The lion's share of the money being spent will go toward buying out 700 of the 1,700 Mercury dealers across the United States. Back in June, we told you about a package that Ford was presenting to dealers who sign a termination agreement. The reported buyout totaled as much as $200,000 per dealership. (Actual dollar amounts for individual dealers were based on the number of vehicles they sold over a three-year period; more cars moved meant more FoMoCo cash received.)
Would a half-billion invested in updated Mercury product instead of a cash-lined casket have made a difference? Mercury's sales numbers (or lack thereof) suggest that few car shoppers would have even noticed. Ditching Mercury to concentrate on bread-and-butter Ford has seemed like a no-brainer for years. More importantly, Lincoln, which hasn't exactly lit up the monthly By the Numbers reports of late, should only benefit from the much-needed infusion of resources that were previously being wasted keeping Mercury afloat.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]