By on February 15, 2010

When GM axed four brands in bankruptcy, it seemed for one bright, shining moment that the era of America’s auto brand bloat was drawing to a close. No such luck. Both Chrysler and Ford passed up opportunities to hack off purposeless brands, and in doing so perpetuated some of the worst examples of brand engineering surviving in the US market. If there were one brand that needed the hatchet, it is and was Mercury. Now, after a decade of Jill Wagner-supplied life support, Ford is breaking the silence surrounding its entry-luxe brand, announcing that a Mercury-badged vehicle will be built “on the same platform” as the new Ford Focus. Put simply: the Mercury Tracer is coming back.

The automotive answer to the question “what do you call a tarted-up escort?” has been blessedly absent from the automotive landscape since the Focus replaced the Escort in Ford’s lineup in 1999. The Focus arguably ushered in Ford’s recent era of renewed focus on the blue oval brand, providing a far more sophisticated Euro-derived compact drive than the long-in-tooth Focus it replaced. Notice that the past decade slipped by without a single street riot of rampaging suburbanites, demanding a Merc-badged re-skin of the Focus.

In the second half of the last decade, Ford’s shifted its branding strategy towards ever-greater emphasis on the Ford brand. Though the mechanical underpinnings and exterior styling of the US-market Focus have taken a turn for the worse, entry-luxe gizmos like Ford’s SYNC system have proliferated into the humble compact, rather than being held out as enticement to trade up to Mercury or Lincoln. Meanwhile, decidedly up-market vehicles like the new Ford Taurus have steadily whittled away at any justification for Mercury’s continued existence. As with so many branding conundrums, Ford’s success in moving upmarket came only at the expense of its allegedly upscale cousin.

And now comes word that the new 2011 Ford Focus will be joined by a Mercury-badged rival, with two Ford dealers telling Automotive News [sub] that the new compact will bear the old Tracer nameplate. The decision is especially ironic, considering that the latest Focus re-unifies the American and European models of the Focus nameplate, once again lifting the Ford brand out of a compact-car rut by replacing an aged US-market afterthought with a fresh, European-developed, global model. If Ford had any sense, this vehicle would be yet another step in the premiumification of the Ford brand.

But that would make too much sense. Ford had reached a defecate-or-get-off-the-pot moment with Mercury, and without belaboring the metaphor, it has missed a huge opportunity to stand up, wipe off and move on. Given that the Tracer will be released simultaneously with the new Focus, there can be little doubt that it will be yet another cynical rebadge, with a few unique interior plastic compounds and a small factory’s annual output of cheap chrome hanging off its haunches.

From a business perspective, Ford can still cobble together weak justifications for this decision. A quick rebadge provide extra profit on each vehicle, meaning there’s little incentive to boost Mercury’s volume. As long as suckers keep being born every few minutes, Mercury will sell a few thousand rebadged vehicles each month. Besides, there are still Lincoln-Mercury dealers who need new product.

The downsides to rebadging the Focus are more subtle, and can’t be seen as immediately on the balance books. First, it prevents a definitive decision on Mercury’s future, and cements itself as America’s predominant purveyor of cheap rebadges. Given the steady disappearance of grossly cynical rebadges from American dealerships, it seems safe to argue that being known as “the rebadge brand” is not a recipe for long-term success.

Moreover, Mercury rebadges undercut the equity built up in the blue oval brand in two distinct ways. First, their mere existence implies a lack of premiumness in the Ford brand that must be overcome with two-tone interiors and cheap chrome. Secondly, by not offering distinct sheet metal, a McMerc’d Focus casts both brands in an unflatteringly cynical light. After all, even the most uninformed consumer can look at a pair of brand-engineered twins and wonder “do they think we can’t notice the difference?”

These impacts won’t be registered as visible declines in profit, but rather a long-term, lingering suspicion in the minds of consumers. At a time when Ford is making great strides in the public perception, consumers will point to Mercury as the most egregious example of the brand engineering that GM was most infamous for. Though GM still has more than its fair share of branding and product-differentiation challenges, at least its brand engineering have become far less immediately obvious on the street level. If GM “gets it” that Americans are insulted by rebadges, why shouldn’t Ford, which otherwise enjoys a more favorable image with the public?

