Dead man walking: Mercury

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Sure looks like it.

Sales down every year.
No more stand alone Mercury dealerships.
No new models after the 2009 revised Milan.(Picture above)
Removal of all national TV ads.

What do you think?

Conversation 25 comments

  1. I think you’re right. And I also think that, although I have always had good experince with Ford, I would not consider a Ford CAR in North America for the next 5 years at least. Worst.lineup.ever!

  2. mercury is pointless, it has been gone from the canadian market since about… 2000 i think? anyway, cant remember because nobody cared! lincoln-mercury dealerships are simply ford-lincoln dealerships now.

    mercury is redundant and pointless unless ford decides to give them dedicated models. and personally, i think making mercury ford’s saturn is a horrible idea.

  3. mercury is doing fine thank you very much i see plenty of the m where i live th it is a brand with hystory and pride they are not f going anywhere

  4. Toyotas, Hondas and Nissans used to be Plymouhs, Oldsmobiles and Mercurys on North American roads…

    I used to subscribe to the popular belief that Japanese (and world) competition meant that American cars were better for it. Lately however i’ve wondered maybe their timeline of products would’ve been superior to what we got had it not been for the constant downsizing, red ink, and comprimises because of the relentless competition over the last twenty five years.

  5. mercury is doing fine thank you very much i see plenty of the m where i live th it is a brand with hystory and pride they are not f going anywhere

    Where did this guy go to school? Under a rock?

  6. The incredible shrinking company. The vehicles are just too similar. They should have just build Euro fords here in US (too expensive to import at this point) and called them mercury, the lineup would have been a huge hit.

  7. Who would buy a product with a name that is linked with a poison not only to humans and animals but also to the enviroment. Subconsciously the name turns people away in groves!

  8. :)LoL
    Mercury has been in decline ever since Ford decided to re-badge all their Ford products as Mercury.

    To get this brand new legs would first require some serious mega cash infusion and second, dedicated market specific models. Both of which are about as likely to happen as Ford re-capturing the American family car market from Toyota and the re-badged 500 being hailed as a true Taurus.

    This brand has been hosed and yes it should be euthanized as soon as possible.

  9. rebadge all those awesome Ford of Europe cars as Mercury’s and you have an instant turnaround.

    However it seems to me that Mulaly has decided that Lincoln is going to be a near luxury brand and compete with Buick instead of Caddy. If thats the case then there is no longer a need for Mercury.

  10. THE BIG WHEELS OF kARMA HAVE STRUCK fORD AGAIN. Build a crappy car POS and they will run to buy something else.
    Next news story; Hyundai sells more cars than Ford or Chery Buys Ford for distribution channels. Man have you seen those Mercury SUV grilles? What were they smoking?

  11. perhaps Ford should just name a model after a Mercury. After all May Corporate, which is Macy’s cosolodated all their stores to one name. This saved Macy’s a ton of money in costs across the board. A simple plastic graphic nameplate costs less than a different car.

  12. Strange… having just been to the US, I can’t believe how UGLY Ford cars are. Every one of them – square mini-vans, old-fashioned saloons.

    European Fords are really doing well in the market over here. We have three mini-vans over here: C-Max, S-Max and Galaxy – they are industry leaders.

    On the car side, we have the Focus and Mondeo – both of which are regarded as much better bang for your buck than the Vauxhall/GM, Peugeot or Citroen competition.

    I think Ford should take some back home if it wants to survive!

  13. It’s a shame, but it may be time for Mercury to go away. In my opinion, the Milan is a better car than the Fusion. It’s better looking and has richer interior materials. The Fusion had to be dumbed-down so that the “upscale” Milan could have features like LED tail lamps and contrasting piping on the seats… standard fare these days. Yet while the Focus is less competitive without these kinds of features, it has almost all of the marketing budget and the Milan receives nearly zilch. Hopefully by shuttering Mercury, it will make Ford products more competitive.

  14. Why not make Mercury the sports car division (like Pontiac for GM) and leave Lincoln with the “high end fords”… which is not right to begin with, but it’s the case nevertheless.

  15. Is it me or is that tail light redesign a bit backwards? It seems like they should have been on the car first and the 05-08 models should have been the “refresh” tail lights…because they look more upscale.

  16. As bad as the picture is right now for their lineup, Mercury probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

    Vince is right that there are no more stand alone Mercury dealerships — but there never were all that many to begin with. So this really isn’t news. It isn’t like Oldsmobile’s past, where there were hundreds of standalone franchises that lost out. There were only a handful of stand alone stores — and the last one closed this week. Big deal — that alone won’t kill a brand. If we were comparing “stand alone locations” to “death of a brand” then Buick, Pontiac and GMC would be on the chopping block and they are not.

    But more than that, Mercury creates huge volume for Lincoln. If Mercury were schuttled, Lincoln dealerships would suffer.

    Its very true that FoMoCo has stated Lincoln will get more product and will eventually outpace Mercury in total sales. Its also true that Lincoln’s lineup is expanding and it’s experiencing an uptick in sales.

