• Jul 28th 2008 at 8:57AM
  • 60
What's a Mercury? That's a question that's been on the lips of senior execs at FoMoCo for some time. Positioned between Ford and Lincoln, the badge-engineered brand has been lacking defined products for over a decade, but according to the Derrick Kuzak, Ford's global product chief, that's going to change.

Mercury will be repositioned as an entry-level premium brand that will still slot in below Lincoln, but will be made up entirely of small vehicles and crossovers. Lincoln dealers, on the other hand, will be stocking mid-size sedans and larger vehicles, while Mercury will focus on smaller, more fuel-efficient products.

The first move on Mercury's part to reestablish itself will come in the form of a new small car, derived from an unnamed Ford vehicle, which is slated to go on sale in 2010. The Milan and Mariner will remain, but the Sable, Moutaineer and Grand Marquis might be nixed since they won't fit in with Mercury's newest makeover.

[Source: Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think Mercury should become the high-tech, all-hybrid division of Ford Motor Company. Let Ford sell all the basic versions of it's platforms. Give Mercury high-tetch, high-mileage versions of certain platforms, and allow Lincoln to remain FoMoCo's luxury brand. Three lines of cars with three separate missions. It's not really that hard to fathom, Dearborn, is it? it would give them three distinct marketing directions as well.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Unfortunately that scenario leaves no future for the Ford brand.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What Ford is saying is,
      "We're not going to kill Mercury. We're going to give it the Buick treatment."
        • 7 Years Ago
        Isn't that what Mercury was supposed to be all along? Ford's Buick?

        I also don't see how Mercury is shadowing Buick in this new plan.

        Buick is offering mid-sized to large "affordable" ($40k for an Enclave isn't affordable in my book) luxury crossovers and sedans. The hallmarks of a Buick are quietness, smooth ride, comfort over performance, and excellent reliability.

        Mercury seems like its going more Saab now. Premium small cars that are efficient, yet powerful and luxurious. I'd say Ford wants to slot it in between Saab and Saturn.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sooooooo.......instead of Badge engineering Mercury from Lincoln cars, they are going to Badge Engineer Mercury from Ford cars. Way to go guys. you have "solved" your cash problem.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What're you, new? Mercury has been badge-engineered from USDM Ford models for years. It looks like the New Mercury will be more or less badge-engineered from the European Ford models autobloggers have been clamoring for. Essentially, for the USDM, they'll be unique models unless/until Ford starts marketing some of the euro models under the Ford badge.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The first thing they need to do is to design a new logo, because the current one says nothing. A look at any of the winged figures from past models would help.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is no different than before. And they are rebadging the Focus for Mercury.

      Where's the big revelation? How does this make Mercury any more relevant? It doesn't.

      There's no news here.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is an excellent way to reposition Mercury as a more premium brand than Ford, and keep it from overlapping Lincoln. Plus, Ford Europe's design language seems to fit well to wearing a Mercury badge.

      It would be nice to see the Kuga, Mondeo, and such here.

      In addition, positioning it as the maker of of small, preium, fuel efficient cars, the timing couldn't be better. Bold Moves indeed.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'd buy that Mercury Kuga in a heartbeat. Still miss my '94 Mercury Couga'...
        • 7 Years Ago
        OK, but if Mercury complements Lincoln, then what is Ford?
        I would say that Mercury should get all of the Euro CUVs, while Ford should keep its current lineup of CUVs and SUVs. However, what will become of Ford's smaller cars as Fords (if they are already going to become Mercurys)?
        • 7 Years Ago
        @ Prissy Pants

        Gas 5 years ago was around $2 / gallon. Nobody expected the price to more than double in 4 years.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "...positioning it as the maker of of small, preium, fuel efficient cars, the timing couldn't be better."

        Well, they could have made this decision 5 years ago. Or even 2 years ago. That definitely would have been better timing. Deciding that you need to change directions after you've already hit the iceberg is not good timing, nor is it good leadership.

        Pay for performance indeed....
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Mercury will be repositioned as an entry-level premium brand that ...will focus on smaller, more fuel-efficient products"

      Premium level small cars? It worked for MINI. If they don't screw this up, it should be a win for Ford (finally).
      • 7 Years Ago
      they need to dissolve mercury.
      waste of money and resources for Ford.
      keep the small cars with Ford badging and let Lincoln take care of the "luxury" segment. Done.
      no need to cannibalize and try to do too much and degrade the quality of the overall auto brand ...
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree!!!
        Kill Mercury and get it over with!!
        • 7 Years Ago
        If you really look into it this plan makes a lot of sense. Ford's are sold at higher prices over in Europe bc of the better quality parts and materials. It never made sense to bring one over before bc small cars meant cheap cars for so long. Now adays, they could either 1. redo the interior to lower the cost for Ford's use or 2. save money by keeping the the interiors and just changing the exterior somewhat (badge-swapping). Which doesn't hurt since its from Europe.

        Now why not make it a Lincoln? Who knows really but my best guess is they are going for a Mini-BMW relationship. Meaning no major gas saving ideas for Lincoln.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I can hardly wait to see what these new cars will look like!
      • 7 Years Ago

      Mercury was killed many year ago here in Canada.
      Why would they relaunch the brand only for US consumption? With what? Rebadged Ford of Europe models? Whats the point? Another example of wasted money.

      Dont get me wrong. I am patiently waiting for the Euro Focus 5-door hatch to come here so I can snap one....but give Mercury a rest, please!!!
      • 7 Years Ago

      Great to see that Mercury is not being killed. As for the small car do you think it might be a Fiesta derivative?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Um, how is this any different than how they are defined right now? Nothing has changed. Mercury will still be rebadged Fords that force Fords to be dumbed down to make room for them in the lineup. Eeek!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Me neither. Lincoln is already an entry level Premium brand. Anything lower would be your average Ford or Chevy. IMO they're going to have to move Lincoln WAY upmarket to make room for an entire so-called entry level premium brand.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's a very different plan.
        First of all Lincoln Mercury dealerships need a range of products to stay in business.
        Killing Mercury gives Ford a world of legal hurt and is a hardship for LM dealers.
        Building a whole range of Mercurys which are rebadged Fords is expensive and detrimental to the Ford Brand.
        Limiting Mercury to smaller upscale cars and CUVs keeps them from competing with Lincoln, and therefore compliments Lincoln.
        With a smaller range of vehicles, Mercury can afford to create more unique products, while sharing platforms with Ford.
        This gives Mercury a specific purpose, which they didn't have before, and it frees Lincoln and Ford brands to have there own specific roles.
        I think it could work well, and I am pleased for the Mercury fans.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Mercury will be repositioned as an entry-level premium brand that will still slot in below Lincoln"

        don't think so.
        • 7 Years Ago
        If they can bring Lincoln further upmarket, then this would make sense AND be a great plan. But as always, its all in the products.
      • 7 Years Ago
      One of the firs thing ford needs to do is give mercury a new face that grill is horrible and please by the love of god change the waterfall emblem...
        • 7 Years Ago
        I absolutely agree with getting rid of the current logo. Perhaps they could do a cool retro interpretation of a historic logo for the brand.

        Finally, for the first time in my life, it looks like there's a reason why the Mercury brand should exist.
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