In fairness, Ford’s product planners and brand executives probably aren’t especially proud of the last 20 years of Mercury products, and certainly don’t get any pride out of being Detroit’s new king of the rebadge. The problem is that Ford simply doesn’t have the cash to differentiate platform-mates the way Volkswagen, GM and others can. Since this is likely going to be the case for another solid decade, as Ford has ruinous debts to pay off, the Dearborn Boys should focus on what they’re doing right (Ford brand) and push extra development money into making a single line of well-differentiated luxury vehicles. Which should be branded as Lincolns. For the good of the whole company, Mercury needs to be shown the door.

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48 Comments on “Stop The Presses: Mercury To Receive New Product!...”


  • avatar
    KingShango

    Why Ford? Why? You’ve done so well lately. The Taurus is awesome, the Focus and Fiesta are giving you some small car cred. Why would you shoot yourself in the foot like this? Please let Mercury go, it had its run and needs to die. Looks like its time to sell my Ford stock.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Notwithstanding Mercurys were very popular in Canada, the marque was discontinued several years ago and Lincoln Mercury dealers became Ford Lincoln dealers without apparent ill effect. Don’t know why it wouldn’t work in the U.S.A.

  • avatar
    basho

    From What I’ve heard, Ford is transitioning Mercury into premium small cars. Mercury will be premium small Fords and Lincoln will be premium large Fords. In the past I felt Mercury could have had a better life as Ford’s hybrid division. But now I believe hybrid drivetrains will be far too common to be held by a niche nameplate like Mercury. I think if Ford is going to keep the name at all (which it appears they are), then having it transition to premium small cars is probably the best thing to do.

  • avatar
    raast

    Memo to Ford:

    zzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Will it be the upcoming 5-door C-Max?

  • avatar
    Christopher

    What evidence do you have that the Mercury variant will not have unique sheet metal?

  • avatar
    crash sled

    “Besides, there are still Lincoln-Mercury dealers who need new product.”

    .
    .
    .

    Precisely, and if Ford shows those dealers the door, as you’re suggesting, it won’t likely be inexpensive. The Ford subsidiary of Government Motors has chosen to take the Fed cash WITHOUT taking on the restrictions and enablers that have allowed GM and Chrysler to show so many franchise owners that door. If Ford ended Mercury, they’d likely have to pay the price.

    Tough road ahead, and this is not a good sign. Cheaply tarted up Mercs may not cost them much, but they’re not really value-added either. They’re just slipping a punch here, and hopefully they don’t step into a haymaker in the process.

  • avatar
    jaje

    In the typical fashion – Ford focuses on the short run rather than the long run. So they have to pay to shut down some dealerships. Imagine how much Ford would save in the long run by just axing this brand and folding all Lincoln into their Ford dealerships. Nope – in fear of paying a little up front – they now have to separate a car from its mechanical twin; market it on a separate budget paying the Wipeout star for more commercials; and support the still segregated (from Ford) Mercury/Lincoln dealers where volume still is way too low to sustain (notice the rebates they have to shell out to keep customer traffic). Mercury is in dire straights like Acura – no real niche it fills besides being a slightly reskinned premium brand of a high content volume brand (though Acura does a little better job differentiating itself than Mercury did).

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    While all the reasons stated for not doing this are valid the elephant in the room is being completely ignored. That elephant is the fact that LM dealers can not survive as standalone Lincoln dealers. They couldn’t 20 years ago when Lincoln sold many more vehicles than they do today. So Ford has two choices, combine Lincoln with Ford and drop Mercury or give Mercury new product. IMO combining Lincoln with Ford is not a good idea and apparently Ford doesn’t think so either otherwise they wouldn’t be introducing any new Mercury models. Having spent 30 years selling LM products I think Mercury can again be a viable brand. I don’t think the buying public puts nearly as much emphasis on brand engineering as people on this site do. If they did Mercury would have never had the marketshare they once did. Keep in mind as well the cost to Ford to close the LM dealerships, they don’t have the luxury GM and Chrysler did under BK. To me it is a self fulfilling prophecy that Mercury is at the point today it could be eliminated since Ford has all but starved the division of product. Mercury was in the not too distant past a viable brand and with new products can again be. A Mercury badged Focus won’t be enough to re-establish the brand either, more new product is necessary.

