Mercury Offers "Private Cash" to Selected Buyers

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz

In accordance with standard industry practice, the Mercury brand's website lists whatever promotions and rebates are ongoing. They are, of course, only telling buyers part of the sales story. The "Ford for Sexy Urban Professional Ladies with Style" brand is also sending out rebates via email called "private cash." It's not clear who is receiving the $500 coupons and why, but several have gone to people that don't have Ford family vehicles. They are more than just a standard incentive; each coupon has a recipient-specific code that's not transferrable outside of the household. This kind of targeted rebate has some benefits for the company. For one thing, the offer stays outside the general news stream (at least, it did until right now). For another, it's been reported as "making recipients feel really special and sort of warm inside." Not surprisingly, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid (a.k.a. the only Merc with a modicum of interest from the public) is excluded from the under-the-table incentive. If I was shopping for a car, I'd definitely take one of these golden tickets down to the Mercury dealership and test drive a Milan V6 (wait, already did that).

Justin Berkowitz
Justin Berkowitz

Immensely bored law student. I've also got 3 dogs.

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  • Storminvormin Storminvormin on Oct 24, 2007

    I really do wonder what formula they will be using for distributing these? I wish it was random so I could have a chance at receiving and discarding it like a jury duty notice.

  • Pch101 Pch101 on Oct 24, 2007
    The public isn’t telling Ford what they think of Ford’s cars That's exactly what the public is telling them. Consumers have a limited amount of money to spend, and their choice to spend it in some places and not spend it in others provides an outstanding indicator of what they want and don't want. There's no distortion in the market, just follow the money. If the market likes a product a lot, it will whip out its collective checkbook and buy more of it. If they love it, there will be a shortage of it, and rebates won't be necessary. If they don't like it, the inventories will pile up, incentives will set out like stacks of cordwood, and it will be fire sale time at your local dealer. The market is the most honest measure you're going to get. People can talk the talk all day, but at the end of the day, it's how they spend and withhold their money that tells you what they're really thinking.
  • Blautens Blautens on Oct 24, 2007

    I agree with others. I'd love to see the demo on the recipients. I also agree with others that $500 isn't enough to make me blink on the average purchase price of my last 10 cars.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Oct 24, 2007

    Justin, The affect of what you are saying is real, but it tends to be marginal over the long haul. For one thing, the discounts started because the cars were not selling. To stop the bleeding, they must stop overproducing, or build a product that can sustain a higher price at the desired volume. It's simply supply and demand.