1999 Cougar New Car Test Drive
While the previous Cougar was nothing more than an overweight, rebadged Thunderbird, the new one is a sporty coupe designed to appeal to younger professionals.
With that in mind, Mercury's marketing people took a group of dealers to the House of Blues. Mercury dealers are most comfortable selling Grand Marquis, Villagers and Tracers, but the launch of the Cougar will bring a type of buyer into their showrooms they have never seen before. They needed to understand that they shouldn't immediately show someone the door just because they were sporting green hair and wearing tattered clothes.
Outside, a guy wearing a nose ring, asked one of the Mercury marketing executives what kind of car he was driving. Told it was a new Cougar, he eyed it again, took a drag off his cigarette, exhaled, squinted and said, 'That car looks phat, man.' If you know that's a compliment, then you just may be the type of buyer Mercury has in mind for this new car. If you don't, you may still be interested in this great new coupe.