Mercury Lives! Brand to Sell Small Cars. Or Not.

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Nestled in a New York Times article about Ford's fight for survival– switching production to small cars, building world cars, reporting epic losses on Thursday, yada, yada, yada– comes news that FoMoCo is NOT killing their Mercury brand. The Gray Lady's head automotive cheerleader cites "people, who spoke on the condition that they not be quoted by name because of the timing of the official announcement on Thursday" as saying The Blue Oval Boys will make the brand "an integral part of its new small-car strategy." Well, my mind is boggling. But not Bill Vlasic's, a reporter who feels compelled to not add a damn thing to that revelation, other than "the company will keep the Mercury brand and use it as another distribution channel for small cars." Which is the same thing, only later. The rest of the article is padded with a potted history of FoMoCo's "troubles," with the usual Vlasic Motown-thrown bone. John Wolkonowicz, an auto industry analyst with the forecasting firm Global Insight, tells Bill "“It’s hard to blame Ford for building vehicles that consumers wanted to buy."

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Taxman100 Taxman100 on Jul 22, 2008

    The only Mercury worth a darn is the Grand Marquis. I don't know how others may be, but I've owned a 1994, and now a 2002, and they have been very reliable and durable vehicles. Actually, I owend the 1994 and the 2002 concurrently for a while, until the wife said we don't need three full sized cars (I also have a 67 Ford Galaxie 500 convertible) So Ford is going back to making Mercury rebadged Fords, only now they will be cheap crackerbox cars. I guess the disaster of advertising to women and metrosexuals is finally being realized. It will be like being at home with my 6 month old sson when I visit a Mercury dealership to order my last Grand Marquis in 2010 - I will have to step around all the toys on the showroom floor and find a salesman that will is willing to order the last real car sold in North America.

  • Lynn Ellsworth Lynn Ellsworth on Jul 23, 2008

    I read the NYT's article and my first thought was it would be fun to listen in on a group of Mercury dealers trying to figure out what this all means.

  • Capeplates Capeplates on Jul 23, 2008

    Ford are on a loser! The small car market is firmly in the hands of far eastern manufacturers that the USA cannot compete against. You cannot compete against perfection. However with the way American industry is protected by their government how long before the sale of foreign cars is forbidden to protect the almighty dollar/USA car industry!

  • Macarose Macarose on Jul 23, 2008

    Apparently Ford wants to Rethink Mercury. They should Rethink Lincoln as well...