• Oct 4, 2010
Ford is already well into winding down its Mercury line, and the autoamker has announced that the very last of the soon-to-be dead brand's products built for retail sales was manufactured on Sunday, October 3. The final Mercury Mariner rolled off of the assembly line at the company's Kansas City facility, putting an end to a brand with over 70 years of history behind it.

Even after the Mariner heads off into the automotive sunset, Ford says that it will continue to manufacture a handful of Mercury models for fleet and government service for a while longer, though mum's the word on how long we can expect that practice to continue.

Interestingly enough, according to USA Today, most incentives on Mercury vehicles have all but dried up, even as the brand's August production increased by 120 percent compared to July's figures. Instead of cash on the hood, some areas are offering no-cost maintenance or similar programs. Even so, Mercury has continued to out-sell Lincoln right to the end – besting Ford's luxury arm's sales by nine percent in August.

[Source: USA Today]


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  • 26 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      No one asked the critical question: will Ford be "brand engineering" Jill Wagner into Ford commercials?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Pontiac and Mercury were needless losses. They could have been saved, if people knew anything about CARS, instead of just counting other people's money.

      Now neither GM nor FoMoCo have an in-house brand that is directed at the 25-45K premium, but sporty, not luxury market segment, from compact to full-size range.

      Buick was saved simply by the chinese liking it, otherwise it was redundant between Chevy creeping up, and Caddy going a bit down-market here. Saturn was mostly aimless, not knowing what it was supposed to be selling, until it basically became redundant, re-badged Opels. Nice cars, but for whom, between Chevy, Pontiac, and Buick?

      It is almost too bad that Chevy sucked all the oxygen out of GM's performance lineup, with Camaro and Corvette, leaving Pontiac as an also-ran with G8 arriving just in time to be cancelled. Camaro should have been Firebird, and Pontiacs should have been the Go-To brand for performance versions of GM products. They could have simply referred to Corvette as it's own single model. It is barely a chevy as it is, since it shares almost nothing with other Chevy cars, besides the corporate-wide engine. It even has it's own logo.

      Mercury should have similarly been the performance Ford, aside from the Mustang. But Mercury should have gotten it's own Cougar/Comet/Capri variant of the mustang, with sleeker, more modern looks, possibly both as coupe and mid-size RWD sport sedan.

      The Taurus SHO could have been the Mercury Marauder. the SHO was on hiatus long enough that they could have chosen to make the EB version of the Taurus into a Mercury instead... without the Sable name, just Marauder, with just the 305hp V6, and the EcoBoost V6 as engine options.
      The MKX and MKZ don't belong in Lincoln anyway. They are too close to Ford vehicles, and too down-market and compact for Lincolns. They should have been Mercurys... and the MKZ's feature set should have just been the Milan, with a waterfall grille instead of a lincoln badge, and similarly with the MKX just being a mercury as it is.

      Lincoln should START with the MKS, and MKT, and go UP from there. Lincoln should be competing with Caddy and Lexus, not Buick and Acura. Lincolns should be BIG, or RWD, or BOTH.

      But, now that Mercury is dead... Lincoln had better pick up that torch and run with it. Someone had better.

      US companies have little to truly compete with the likes of G37, Lexus IS, Audi A4/A5, or Hyundai Genesis Sedan in the premium+sporty category, just below full "luxury" or expensive performance cars like Porsche or Corvette and upward.

      Buick's 4-cylinder FWD Regal, and the retro-Camaro isn't going to carry that whole segment for GM, either, and CTS is on the upper edge of that segment already, and -V models are firmly into the 50K+ category. Camaro will sell well to the nostalgia crowd, but some folks want something lighter, and more modern, that isn't basically an econobox otherwise.

      Chrysler... is chrysler. hardly anything at all less than 2 tons with a manual gearbox worth even looking at.

      If you don't want a wrong-wheel-drive sardine-can econobox...
      If you don't want a SUV that you don't need.
      If you don't want a BARGE of a car that weighs 2-tons give or take, and is living 40 years in the past...
      And you can't afford a Corvette, or other expensive toys...

      What are you left with? Nil. Thanks very much. Pontiac and Mercury should have been the brands to fill that segment with more red-blooded, real-world performance that working folks can afford without a second mortgage payment on a depreciating car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe they could have done those things, but 30 years of badge engineering totally squandered whatever brand equity they had. No one wants to buy a performance car from a company that is synonymous with old people and rental fleets. There really isn't any reason to have a quasi-luxury brand that fits in between Ford and Lincoln. Nor is there any reason for the Mustang to be released by several different companies.

        Same goes for Pontiac. I'm surprised they sold any cars at all considering how they were basically bang-up copies of other GM cars with hideous plastic cladding. Pontiac hasn't had it's own in-house engine since the 70's. There is no need for GM to start selling several different versions of each chassis they produce, it didn't work last time and it won't work this time.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Needless? Try worthless.

        Both have outlived their sell by dates by at least 15 years.

        Nobody did and ever would buy the cars your describing from Mercury or Pontiac. Both were thoroughly, awfully redundant fleet brands for their respective manufacturers. Both are now dead.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Scorch & TriShield provide, as much as we may not want to hear it, a valid perspective on the state of those brands prior to their death.

        However, can anyone say Buick was any better a year ago? Suddenly, all that energy that was supposed to go to its sister brands has been bestowed to Buick, a brand which, as BF mentioned, is alive purely because of the burgeoning Chinese market.

        Pontiac had recently been dragged from its plastic body-cladding depths. Saturn was providing rebadged Opels...but after watching generations of Vectras cruise Europe, that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. They were starting to emerge from the murky depths Scorch & TS mentioned, but there wasn't enough time to see if opinions could be truly swayed.

