• Jul 15, 2008
There's further proof that Ford's planetary division could soon wave goodbye, according to Automotive News. While we've already reported on the apparent lack of supplier deals for the ailing upmarket brand from Ford, some further dissection reveals just how close Mercury may be to the brink of extinction. For instance, no Mercury vehicle currently exists which isn't a mild rebadge of a Ford product. While we have had hints of new models wearing the Blue Oval badge, not a peep has been provided regarding future Mercury products. Lincoln too has gotten some love as of late with its new MKS sedan, but a Mercury flag-bearer is conspicuously absent.
While the Mariner and Milan could arguably justify their positions in Ford's lineup, the Sable, Grand Marquis and Mountaineer seem completely irrelevant. Are two models really enough to justify an entire brand? While no official announcements have been made regarding the death of the Mercury brand, the new product silence is deafening enough for many to conclude that there's just not enough money in Ford's pockets to worry about anything past its bread-and-butter Ford brand and the ailing Lincoln luxury marque.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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  • 52 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      .....
      • 6 Years Ago
      There are no more stand alone Mercury dealers - I remember a the last closed not long ago. I assume the plan is to stock Lincoln with more product so that there is nothing to complain about when they finally do stop.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Bummer, I really prefer the slight styling differences in the Milan and Sable, as compared to their Fusion and Taurus siblings.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As a long time Mercury fan, who was brought home from the hospital as an infant in my father's original imported Mercury Capri, went on vacations as a child in our fox-body Capri, and learned how to drive a stick in a 91 Capri convertible, and how to drive a car with turbocharged power on a friend's Merkur XR4Ti, this does not sit well with me.

      Mercury needs to become the Ford variant equivalent to the lower ranges of Infiniti or Audi, with good, modern styling, and premium sporty performance, not Lincoln's soft luxury, or Ford's FWD econo-box-build-quality mainstream Front-drivers. They could do well with a good RWD sedan and coupe, imported premium Focus re-styled marked Tracer, and the SMax/Galaxy people-mover.

      Mercury is a logical repository for premium sporty cars or even a CUV, that aren't soft luxury, and are nicer (and RWD) than mainstream FWD Fords. Why not un-mothball the DEW98 platform, and build a Mercury Marauder with an ecoboost V6, or a Modular V8, and a 6MT? With a slick coupe Cougar/Capri version? Why not use that base to make a new, up-to-date version of the Mercury MC4 concept, if a coupe is too run-of-the-mill.

      I would have thought that Edge would have made a nice Mercury, but three is too many variants of one vehicle, which seems to be the problem with FoMoCo as a whole.

      Lincoln is not the enthusiast answer, MKS is barely more than a re-styled, well optioned Taurus, and not sporty at all, nor is MKZ, really. Certainly not machines that would attract an enthusiast driver. Mercury could become that enthusiast brand, where Lincoln buyers usually don't support performance.

      FoMoCo certainly has not built a RWD sport sedan, after the death of the Lincoln LS which was in limbo between sporty and luxury, committing to neither one fully, and not really catching on as either one. It should have been a decidedly sporty Mercury. That is what should be done now.

      Ford has nothing sporty if you want something other than a Mustang. Certainly not a RWD sport sedan, like the G8/Commodore, and they aren't importing the Falcon. Not to mention their history in which they killed off the wrong-wheel drive SHO and SVT products in general.

      But now they are starving Mercury to death. Now it isn't just that they don't build cars for enthusiasts anymore, but evidently they aren't planning on ever doing so. Ford evidently REALLY isn't interested in anything besides the Mustang, performance wise.

      But if FoMoCo wants to cut it's left arm off, and hope it cures their widespread cancer... they are going to still have cancer, with only one arm. They need to take their chemo, company wide, and then when they are recovering, use Mercury the way Mercury should be used, and make some money, and bring the

      I have been a FoMoCo enthusiast in the past. They have not kept up with performance trends, so I bought a turbocharged Subaru with AWD and a stick. Can't get Fusion/Milan with a 6-speed, AWD, and a manual transmission. It has all of those, but not together, and not up to the Legacy's standards, with Legacy GT's power. They could have done it, they didn't. They lost a repeat customer then. Now possibly they have lost me permanently.

      Maybe I'll go find a Fox-body Capri to resto-mod, just to have a Mercury, when Ford screws Mercury out of existence. There won't be a blue oval anywhere on the car, though.

      In the words of Sean Connery in The Rock, "Pershonally... I think you're a ____ing IDIOT." Excuse my inference of language.

      We hear today that Pontiac is going to be "nourished with new product", but Ford is killing Mercury?

      Sayonara, Ford. You have just made it a whole lot easier a decision to buy another Subaru, or an Infiniti, Audi, Pontiac G8, or a CTS.

      Have fun sinking the rest of the company, morons.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree.

        If FoMoCo goes Sweeny Todd on us and assassinates the once proud Mercury brand I will never buy squat from them again!

        I would rather hold my nose and buy a foreign car than buy from a company with no heart and no passion for their craft.

