Mercury Dealers in Deep Denial

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

How's this for gallows humor. What's the difference between Ford's Mercury franchise and the Titanic? The Titanic had a band. That little piece of levity arrives courtesy John Pico, a dealership consultant in Dallas. Speaking to Automotive News [AN sub], Pico pointed out that Chrysler killed Plymouth when the brand's new vehicle sales descended to 246k units, and GM pulled the plug on Oldsmobile when that brand's sales fell to 289k. Mercury's sales are currently below 200k, and heading south. Automotive News surveyed 125 Mercury dealers to do the math. No can do. Despite the fact that two-thirds admitted they sell fewer than 15 new Mercury vehicles a month, five out of six said Mercury's current product lineup is competitive. It better be; aside from a Merc version of the 2009 hybrid Focus, there is no new product planned for the brand. AN also reports that the "How great is that?" Mark LT pickup is about to go away. Yet still they believe. "Dealers in the survey said they hope Ford will apply proceeds from the sale of these European luxury brands to strengthening Mercury." According to Brian Allan, general manager of Galpin Lincoln-Mercury in suburban LA, "With the possible sale of Volvo, Mercury could be even more important in the near future for Ford Motor Company." Of this possibility FoMoCo's silence speaks volumes.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Mrcknievel Mrcknievel on Sep 04, 2007

    Mercury doesn't make sense as a brand anymore..Ford should be streamlining and killing off Mercury is an easy one..if people want to step up from their stripper model Fords...they can buy a Lincoln. Take the nice looking bits they are cramming in Mercury models to make em different and tart up Ford a bit to increase their ability to compete with the barbarians at the gates.

  • Ronin Ronin on Sep 04, 2007

    Consumer Reports consistently rated the Sable higher than the Taurus, so I guess it was a different car after all!

  • Radimus Radimus on Sep 04, 2007

    If Ford finally kills off Mercury I wonder if the dealers will team up with Horvath and come up with some cock-eyed conspiracy to explain it all.

  • Johnster Johnster on Sep 04, 2007
    ronin: Consumer Reports consistently rated the Sable higher than the Taurus, so I guess it was a different car after all! This happens all the time with two cars that, for practically all purposes, are mechanically identical. In years past there was a similar situtation with the Chrysler Concorde and the Dodge Intrepid. In general Sable and Concorde owners are older and wealthier than Taurus and Intrepid owners. They don't drive as much, they drive more conservatively, and they are more likely to closely stick to recommended maintenance schedules. It would seem this accounts for the different ratings.