    • 0 avatar
      donkensler

      Yes, in the past Mercury has been able to get reasonable volumes (e.g., in the 1983-1988 era of the jellybean T-bird and GM-style Cougar), but it’s only been at times when it wasn’t too obvious what was going on (i.e., the models looked different from the facing Fords). I thought the aforementioned Cougar was a great use of the Mercury brand, because it looked good to people who thought the Bird looked strange (I preferred the Bird myself), and captured buyers who wouldn’t have considered the Bird. If this is another Fusion/Milan or Escape/Mariner, I don’t see why Ford is bothering.

      And I question whether Mercury really makes money. It doesn’t offer trim levels higher than Ford, and comparably equipped is within $25-$50 of the facing Fords, so unless virtually all of those low volumes are incremental it can’t be profitable to spend any money on the design differences and marketing. Continuing Mercury is cheaper than the alternative of buying out a bunch of dealers, so it’s the low-cost alternative, but I would guess properly accounted Mercury is a loser.

    • 0 avatar
      mtymsi

      Given the minimal cost to Ford historically to produce Mercury models I’m sure Mercury is profitable to Ford. In almost every instance the Mercury model was built on the same assembly line as the Ford counterpart. The Sable, Cougar and Grand Marquis are good examples of successful Mercury products in the past and there is no reason Mercury wouldn’t be successful again if given the right products. I understand that Ford is both cash strapped and focused on the core brand but IMO to the point of totally ignoring Mercury which is the root cause of its demise.

    • 0 avatar
      donkensler

      I agree with you wholeheartedly that Merc has in the past moved some serious volumes. Your examples prove the point, though, that it only happens when there’s some serious differentiation between a Merc and the facing Ford. In the mid-80′s, I didn’t know too many people who liked both the T-bird and the Cougar, but almost everyone liked either one or the other. And the first generation Sable took the Taurus’ design a step further with the light bar, the unique rear end, and the greenhouse design. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Grand Marquis had a top trim level that couldn’t be duplicated on a Crown Vic.

      Presently, Mercury has the Panther platform to itself, but other than that it just represents another cross-shopping opportunity for Ford buyers. There’s no unique design, just a different grille and tail lights. There’s no exclusive trim level (although by now a Milan-only higher trim level would be bumping up against the MKZ). If Ford could give the Mercs some sort of differentiation (e.g., unique rooflines and some reshaping of the fenders), there would be a reason for Merc to exist. Right now, Mercury just amounts to a waterfall grille rather than the three bars.

      And it should be noted that Ford brought this on itself in the PAG days when it was decreed that Lincoln couldn’t encroach on Jaguar territory, which left Lincoln occupying kind of Buick’s space in the market (i.e., not true luxury). Now that the Ford brand is trying to move upmarket, there’s not much room left for Mercury.

      And lest anyone here (not you, mtymsi, but the community in general) think I’m a mindless Ford basher, I retired from Ford at the end of 2007 after 29 years of bleeding Ford blue. I criticized Ford enough over the years, but it was from the point of view of a family member who wanted (and wants) the company to succeed for another hundred years.

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    Good move. As long as buyers are willing to pay for Ford rebadges while Ford makes a profit why not? It will be a few more years before Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealers are fully consolidated so, in the meantime, there will be buyers visiting L-M dealers where the Focus isn’t. And because Mercury volume is relatively low compared with Ford, and the Euro-look of Fords is very different than the traditional look of Mercury I doubt Focus buyers are going to feel cheated in some brand equity way. Nobody really thinks that Mercury is an upscale Ford, but there are plenty of people who appreciate the different styling. That’s more than good enough and smart business.

    BTW, I can understand why “Tracer” is a good choice: it has some history and Ford probably still has rights to the name. However, “Mode,” meaning “fashion” in French, seems like a tailor-made name for Mercury’s intended customer-base, young professional Jill Wagner wannabees. I’d like to see the “Mariner” name changed. Reminds me of the Gorton’s fisherman.

  • avatar
    rachmiel99

    Look: I know TTAC has an irrational Ford-hatred issue that it hasn’t worked out in therapy yet . . . and I know a holiday Monday is a slow news day . . .

    BUT

    Why are you so angry? If some people like a different grille and taillights, what’s it to you? Isn’t the the choice within the free-market what you all supposedly love? I was one on the “suckers” in the late-80s who liked the looks of the Sable better than the Taurus. I was happy to have a car that I thought looked a little more edgy than the more-common Taurus design. It made me happy. Seriously . . . what’s it to you?

