• May 18th 2009 at 10:29AM
  • 42
2008 Mercury Sable – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mercury's born-again Sable sedan is dead again – or, more accurately, it will be come so on Thursday. According to The Detroit News, Ford's gussied-up Taurus (itself a gussied-up Five Hundred) will expire later this week, leaving Mercury with just four models: the Milan, Mariner, Mountaineer, and Grand Marquis.

And while the Taurus is getting a brand-spanking new replacement model for 2010, a Sable stablemate is apparently not in the cards, in large measure because Ford reportedly chose to spend more money on developing and marketing its Taurus replacement.

Ford's middle-tier brand is expected to lose both the Mountaineer and Grand Marquis within the next couple of model years, and the only new product mooted for the waterfall-grille brand is a new small car that has yet-to-be confirmed.

Eerily, the Blue Oval recently tested the small car waters for its Lincoln luxury brand with its Concept C showcar that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The presence of the tidy Euro-look hatchback once again set tongues wagging that Ford may be pondering whether or not to axe the Mercury marque altogether. For its part, Blue Oval officials dismiss such plans, but there is no denying that Mercury's stable is getting smaller, and at the moment, little product appears to be in the replacement pipeline.

According to the DetNews, Ford sold just 1,158 Sables in April, a drop of nearly 40% year-over-year versus 2008.



[Source: The Detroit News]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I just ask for another Mercury Cougar reincarnation before they go....
      • 6 Years Ago
      There's a reason I was sad about Pontiac's death but not Mercury's (implied) death, given that they were once direct competitors: Pontiac had unique vehicles; Mercury had none. I actually think Ford was regressing with the rebadges, because with the Milan and Mountaineer (sorta), they changed the front AND rear, but with the Mariner and Sable, only the front was changed. I won't miss Mercury, though I do think that a "Mercury Appearance Package" would be a great idea, as it would cost next to nothing to implement AND it would appeal to whomever the target market for Mercury was supposed to be.
      By the way, I think Autoblog has displayed that exact same speech bubble on a previous article on Mercury before (though I don't remember the title of the actual article).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Really? I thought Mercury was already dead.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is all silly.

      In Europe, Fords go head-to-head with BMW. Sure they suffer a bit in the name department at times. But when its push to shove, a battle of products - the Mondeo holds its head high against the 3 series.

      So why does Mercury need to exist? For the people who say its somehow quieter, smoother or whatever crap next to a Ford, I'm not convinced. Marketing has Americans by the gonads, and there seem to be a number of people who don't mind.

      I do. Hands off my boys! just sell a good product, and you don't need a waterfall grill and the illusion of smoothness. The Taurus will benefit from this single-minded investment, and Ford fans (and Mercury intenders) will be richer for it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        First of all...

        THIS ISN'T EUROPE.

        In Europe, BMW is a domestic, and FORD is the import, kind-of, and BMWs are not as expensive, and Fords are different cars than in the US.

        What works in one place doesn't automatically work in another. Ford does not have the brand equity in the US, and it would cost FAR too much to try to move Ford up-market anywhere NEAR BMW.

        Lincoln tried to do BMW, with the Lincoln LS. And they fell short, even though I think they could have done it if they had pushed harder, and refined the LS, rather than CANCELLING it, like wimps.

        I didn't even say that Mercury should compete directly with BMW, but rather more like Audi and Infiniti, which both tend to UNDERCUT BMW products on price, even if just slightly, and with different methodologies on standard vs. optional equipment.

        But GM and Ford have nothing between 25 and 40 thousand dollars with modern looks, real sporty chassis (both of those cut out Mustang), and modest weight (that cuts G8 and Camaro out, as well as Charger/Challenger) with both respectable performance, and premium (but not full-lux) trim levels.

        Something that isn't retro, doesn't weigh 2-tons, and actually looks, feels, and drives like a product designed and built in the 21st century.

        Pontiac SHOULD have done that, but it is too late now that Gub'ment Motors knee-jerk cut it off.

        Mercury is the other logical brand for such a purpose.
      JDM Life
      • 6 Years Ago
      It wont be missed thats for sure.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        I'll miss it. Mercury was underrated. Sure, they were rebadged Fords, but when looking at Ford, I always go to a Mercury dealer. Smoother, quieter, better fit-n-finish.

        If you were looking for bare-bones, Ford made more sense. If you wanted more, Mercury was better bang for the buck.
      • 6 Years Ago
      By The Numbers April 2009 shows:
      FORD 116, 263 -29.96%
      MERCURY 7,662 -40.65%
      LINCOLN 5,973 -42.23%
      and
      VOLVO 4,503 -36.92%

      Mercury tends to attract old codgers who love luxury but shun the rotiing affluent image of Lincoln. There is also a sizeable crowd of young ladies that prefer the fashionable style of Mercury over their Ford counterparts. So it is somewhat hard for Ford to completely ax the brand without alienating a lot of customers.

      However, I recommend that Volvo actually replaces the Mercury nameplate altogether. You won't lose any of the current Mercury loyalists because of Volvo's perceived higher value in the marketplace. The sales numbers would improve significantly as a result.

      I actually thought that Lincoln should have been replaced by Jaguar as Ford's luxury marque. But now, that is all water under the bridge I suppose.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Uh, what? How in the world could Volvo replace Mercury? Waaay two different ballparks.

        They should be doing what everyone else has been doing with multiple brands sharing the same architectures, make Mercury a niche brand, take the budget being used to create 5 identical-to-ford models and create 1 or 2 unique vehicles using the Ford parts bin.
      • 6 Years Ago
      RandomNess, the Mercury brand (it was born in 1939) was intended to be something Ford owners could step up to, like Oldsmobile for GM. The same reason they added Edsel, to create a stairstep progression (Ford > Edsel > Mercury > Lincoln).
      • 6 Years Ago
      They should take Mercury and make it an upscale package addition for Ford vehicles, with optional grills/body work changes. i.e. the 2010 Ford Taurus, Mercury Edition.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I always thought it was a handsome vehicle. I'm not sure I ever saw a commercial for one. That said, Ford's interior quality has gone up enough that I don't know what Mercury has to offer other than a grill with the lines in a different direction.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As long as Mercury is still adding profit and not loss to the bottom line, there is no reason to get rid of them. Their cars are a pretty minimal investment for Ford - just relatively minor styling changes, and if that different look is attracting a few buyers, why not keep it going? They already have the Lincoln dealership network that keeps a spot of two in the showrooms for them.

      Every car brand doesn't have to offer a full range, or a required number of models as dictated by auto scribes. I'm 42 and as long as I've been around Mercury has only been a grille treatment away from a Ford, yet there is still a bit of a perception that it seems a little more exclusive than the everyman blue oval. No doubt a lot of people have that perception (illogical though it may be).
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Montego,Sable,Taurus and 500 are GOOD cars.Excellent MPG,quiet.roomy,more backseat legroom than any other Sedan,HUGE trunk and dependable.Not the BEST looking as sporty goes,but GOOD cars and should have been marketed more and would have sold more.Also the SAFEST sedans in North America.The new Taurus is a more than worthy replacement.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe they'll use the Taurus platform for the Grand Marquis replacement which is loved by the senior set. Mercury exists to fill out the Lincoln lineup without diluting the Lincoln brand. They are on a roll with their quality ratings and there is heritage to work with, so they should do something with the brand.
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