    However, they’d have to come out with at leat 4 or 5 more products to make up for the volume they’d lose if they axed Mercury. And that’s not going to happen in the next six years. FoMoCo has too much invested in mainstream products and other company-saving measures to throw the lion’s share to Lincoln. As of right now, they are only slated to get 3 new products at most in the coming years (the MKS sedan, the MK-“Flex”, and a possible “personal coupe” based on the updated Mustang in ’10). All killing Mercury off would do is Lincoln franchises in jeopardy.

    Furthermore, Mercury costs Ford VERY little money overall. It’s kinda of akin to what it costs GM to produce Pontiac vehicles right now — nearly nothing. The biggest element in it all is the advertising, and even that isn’t much since Pontiac has gone to a nearly all on-line campaign.

    Mercury has more than its share of problems, but there are some good points: It was rated very high by JD Power for both initial quality and dealership experince, it has attracted a greater number of women and minorities than other Ford brands (as a percentage of total sales), and it also attracts a higher percentage of buyers who would never consider the Ford brand (and many are import buyers).

    So the total picture isn’t perfect, but it’s far from abysmal and there are actually some very good things going on that they can build on.

    However, I will conceed that the big difference is that GM actually HAS a plan for Pontiac long term — while Ford is still undecided as to what to do with Mercury longer-term. Pontiac is at least getting some unique products like the G8, a future RWD G6, a possible G4 based on the next-gen Solstice, etc.

    Then again, part of this is b/c GM is better integrated right now world-wide than Ford is — so it can draw products from other parts of the empire much more quickly than Ford. GM also will have a healthier balance sheet in the coming year since they reaped the most reward from the UAW contract-talks.

    And while this is going on, financially strapped FoMoCo will continue to push Mercury with just a few rebadged products.

    Ulitmately insiders at FoMoCo have stated that a plan will become clearer once FoMoCo gets its balance sheets in check. There is little investment cause there is little money to go around. While Lincoln seems to be getting most of the attention, FoMoCo is actually putting the lions share toward mainstream products and integeration.

    Word is that the upcoming UNIBODY (and not BOF) Explorer is supposed to also spawn a Mountaineer twin. Word also is that the next Focus may spawn a Mercury version as well.

    So it isn’t the rosiest picture — but it certainly isn’t the end.

    It’s another protracted “holding” pattern for short term —- with better things hopefully coming down the stretch.

    Just what I’ve heard and my interpretation of it…for what it’s worth.

  17. Vince, you forgot about the p.o.s. company that mercury is a division of … Dorf motors …. the whole thing is a giant Titanic.

  18. Right now, I kinda wish Mercury would go away. I am so tired of auto companies creating an entire brand of cars that are nothing more than re-badges. I just don’t understand what would drive someone to visit a Mercury dealership or look at their products. Every single Mercury is just a re-badged Ford with more chrome. How does that make a brand?

    Ford clearly hasn’t learned their lesson. I realize the Mercury name has a lot of history behind it, but it isn’t a player anymore. Mercury has nothing new to give consumers anymore. Time for retirement.

  19. I like Ford cars, but I have to admit that you cannot differentiate the sub brands by more or less insulation and different grade leather. Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury are sort of the same with minor differences, primarily in amenities that cannot make the cars stand apart. Could Ford really claim that the Ford brand versus Lincoln is as far apart in quality and features as Toyota versus Lexus? Mulaly (or whatever his name is) needs to clearly differentiate the brands if that is what he choses to do. Otherwise, it is the same pig with different lipstick on. And, of course, the market knows better. So, it is time to stop bitching about medical benefits, and start creating a sound business plan that can afford to pay these benefits.

  20. There are so many directions the Mercury brand could be taken in, each of which would play on some aspect of its heritage. It could be made into a high-performance muscle/ enthusiast car brand. Or you could re-badge Euro Fords and make it a genuine import-fighter. You could even go in a totally new direction and build fuel-efficient Scion-fighters under the marque. You could even do something as simple as doing at least as good a job as GM now does at giving its sibling cars, like the Malibu, G6 and Aura, differentiated appearance. There’s no reason Mercury can’t compete head-to-head with Saturn, other than management unable to do anything other than hold the line. If they don’t do something, it’ll be gone eventually. And it’ll be totally unnecessary. What Ford needs most is not new cars, it needs new employees. Ones that can come up with new ideas, and fast.

  21. Mercury will not go because Ford does not have the money to buy out the Mercury franchises.

    GM had to buy out many Oldsmobile franchises to eliminate that brand, and is still consolidating dealerships so they will be ready to kill another brand, because Pontiac is unlikely to make it for ten more years.

  22. There is no need to kill Mercury because the Mercury brand has been dead for years.

    It’s time for FORD to just bite the bullet and bury the corpse.

    Mercury has been no more than a re-badged Ford that Lincoln dealers needed to offer inasmuch as nobody was buying Lincolns, either.

    Now that Lincoln has three MK whatever they are (Fusion in drag, Edge in drag, and a big, new Lincoln MK whatever that one is), Mercurys are 100% redundant in Lincoln dealerships.

    Dear Ford,
    Please bury your corpse already.

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