• Feb 16, 2010

If you're a big fan of Mercury... okay, there probably aren't many Mercury fans, but it looks like Ford is hoping to change that by 2011 – or at least stop certain franchisees from crumbling. On Sunday, we told you that Ford President Mark Fields told dealers at the company's annual meeting that an all-new Focus-sized offering was heading over to the product-starved Mercury marque, and now we have fresh rumors of said vehicle's name.

Now, Automotive News quotes two dealer sources as saying that the next Mercury will carry the Tracer name – a marque that's been lost to the ether for some time. But that apparently isn't stopping Ford. At any rate, we're sure the nation's Lincoln–Mercury dealers will be happy to have a new Jill Wagner-pitched offering on their showroom floors, no matter what the name may be. Let's just hope that the powers that be don't dig up the Trio trim level while they're at it.

In other Ford news, the Blue Oval began accepting orders for its subcompact Fiesta yesterday. A reported 60 percent of dealers said that they would order high trim vehicles when they become available. Ford has started a training program to help dealer salespeople sell the newest and most eagerly awaited Ford model to grace dealer forecourts in some time.

[Source: Automotive News – subs. req.]


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  • 52 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I thought Mercury names were supposed to start with an "M" like Milan, Mariner, Marquis, Maurauder... It should be a chic name... anything but... Tracer?!
        • 4 Years Ago
        That hasn't been the plan since about 2005. Which is why they facelifted the Montego and renamed it Sable in 2008.

        It was the same plan that said all upcoming Ford cars would start with 'F'. As soon as Mulally got in the door, that plan changed.

        As far as Tracer goes, if Mercury wanted to resurrect a vehicle name that exemplified the brand's current state in our market, Tracer is it. It's absolutely forgettable.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Merde!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've owned 3 Mercury's, a black and gold used 57 Turnpike Cruiser, a new 93 Capri, and a new 99 Cougar.

      The 57 burned as much oil as gas. It was the one which gave me "runaway acceleration" when the cable and ball throttle connection came undone one night. I ended up in someones front yard with the engine racing uncontrollably, my rear tires spinning gouges in their lawn, and my brakes smoking. The next morning it took me about 15 minutes to fix it and finish the drive home. I traded it very soon after for a 1960 Bonneville conv. black with 2 (aftermarket) 4barrel carbs.

      The drop top Teal Green Capri was fun to own and drive, not a powerhouse engine, but it looked good, carried four and took me cross country and back through some miserable monsoons in Iowa. That was the first time i ever had to pull off the road, along with many others, due to wind and rain. The rain was coming into the car sideways through the soft top window seals. The Capri had a good mechanical foundation and solid design roots. I should have kept it longer, it's a car I and those who knew it, remember fondly.

      The 99 Cougar was a damn good car also, it's design has held up well. Both the 90's Capri and 90's Cougar were cars that Ford kept for only a relative short period and just let them languish and die.

      Mercury is kind of a mystery to me, in that Ford has kept it around even though most of the time it has had nothing special to offer except as an alternative to some other existing Ford product. Mercury's few bright periods have been few and far between.

      Mercury could be a lot more and it should be a truly separate product in terms of market and designs, but given Fords past history I don't count on it.


      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh yeah, listening to dealers is always a good thing *rolls eyes*
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, lots of Mercury-hating going on here. Love (sic) the stupid comments about the Topaz and Tracer. Both cars were excelent values and sold very well when they were on the market. I still see plenty of Topaz's running around, a car that has been out of production since early 1994.

      We have two Mercurys in my family, an '08 Grand Marquis LS and a '97 Sable. My parents bought them because they wanted a nicer, more luxurious car than a Ford (even though you can get a Ford car with the same options), but didnt want to step all the way up to Lincoln. Actually, they bought the Sable mostly because of the rear window. They loved the Taurus, but didnt like the oval rear window, and the Sable had a more formal rear window with greater visability. Because the Sable was such a good car, they went back to Mercury when it was time to upgrade.

      Also, to AutoBlog, what was wrong with the Trio? A wolf in sheeps clothing if there ever was one, the orignial Tracer Trio packed the Escort GT's more powerful Mazda engine with more subtle styling. I had a co worker who has an first-gen Tracer Trio, the last time I saw it, it had 320,000 miles and was still running quite well.

      But, instead of the Trio, they should bring back the XR series for a performance-inspired model. Make a Milan with the 3.5L V6 and call it Milan XR-5 (similar to Fusion Sport). A Tracer XR-3 with a EcoBoost 4cyl would be a step in the right direction.

      An even greater step in the right direction would be to bring the Aussie Ford Falcon here as a large Mercury. It would appeal not only to traditional Mercury buyers like my parents, but sportier editions would appeal to those who appreciate cars like the (RWD) Impala SS and the Charger R/T. It would give Lincoln-Mercury dealers a unique car to sell that isnt a clone of another North American Ford.

      I've always liked Mercury myself, I've had a couple of Zephyrs that were fantastic cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      ...but please keep Jill in the family, I would appreciate more commercials of her
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Taurus is arguably more important to Ford than the Fiesta, a niche product that will sell well but not break any records. Sans-$5/gal gas, Americans just don't want small, efficient cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The post doesn't say that the Fiesta is more important than the Taurus...it says that he Fiesta is Ford's newest and most eagerly awaited product, which is true (although I am looking forward to the new Focus more than the Fiesta)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Anything that FoMoCo does to the Mercury division which is essentially just a piece of sheet metal different from its Ford counterpart, only puts Ford and Mercury in competition with each other and doesn't grow the corporate customer base. It has been Mercury's problem since the early 50's. There have been a few Mercury's with WOW factor, but damn few and even then they were often just a different sheet metal version of a Ford vehicle.

      Ford needs to clearly define some special differences between Ford, Mercury and Lincoln. Then Ford needs to go out on a stylistic and engineering limb and give Mercury and Lincoln a long term shot at stardom...or else just drop the Mercury line and continue to just make Ford models for every demographic.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think Ford's plan is brilliant. Keep feeding rebadged crap to Mercury so that the dealers just fall away on their own. Eventually they can kill the brand and they won't even have to worry about service since they are just Fords underneath.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They should bring back the Cougar for all those 40 year old secretaries on the prowl for 19 year old studs.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I forgot that Mercury was still around, but man, why don't they bring us a new Merkur XR4Ti instead.
      • 4 Years Ago
      There are a lot of great names in Mercury's history, Tracer isn't one of them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why do they still keep this brand? Why have 3 segments when there are only 2 markets?

      Ford and Lincoln should be enough, trim the fat IMO
        • 4 Years Ago
        Couldn't agree more! Killing Merc would be better in the long term. It would be difficult in the short term, but just do it already!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am not a Mercury fan, but I can tell you that the Lincoln volume alone can't feed the Lincoln dealers. And that's the reason why Mercury exists.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dear Ford:

        I don't care what your Licoln/Mercury dealers say, they're wrong! Giving them more Mercurys may help them in the short run but ultimately hurt FMC in the long run, as it goes against the fundamentals of your entire turn around of becoming more efficient/viable/lean.

        Rather than appease these Mercury loving idiots, why not KILL Mercury and work on getting those dealers a larger variety of Lincolns to sell? Why not stop wasting money on rebranding Fords into Mercurys and spend that money on making Lincolns top in the luxury car class.

        Just my own humble (CORRECT) opinion!
        • 4 Years Ago
        If they kill Merc, they better keep Jill Wagner!
        • 4 Years Ago
        ford has legal obligations that make it difficult to get rid of mercury
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