. It makes us wonder how long we'll have to live with the Five Hundred's rhinoplasty and the newly penned Focus. Ford also indicated an interest in selling "B" segment cars, which are sub-Focus size. Along with offering new small cars, technology integration will play a role in revamping the offerings. The newly unveiled and very cool Sync system is another way Ford will add value and substance to their wares. We also expect to see interesting developments on the hybrid and fuel-cell (and fuel-cell powered hybrid) fronts.

Our hope is that a little attention be given to the house of Lincoln Mercury first. The recent introduction of the Fusion, along with the refresh of the Focus and Five Hundred has bought Ford a little time, but the Town Car's looks have not aged well, and it's the odd-man-out styling-wise. The bold lines of the MKR concept bode well for some style to return to the long barren flanks of the bulbous Town Car. Mercury could stand some strategic focus. More effort should be paid to further differentiate Mercury, rather than just being tarted-up Fords. There has to be a reason for people to wander into the showrooms. We'll see in the coming months the fruits of Dearborn's labor, as they've got a lot of dedicated people working extremely hard at stanching the bloodflow at the Blue Oval.

[Source: Automotive News sub req'd]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mkae Ford Division the broad company that offers super high mileage BioDiesel All Electric Plug-In Hybrids, Pickups and SUVs and CUVs and commercial vehicles, Bold All American High Performance Cars - Fusion is good, build the Interceptor and most of all build the Reflex. Also build something like the GR1 to go head to head with Corvette and Viper.

      Mercury should be the up-scale Euro-styled line up that includes a Mercury Mondeo, a new Mercury Marauder (off the Interceptor) an up-scale mini van, and up-scale CUVs. Replace the aging Grand Marquee with a new RWD 4 door sedan but with broad choice in power to include diesel hybrids.

      Lincoln should build the MKR immediately, restyle the Town Car to the new theme but retain the big luxo cruiser position and use in livery and limosines. Need a new Mark XI and build the Continental concept.

      Three distinct yet complementary divisions which can sharre some underpinnings but no body panels.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mercury is easily solved. Give them some vehicles from Ford of Europe and Australia. The Mondero and Falcon would be two good vehicles to bring over for midsized/large sedan crowd. If Ford of American can't truly bring over the European Focus because it's priced too high then bring that Focus over as a Mercury and let it be more upscale. One of the Ford minivans, Galaxy or S-Max, could be right for Mercury.

      I don't believe Mercury needs to be a high volume seller to be successful, but they need to have a better niche than badge engineered Ford.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, they just mortgaged the whole company to the tune of $18B. If they dump a bunch of this money into product R&D, they could save the company. That would be bold.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Please make the Interceptor. Please.
      • 8 Years Ago
      spend the money to make cars people want to buy. the only thing more expensive than a brand spanking new model is a brand spanking new model that is crap and noone will buy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      GM is doing it nicely now. Funny how when companies are doing badly they always go back to the product and bring a bunch of "car" people in (like Lutz at GM).

      Chrysler did this, then GM, and now Ford.

      The cycle is that when companies are doing well, gradually the "car" people get pushed out (overlooked for expected promotions is the usual route; or they leave to friendlier companies). Then a bunch of financial people get in control (like Chryler now) and you get a short term jump in profits (amazing everyone, again like Chryler) and suddenly it starts to come apart as the competition zooms past them and they act like they just can't understand what is going on -- usually then start closing plants etc (blaming the market or consumers for "changing"). The final step is usually when the Shareholder suddenly see their stock plummetting and the company goes into crisis.
      • 8 Years Ago
      As a brand and a make I think Mercury is probably toast. And from what I've seen of the new Lincolns, it looks like Ford is moving the make downward in an attempt to fill the position that Mercury once held in Ford's marketing plan.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "It makes us wonder how long we'll have to live with the Five Hundred's rhinoplasty and the newly penned Focus."

      That means that the 500 and Focus aren't part of their redesign. These cars were likely too far along for Mullaly to pull the plug on when he came in.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Those wide-bar front end styles must have been inspired by a guard rail.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The 1990 to 1997 Lincoln Town Cars had a special "panache'" that is definitely lacking in any of todays styling. It says "I am driving a Town Car".
      It says I am driving a car that is long,large,sleek,
      comfortable,powerful and very safe! It is not a small
      version of a European design that calls itself a
      luxury vehicle or a reworked truck that is called a
      luxury vehicle. It is a true luxury vehicle...

      Ford would do well to consider this in future designs
      please don't bore me with the 1998 makeover that looks like a large Beetle, strangely the sharp lines of the 1985 to 1989 Town Car could influence new
      "innovative" design. Sometimes it is helpful to look
      back at a "Classic" and let it influence future design...