Mercury is two months away from execution, leaving the brand's 1,700 dealers in a pretty tough spot. Essentially, they've got three choices: Agree to Ford's terms and walk away, negotiate and walk away, or pick a legal fight with The Blue Oval. Automotive News reports that about 1,000 dealers still haven't signed FoMoCo's compensation agreement and some of those dealers reportedly stand to lose millions of dollars in the deal.
Dealer lawyers claim that compensation has ranged from between $100,000 and $800,000, depending on a number of factors, including the dealer's dependence on Mercury sales and the average amount of vehicles sold over a three year period. A princely sum, sure, but it won't help some of the dealers who count on Mercury for 50 percent of sales or more. AN reports that Ford acknowledges that some dealers are in markets that cannot support a Lincoln-only store, but the company claims to be working with dealers to get them to sell Fords or sell the remaining Lincoln store to an existing Ford dealer.
Ford will stop producing Mercury-branded vehicles in early October, and while some dealers are picking up as many vehicles as possible, others have stopped ordering vehicles altogether. And until they sell out of their Mercury stock, Ford won't cut dealers a compensation check.
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req. | Image: AP Photo/David Zalubowski]