    Oh, and PS: Why don’t you guys freak out when Toyota “tarts up” a Camry and calls it a Lexus?

    • 0 avatar
      Seth L

      I think the majority of the ire is focused (no pun intended) on the revival of the Tracer name.

      Although I have to agree, Mercury seems like it would be easy to save, and new product here and there isn’t a bad thing.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      I kind of think the Lexus ES is kind of a waste, but someone seems to like entry-level luxury models, so they build them… But you have to admit that much of the Lexus line (IS, GS etc.) is not available as a Toyota model, and I’m trying to think what Mercury offers different from Ford. I’d ask the same thing about GMC and Chevy, or Buick and Chevy for that matter.

    • 0 avatar
      akitadog

      rachmiel99,

      Question for you. If Ford offered the slightly different grille/taillight treatment as the top trim on a Ford, would you feel any differently?

      The point is that all that Mercury is is a TOP-TRIM FORD. In this “paycheck-to-paycheck” era of the auto industry, the differences between Mercury and Ford cars are not worth Ford’s time and money to bother with the distinction, which has been phoned in since at least the 80s anyway.

      And, honestly, you admit that the differences between Mercs and Fords are barely minimal, yet you can’t see the actual sheetmetal differences between an ES and a Camry, not to mention options and standard features on the ES not available on the Camry?

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      @akitadog

      If Mercury was a top trim level of Ford (ex: change the tailight/grile/interior treatment and call it the LTD {Luxury Trim Decor} package) at least that would be more honest and there would be a more compelling reason to charge a price premium.

      Pantry Cloth interior anyone? http://ateupwithmotor.com/component/content/article/90.html

    • 0 avatar
      rachmiel99

      My sense is that the idea of Mercury as the step-up from Ford hasn’t been relevant for a very long time. Rather, at its best, Mercury was a more adventurous take on the Ford styling. Sometimes I found it appealing (the upright grille on the mid 80s Capri, the wraparound backlight and lightbar of the Sable), sometimes less so (the “upside down” rear quarter window on the mid 80s Cougar). Regardless, it was different, and gave Ford the opportunity to sell multiple designs on the same platform.

      I think the market showed the wisdom of that decision. Ford sold over 300k Sables in 86 alone.

      The problem in the 90s forward was not that Mercury existed . . . the problem was that their designs became less distinctive.

      So — *IF* Ford can bring back a distinctive look for Mercury, I repeat: What’s it to TTAC and its readers if consumers have that choice? Why does that make you so upset?

    • 0 avatar

      Here’s the thing about calling out TTAC for a specific bias: it only shows your own bias. We have enough grump for all the automakers.
      Substantively, I agree that more choice is good, but more rebadges is not the same as more choice. As a way to offer more choice to the market, Mercury could be replaced with a trim level. Or the JC Whitney catalog. Keeping it around only reminds folks of old, bad Detroit.
      Why won’t Mercury move past this stage? To boil it down to two words: One Ford. Dearborn is trying to unify and globalize, and to do that it needs a really solid mainstream brand (where it’s doing well) and a viable global brand. Lincoln isn’t there by a long shot, and in order to get there, the single-market distraction that is Mercury has to go. The only way Mercury can be distinctive is if it robs from Ford’s full-line credentials by taking Euro-import “new” products like C-Max and Kuga hostage as part of a limited Mercury lineup, or develops all-new products using resources that would be better-spent on a Lincoln turnaround.
      Or keep playing the same old rebadge game. Which, given how hard brand wind-downs are to pull off (and thanks to the many commenters who emphasized this point better than I), is what will keep happening for the foreseeable future.

    • 0 avatar
      rachmiel99

      Edward –

      The problem, which I’ve tried to explain as I see it, is that phrases like the “rebadge game” are too simple. It depends on whether the Merc looks appreciably different.

      My sense is that most consumers are not so dumb as some people here assume. I picked a Sable knowing full well it was mechanically identical to a Taurus. I wasn’t duped. I just liked the looks of the Sable better.

      If the new Tracer is identical to the new Focus (like the 90s Tracer), I will agree with your analysis that Mercury dilutes the Ford brand. BUT . . . if the new Tracer looks as different from the Focus as the 80s Mercs did from 80s Fords, will you agree with my analysis?

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I watched the video; did you say something about badge engineering?

