Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: Ford Killing Mercury?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Bloomberg is reporting that anonymous sources tell them

[Ford’s] top executives are preparing a proposal to kill Mercury to be presented to directors in July

The rumor has yet to be confirmed, but the decision is clearly a sound one. We’ve written at length about Ford’s premium-brand problems, and Mercury is easily one of the weakest brands on the market. With Lincoln said to be going global, it makes plenty of sense to kill off Mercury. In fact, axing the purposeless entry-luxe brand might just be one of the single smartest moves Ford could make right now.

UPDATE via Twitter’s @davidshephardson(also of the Detroit News): “Mulally says he didn’t read Bloomberg report on Mercury. Says Ford has ‘nothing new to announce.'”

Edward Niedermeyer
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  • Don1967 Don1967 on May 28, 2010

    Canada socializes health care, then kills Mercury. America... well, you can see where this is going.

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    • Boyphenom666 Boyphenom666 on Jun 01, 2010

      Judging from the latest reports, Canada is also running into an economic wall regarding health care costs. The trouble with health care is two things: 1) it's prepaid; and 2) the government bundles a lot of services in there that you wouldn't pay for if you had to pay out of your own pocket. Prepaid has the same effect as a smorgasbord or a motel room. Since you already paid for your room, you don't really care how high you run the AC. And bundling is like when I worked at MCGraw-Hill, their policy covered dermatology. When I had a wart that had to be frozen off, I went. Now that I pay for dermatology myself, I cut the wart off myself (except if one were to grow on my pretty face, that is).

  • Martin Mantle Martin Mantle on May 28, 2010

    Mercury's dead. It's been really a long way coming, the phasing out of the Panther needs by all accounts to mark the end of Mercury as well. There is a reason why there is much nostalgia for the Panther platform and the Mark coupes, with clubs, collectors, and restorers all waxing those cars out there right now as you're reading this. Those were the days when Ford was still "getting" the luxury car concept. The Mark VII and Mark VIII spanked anything made by GM from 1985 to 1998, and the Town Car/Grand Marquis were superior to the DeVille/Seville bunch. Albeit brand engineered, the Marks and the Panther had enough to distinguish themselves from the base crowd, much more than just some chrome trim slapped on top. The Marks had the air ride, and the Town Car could never be confused with a Crown Vic. Not to mention all those cars were rugged as hell, which is how some of us have put them through about 200k miles and still drive them. Today when I see a Lincoln I usually see a Fusion or a Taurus with different taillights and waterfall grilles. Sad. I do hope they somehow find a way to save Lincoln though. To do that, however, they would need NEED NEED to bring back the "legacy" names, and that just ain't gonna happen, we all know. I heard somewhere about there being developed a new RWD to replace the Town Car... well, the idiots that Lincoln management have proven themselves to be they will probably call it the MKR. They would need to completely redesign the Towny exterior while keeping the name, ditch that fugly MKS atrocity, put all of the MKS options on the new Towny, redesign the MKZ exterior while staying on the same platform, maybe give it the air suspension and call it a Continental. Taurus will sell itself and doesn't need a Lincoln sibling. Also, given the abundance of BMW and Infiniti coupes out there, it's time to bring back the Mark IX idea. I'm still undecided on if keeping the hump trunk for that one would be a good risk to take, but it can't possibly do much worse than what they're selling right now and most likely would sell better. And PLEASE could these idiots switch to AWD across the board already, with some RWD in the mix - luxury cars have no business being FWD, none whatever. Oh well, none of that is going to happen, Lincoln will most likely keep limping along as a second-tier luxury brand... rant over.

  • Musiccitymafia Musiccitymafia on May 31, 2010

    That this is happening now may speak volumes. We knew Ford had slowly over the years set the deck to encompass the folding-up of Mercury as a possible play. That they've chosen now to play these final cards may indicate a lack of confidence in the financial rebound they were just recently embracing. Further hunkering down and simplifying / streamlining the product portfolio provides illumination on corporate strategy. Aww, the wrathing and churning symptoms of a company free to fight for survival. It doesn't get much better

  • Maxb49 Maxb49 on Jun 01, 2010

    Though many will disagree, I think this is a bad idea. There is a place for Mercury, just as there is a place for Buick. It'll be sad to see the Grand Marquis disappear. Sadder yet will be the inevitible loss of jobs from the closing of the Mercury division, as is the current downward movement of Lincoln to a near-luxury division. This is going to come back to bite Mulally in the face. These mistakes are similar to 1980s General Motors.

    • Boyphenom666 Boyphenom666 on Jun 01, 2010

      There's something to be said for focus, no pun intended, but it sounds to me like obtuse gearhead thinking. Ideally, you would differentiate Mercury, making it look and drive different from a Ford. But if all you're going to do is change the front grille and some badges, and you sell 100,000 more units to people who wouldn't otherwise buy a Ford, I don't see how that's bad, either. (I've never liked the Mercury Milan, but I have to say that lately it's grown on me. Same with the Honda Accord. Am I getting old?) Mulally is a Toyota fanboy so he wants to copy everything they do. But much like the what led to GM reversing the closings a lot of rural dealerships, Ford is going to find that conventional wisdom isn't always correct. Mercury costs them virtually nothing to run. If it makes it easier to sell Lincolns, they should keep them around.