        We're watching it now, though, with Buick, perhaps a less deserving brand.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, at least there is a lot less panic when the news media runs 'The Last Mercury', versus the panic set off when 'The Last Hummer' was broadcast. ;-)
      • 4 Years Ago
      RIP.
      • 4 Years Ago
      >>Mercury has continued to out-sell Lincoln right to the end – besting Ford's luxury arm's sales by nine percent in August.

      ...embarrassing...
        • 4 Years Ago
        that's a good point...but seriously who buys widgets anymore? haha i have to...

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlVDGmjz7eM
        • 4 Years Ago
        Fleet Mariners

        Fleet Milans

        Fleet Grand Marquisissssis

        • 4 Years Ago
        You ain't kiddin' 'bout the fleet Grand Marquisesesesesss. I stepped out to the National Car rental Executive Selection aisle--There were about a dozen Grand Marquis and nothing else! Strolled over the the regular car aisle and got me a Dodge Charger instead.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Read the article in which it says August sales...Being October 4, you might think we would be reading about last month, September, but no.

        The USA Today article was written before Sept ended.

        Mercury sold 6306 units in Sept 2010, and Lincoln sold 7510. So, what does this mean? Oh, that's right Lincoln outsold Mercury by 19.1% in September...

        Towncar was up 344 units, but the MKX was up 943!

        Grand Marquis was down 803 units (which you would think is good, right?) while Mercury as a brand lost 734 between months.

        A Grand Marquis can work for a car service, like a limo, where a Charger would be a stretch. (a stretch...get it?)

        Jeez already.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Profit is more important then volume, more specifically profit per unit sold. Fleet sales and dealers dumping them at or below invoice doesn't really make the manufacturers or the dealers happy. To take it to an extreme, I'd rather sell 500 widgets at $500 profit each then 10,000 widgets at $0.03 per unit profit.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think Ford should keep Mercury going just as a fleet brand.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Or as a brand with which to try products it feels don't fit into the Ford or Lincoln unified brand philosophies and styles.

        If Ford wanted to make an entry level sports car akin to the S2000 or Miata, it would be easier to slide it into a Mercury catch-all than to try to "Ford" it up. But then I guess anything that could cannibalize Ford/Lincoln sales might be viewed as a negative, even if the net sales between the brands were improved.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Meh, i say kill it. Mercury is Ford's Pontiac. I think current/upcoming Ford cars do the job of being 'luxury esque' with high trim packages.

        They should have Lincoln sell some smaller cars to fill the gap.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think it would have been cool if they turned Mercury into a sporty brand. Like what Pontiac was supposed to be.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Once upon a time, that's what Mercury's market was -- sporty cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As a lifelong DeSoto fan, I'm still in mourning, so I know how Mercury fans feel.
      I use to watch Graucho Marx just for the DeSoto commercials. No one could deliver a DeSoto ad like George Phenemore Jr. That tune, " it's delightful, it's delovely, it's DeSoto" still carries it's tones in my ears.
      Nothing has ever turned a head like a DeSoto Adventurer , with those distinctive fins and up swept chrome accents. The 'Airflows" are classics.
      Take heart Mercury folk, life goes on, just not as well.
      • 4 Years Ago
      There was nothing worth saving. Ford isn't run by morons with emotional attatchments to names. That's all Mercury is, a name Ford stuck on cars.

      There hasn't been a reason to keep doing that the past decade or sink a ton of money Ford doesn't have into it only to lose it and remove investment from Ford's main brand, Ford. Mercury customers will buy Lincolns or Fords now or move elsewhere, what few of them there were.

      Buick isn't "saved" either. It's in the same boat as Mercury even with nicer products. It's a dying brand catering to a dying customer base and doesn't have the brand image or products that will attract youths to it, most of whom don't have any money now anyway with the recession in full swing.

      GM is just throwing things at the wall to see whatever sticks with Buick and in the process turning it into yet another Pontiac or Saturn, which is a big mistake IMO.

      It and GMC (and the UAW while we're at it) should have been nuked during that perverted bankruptcy. Since it wasn't GM still has the same rebadging millstone around it's neck with trying to make sense out of too many brands with bad equity.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The "emotional attachment" to the Mercury line was in the fact that Mercury was created by Edsel Ford himself...it is the only reason Mercury held on as long as it did. No member of the Ford Family (controlling shareholders) wanted to soil the image of Edsel Ford...a highly revered member of the Ford family history...but in the end, Mulally and crew convinced the Family that it was time to detach from Mercury. Thank god they listened....Mercury had it day in the sun...now it is time to put her to rest and stop the delusion that Mercury was a viable competitor in todays market place...Fords own Titanium trim level made Mercury meaningless....
      • 4 Years Ago
      i think mercury could've been saved had ford put some effort into it...

      selling more than lincoln would mean that if they managed to make a profit per car, they would make more money... but the way it was, how would mercury have a chance? they claimed it was more luxurious than ford, but the milan was identical to the fusion inside...

      if buick was saved, mercury could've gone the same route. but for that, lincoln would've had to become a lot more luxurious than it is, and maybe mercury a bit sporty and compete with acura or something? i dunno, i just think it's sad.

      and i bought my milan on the promise mercury wasn't going anywhere. bastards.
      • 4 Years Ago
      *crickets*
      • 4 Years Ago
      they didnt mention the fact that there are a couple of 2011 models listed on mercury's site! if the 10th was going to be the last, mercury wouldnt have listed any 2011 models!
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