    • 0 avatar
      crash sled

      Hee hee, yeah it did sorta appear like Jill was flashing us in that video!

      Now THAT would be a good marketing strategy for Merc. Get some pole-swinging models in there. Tie it in with Hooters or something.

      If you’re gonna tart up the line, then don’t take any half measures. Go all out.

  • avatar
    h82w8

    Can’t think of a car with less brand equity than “Tracer.” Not that they have a deep well of brand goodwill to dip from anyway – Topaz, Linx, Capri… All were badge engineered, slightly overpriced Fords (although, who the hell knows what the ever-morphing Capri was supposed to have been).

    LM dealers are no doubt loudly influencing this doomed decision. Why they think anybody will care only serves to highlight their Obama-like grasp of reality.

    You hit it spot on, Ed. Merc must mort.

  • avatar
    capprentice

    I would say that if ford does it right it may actually work..

    If they push mercury into strictly Luxury, they could offer more of the really high end gimmicks and may even be able to sell it to people that don’t want a small econ box. Quality leather, push button start, panoramic sunroof, Change the sheet metal a little and they could actually compete in the higher market,
    What will cause them to fail is if they just do a straight re-badged , They need to remove any option to go bare bones on the model for Mercury,
    The problem with the focus is that it can be a cheap or expensive car, Tough for the people that are buying a car for status.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark MacInnis

      Safe bet will be that any changes will be cosmetic only….gussy up the bumpers, interior and grill, maybe wrap some PVC around the flanks a la Pontiac…..sheet metal changes will likely be VERY minimal, due to a coupla considerations….1. cost of stamping tooling amortized over a low production volume make gross sheetmetal changes a non-starter. Two: 2 sets of parts in stamping facilities and assembly plants take up real-estate and require additional cost for material handlers, special containers, etc….

      While I agree, this solution is less than optimal for Ford, bet your ass that Mullaly has had the numbers run for him and this is the least sucky of options. Prolly had some rumblings that if they DINT provide some new product, Merc dealers would be filing in court….

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    @ Gardiner Westbound

    You make good sense. Unfortunately that hasn’t happend in the USA becasu of state-specific dealer franchise laws. Dealership owners, well-connected to regional politicians, helped push these “protectionist” laws through to protect them from easily getting their franchise whacked by the OEM.

    This is the same reason the GM and Chrysler dealers feel they have a right to sue and have their franchises forceably reinsated. It’s also the reason it cost GM so much to kill Oldsmobile. There is also speculation it could cost GM as much as 2 billion just to kill off Saturn.

    Mercury is part of the Lincoln dealer brand. Lincoln delaers can not survive on their own and need a sub-brand just to stay in business and do volume. Combining them with ford would make sense, but would would cost Ford a ton in payouts and even possible lawsuites.

    Believe me… Ford would like nothign better than to shut-down the Mercury brnad here in the states. They are just trying to find a way to do it without getting in (political) trouble.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Ford HAS been trying to kill Mercury. It has deprived the brand of product, and restricted distinctions to little more than different taillights and grill, and a slightly fancier interior. I thought my beautiful ’92 Sable (in a rich green color, by the way) was clearly superior to the Taurus alternative at virtually the same price.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    Maybe Ford will put more powerful engines in the Mercs to differentiate between the brands.Nothing sets a car a part from another like another 100 horsepower.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    There must be options for the Mercury that you can’t get on the Ford, or this is all pointless. I don’t think Ford will have the guts to withold anything from the options sheet on the Focus.

    BTW I prefer the look of many Mercury products over their Ford counterparts but not enough to pay extra for the same vehicle. On the used market, if the Mercury has depreciated more then I’ll give it serious consideration but that’s not a winning business model.

    I’d like to hear Lang weigh in as a used car dealer on his feelings about Mercury.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    A couple years ago on this site I suggested it may be cheaper to rebadge Fords than to kill Mercury, especially w/o BK protection.

    I think Ford’s gamble – not filing for BK and hoping for some dead cat bounce -will backfire on them. They need to get rid of Merc., but they can’t afford to do it. They want to save Lincoln, but they can’t do that by killing off Merc – no Lincoln dealer could survive alone. (It would make a stand alone Buick dealership seem desireable)

    For Lincoln to survive, Merc has to survive, and for Merc to survive, they have to have some new product.

    Two questions;

    One, I wonder if it’s possible to make LM a separate corporation, then let it file Chapter 11? Or even 7?