        Make Mercury what it can and should be - an absolutely great American Marque with style. Give people a reason to buy and be proud of their new Mercury.

        Business is about competition - so compete! Take a lesson from Pete Carroll at USC - compete every day to be the best.

        Henry Ford would not roll over and play dead to Toyota and Honda.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Decades overdue. Mulally and Ford are being smart about their handling of Mercury, quietly phase it out instead of making a big announcement. Just like Chrysler did with Eagle and Plymouth.

      Being stretched thin over too many brands that complete directly with and cannabalize each other is a huge problem for GM. As expected Wagoner's "plan" unveiled today does absolutely nothing to address the fundamental brand issue at the RenCen.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agree, focus on Lincoln and Ford.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here in western Canada I have not seen any Mercury brands for some time we never did get the milan, mariner or the moutaneer. I think the last sable sold in canada was 1999.
      • 6 Years Ago
      View it in the grand scheme of things.

      Mercury, Plymouth, Oldsmobile, what did those brands have in common? They were all family car brands that once upon a time appealed to the slightly upper middle class American consumer.

      Today Honda and Toyota appeal to that demographic.

      Argue all you want about how that came to be, but today thats the way it is.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, no, no,

        You're going to sit there and tell me that upper-middle class buyers are going for Fits and CR-Vs? You couldn't be more wrong.

        In the 60s and 70s, even into the 80s there mostly only CARS. A pickup or SUV were for work only and the minivan was just becoming an entity (with CUVs not even a glint yet). In those times, you got a compact car, sporty car, mid-size car, or large car. That was all that people had the option for. Since those cars were offered by 3 companies (except some niche vehicles with little to no service support) those companies could offer trim level, style, and even engine variations to suit a large market for a small number of OEMs.

        Fast forward to today, there are now 7 large manufacturers and many more of the niche lines (and I'm stretching to call BMW and MB niche brands at this point). Each of those companies offers a line of cars from a $14k subcompact to a 45k SUV and somtimes even higher in their volume brand. They all compete for the same customer, Chevy and Ford compete with Honda and Toyota who also compete with Nissan, Chrysler, and Kia.

        The deal is that brands once needed for that differentiation in economic class is now not needed because that need is being met within each of the volume brand's lineup, and even to some degree within options in each model (there's up to $15k in price differences in some models depending on options).

        It then becomes evident that those brands conceived to create a larger offering to a larger market of buyers will die when their volume brand leader fills the role that they once did and leaves them no place in the market.
        • 6 Years Ago
        So somehow GM, Ford and Chrysler should just bow down, and cut off their brands, and not challenge Toyota or Honda's marketshare?

        Great plan.

        I'd rather see them compete, rather than quit.
      scookd
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey how about this idea. Make Mercury an all "eco" brand. Every vehicle should be either hybrid, all electric, small urban commuters, or mega-milage desiels. every vehicle should return +40MPG's or equilivant.

      Keep Ford mainstream and your volume sellers could have mild hybrid variants. Lincoln is your luxery brand and shouldn't need to much help with its eco image.

      This would help with the CAFE worries, give Ford major corporate bragging rights, and you can keep the history of the brand with out slowly cutting your wrist with a dull butterknife.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I belive that that eco-hybrid idea is not bad,
      but I think Mercury should have also performance cars :
      allong with Ford Taurus SHO, there shold be equivalent for Mercury,
      They should with a little bit more sporty- design and with sporty -engines from Mustang for example,
      and i would keep the iconic names for Mercury !:

      maybe Brought back Couguar (in midsize 2-door coupe segment), which was bigger than Mustang in old days, so now it could compete with Biger Challenger (Mustang will compete with Camaro)

      I belive there shold be a large option for customer: what I mean is the more brands/makes we will the bigger chiose wil be,
      life is more complicated than : Ford - Lincoln,
      Ford - Lincoln + Mercury sound better to me,

      Look at Mercedes and BMW, they are working in almost every segment,

      and one more thing:
      I really belive if american cars will keep thair american character (wcich now is eaporing..) they have a chance worldwide market...

      I belive in few years , customers will search for some unique.......now there's to much cars standardisation in progress,

      american cars were allways exotic, and tehy sholud remain this way,
      american customers should stop buing hondas and Toyotas :)
      but I admit now H and T are better cars then their american equivalents :)



      • 6 Years Ago
      Too bad. Besides the Mountaineer and Grand Marquis, they have a good lineup. Mercury should be to Ford what Saturn is to GM. Just import some euro cars and badge them as Mercurys. If you have to make the Imports Mercuries AND Fords, just make them look different like the Milan and Fusion, Escape and Mariner, Explorer and Mountaineer, etc. They've sold pretty well the fact being that they are basically the same car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mercury's whole raison d'être was to provide volume cars for Lincoln-Mercury dealers. I don't know how well Lincoln only dealerships would make out. Maybe they could sell Mazda and Volvo? Or maybe they could keep the brand and bring over some of the cool cars they have from Europe and Australia...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I see many recent Milan and Sable models on my way to work and they look better than the Ford version but Mercury should go and Lincoln and Ford dealerships should combine.
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