    Two, what will the Lincoln version of the Focus be called? MKF?

  • avatar
    NickR

    If Jill Wagner was wearing perfume that guy will probably never wash that shirt again.

    Ah yes, the Tracer, a distinguished name of Mercury’s past, conjuring up images of…oh whatever.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    If they were going to rebadge something as a Mercury model, why not bring back the Cougar as a slightly more luxurious Mustang? How does rebadging an entry-level car help to justify Mercury’s continuing existence?

  • avatar
    TomH

    If only it were so simple. (Sigh!)

    As noted in a couple of the above posts, killing a brand is not as easy as it seems. Hell, even with the Fed as your business partner, GM and Chrysler are in legal purgatory following “Get out of Jail Free” C11 enabled dealer closings and despite paying ~$2B in “tribute” the Oldsmobile shut-down continues to this day.

    If you understood state franchise laws, then you would realize that Ford never had the “opportunity” described in your opening.

  • avatar
    calvin1234

    I have a really crazy idea that probably wouldn’t work…
    How about dumping Mercury and replacing it with Volvo? That would be a brand upscale enough to be sold next to Lincoln and would help with volume some especially if they used the Mercury ad budget for Volvo.

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    If Mercury goes away, I hope they can fit Jill Wagner into Ford Commercials. Jill Wagner….mmmmmmm

  • avatar
    John Holt

    I think the title should have been “Mercury Must Die.”

    And I agree.

  • avatar
    npbheights

    I am waiting for the Mercury version of the Transit Connect. /Sarcasm

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I still think Mercury’s a dead brand walking. One rebadged Focus won’t change that. But it will give L/M dealers the opportunity to sell something until Lincoln can stand alone without Mercury.

    Selling a few gussied-up Focuses (Focii?) makes Ford a few bucks, and buys them time to flesh out the Lincoln line, preparing for the day when Mercury goes away, as it must.

    It’ll also be interesting to see if the concept of premium small cars will fly, and this gives them the opportunity to test that thesis.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Jill Wagoner could sell anything, even Chrysler Fiat cars.

  • avatar
    cpmanx

    There are at least two nonsensical comments in this post. First:

    “Both Chrysler and Ford passed up opportunities to hack off purposeless brands…” Um, when exactly did Ford have that opportunity? They have the same problem now that they have had for years. Getting rid of Mercury takes away too much volume from the L-M dealers, and you can bet there would be huge costs in shutting down the brand and dealing with dealer lawsuits. Keeping the volume by rebranding the Mercury lineup as entry-level Lincolns would steer Lincoln even further downmarket, exactly the opposite of where it needs to go.

    “Ford is breaking the silence surrounding its entry-luxe brand…” Really? I recall hearing this exact strategy many months ago. The idea is that Mercury will offer slightly higher-end small cars. It’s an act of necessity, but not necessarily a bad strategy. That way there are small cars to prop up volume in the L-M dealers but they are not badged as Lincolns and so do not drag down the brand (at least not as much). And that way Ford can take advantage of more of the many c-segment variants it has planned.

    You assume that the Mercury C-car will be a rebadged Focus. But that is just an assumption. What if Mercury gets the C-Max and the coupe/convertible, while Ford gets the hatch/sedan and Grand C-Max? I’d be happy to see those other Focus spinoffs here. Longer term, there’s no reason why Mercury’s small cars couldn’t be as differentiated from Ford’s as Volvo’s Focus derivatives (C30, S40, V50, etc) have been, once the cash flow situation improves.

    Not to be a pollyanna, but I just don’t get some of the reflexive grumpiness going on around here.

  • avatar
    DangerousDave

    My brother drives a Mercury. When I asked him why he didn’t buy a Ford, he told me “They’re a bit nicer than a Ford and the service is much better at the Lincoln/mercury dealer. I can see his point about the service department. He gets a loaner at the L/M dealer and none at the Ford dealer.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    The only real Mercury left is the Grand Marquis. Since Ford badly botched keeping that market and product up to date, when the Grand Marquis dies, they should just kill Mercury.

    Mercury should be the Grand Marquis, Cougar, and one smaller midsize or compact car. No marketing to women – they should go back to their hey-day, when they were “The Man’s Car”.

    Of course they won’t do this – globalization demands sameness everywhere, which means I’m keeping what I own as long as possible.


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