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Will Mercury soon be joining Plymouth and Oldsmobile?

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  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,205
    I didn't really think of that vm, Mercury being the portal for the Euro/Aussie vehicles, like Saturn & Pontiac for GM. That's another possibility...I just hope if that does occur the powers that be don't change the flavor, the spark, the design trying to "Americanize" the vehicles.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,205
    I recall the article as well, I can't remember if I read that on Detroit News online or USA Today. I believe there's also a blurb on it in Automotive News.

    But with Jaguar & LR really have to sell together becuase they are so intertwined. I am guessing that FOMOCO would keep a stake in both like they did with Aston. Perhaps they could have enough of a stake to get a platform out of it.

    But getting back to Mercury, I sure hope ARM has a plan for the marque. And that this plan is actually feasible, has definition and thru-put!
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    The real reason that LR is being "thrown in" is because no one would want Jag alone.
    LR is the sweetner. A compnay that actually has a good product line, is profitable, and has a bright future.
  • Its both really.

    In the past two years I have seen a lot of jobs that used to have separate Land Rover and Jaguar personnel combined into one. The only person I deal with on a regular basis now that is Land Rover only is our market manager everyone else has dual roles with Jag.

    Jag and LR even share a factory now.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,205
    Thanks BR. You pretty much summed up my response. While it could be done and Jaguar sold alone, it would end up one big mess. Like you said, they are so intertwined now their almost really one company.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 231
    Richard Truett
    Automotive News
    October 15, 2007 - 4:14 pm ET

    Click Here!
    DETROIT -- R.I.P. Mercury? Not yet.

    Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally said today that the struggling division will not be killed.

    In a meeting with reporters at a factory outside Detroit, here’s what Mulally said when asked if Mercury has a future.

    “Absolutely. It’s doing well. We’ve got a great set of products in Mercury. It’s a very nice complement to the Ford products. And so we have a good lineup in Ford, Lincoln and Mercury.”

    But Ford officials have been tight-lipped about Mercury’s future products. Except for a hybrid version of the Milan sedan coming next summer, no other vehicles are known to be in the pipeline for Mercury.

    Mercury sales have been declining for years. In 2006, Mercury sold 180,848 vehicles, its lowest total since 1960. Through September, sales were off another 11 percent, down from 146,418 to 129,743 for the nine-month period.

    Mulally, lumping Mercury’s sales performance in with Lincoln, said: “It’s a great product line, and dealers are very happy with it. Sales are spectacular for Lincoln Mercury. In some areas, Lincoln Mercury has been growing faster than Ford.”

    Lincoln is one of the rare bright spots for Ford; the division has posted sales gains every month this year. Lincoln’s sales of 102,449 units through September are running about 11 percent higher than last year.

    Mercury has about 1,900 dealers. Most are dualed with Ford or Lincoln.

    On other topics:

    * Mulally said he expects Jim Farley to have an immediate impact once he settles in as Ford’s group vice president of marketing and communications. Mulally wooed Farley from Toyota, where he was general manager of the Lexus Division.

    “Mr. Farley is a proven auto executive," he said. "He’s very experienced in marketing and sales and especially in getting the word out. He’s going to be a great help.”

    * Ford is expecting big things from the revamped Focus. Mulally said the new compact will: Define Ford going forward, arrest Ford’s market share decline and help position Ford for profitable growth.

    “This is the finest small vehicle Ford has ever produced,” Mulally told a crowd of assembly line workers at the company’s Wayne stamping and assembly plant, where the car is built.


    He must know something we don't :confuse:
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    He certainly is spouting a lot of corporate-speak BS, isn't he? Calling the American 08 Focus the "finest small vehicle Ford has ever produced" is weird hyperbole. He is well aware of European Fords. Rehashing and refining a 2000 Focus does not the finest small vehicle make. And he has got to be aware as well of Mercury's very poor sales figures. Of course we all need to keep in mind he is not a car guy. His strengths lie elsewhere and hopefully will be enough to pull Ford out of the doldrums. It would be nice to see something besides the upgraded Taurus (which still can be easily mistaken for the unloved 500) and the Edge/MKX twins to carry some water right now. That would include something...anything for Mercury besides the aluminum-trimmed Ford clones it has.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,205
    Hmmm, one moment Mercury is separate, the next it's Lincoln-Mercury, like its one division.

    While Farley is going to help on the marketing side, the ultimate help will need to come from the product itself. They need solid product that can sell itself and not only rely on marketing hype. The marketing hype might get a customer in the dealer, but it's the product that get them to stay and make the purchase...

    From the shots of the Focus I saw, I didn't know the truth could be stretched that much. From Mulally's speech and use of catch-phrases it seems Farley is starting to work his "magic". As stated, he must not know there is a European Focus / Ka and that a redesign of a seven-year old car ain't gonna cut it.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    More like 10 years. That era Focus was introduced in Europe in 1998. And redesign would be good, if that's what was done. But here again, Ford is using the same body, same greenhouse, same engine, all dimensions the same. This time at least they bent the superficial surface skin a bit different here and there, but anyone looking at it will recognize it as essentially the same 4 door Focus we have seen since its introduction.

    It has always been the Lincoln-Mercury division. There had been consideration of separating them when Lincoln was briefly considered (and then rejected by Bill) for inclusion in PAG. I still think if they manage to prop up sales of Lincolns enough in time, then Mercury will be put out of its misery. If they can't remake Lincoln into a player in the top half of luxury car segment, then they will keep Mercury so dealers will still have some volume. Of course, they could also eventually tie all Lincoln dealers to a Ford dealer, and solve the problem that way.

    Ford doesn't seem to have the business sense to pull a Saturn-type comeback for Mercury. Making it a trim level of Ford products to appeal to women was just assinine. Men still buy a fair number of vehicles. Why alienate them???
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    Remember how Mercury was once advertised as "The Man's Car?"

    I guess we'll soon be seeing Sables painted pink, white, and lavender, and come with a matching handbag and compact?
    Maybe they'll also have a spiffy raincoat hat and umbrella?
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    "It has always been the Lincoln-Mercury division."

    Well, mostly. I test drove a 59 Edsel one time (I really should have bought it!)as a lark. There was a plate inside the door noting it was produced by the MEL (Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln) division of the Ford Motor Company.

    I could see why they are not in a hurry to remember that.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 231
    If they can't remake Lincoln into a player in the top half of luxury car segment, then they will keep Mercury so dealers will still have some volume.

    I still like the idea a few posts back about making Mercury a legitimate entry-lux brand, like Lexus' volume sellers the RX and ES. If FoMoCo is serious about developing Lincoln into where Jag should have been, I would like the brand to be unencumbered by the MKX and MKZ.

    I remember a while back there was speculation about making Mercurys Ford's alternative power division. That seemed good too, because Mercurys could stay trim levels of Fords, while still providing a reason for Mercury's existance.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    I remember a while back there was speculation about making Mercurys Ford's alternative power division. That seemed good too, because Mercurys could stay trim levels of Fords, while still providing a reason for Mercury's existance.

    A reasonable idea in some universe, except today's. If Mercury offered hotter engines across the board in essentially the same Fords as Ford was selling, Ford would soon enough have to offer those engines as options in its own models, to stay competitive (or to get the jump on Chevy or Dodge). Way back when Mercury was the basis of hot rods, Mercury shared more with Lincoln than with Ford. No matter how you cut it, Mercury will need to get more differentiation from Ford, or it will continue to fade away.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 231
    You're right. I just would really hate to see a brand go like that. I think GM was foolish to let Olds go, and I think FoMoCo would be foolish to let Mercury go. They are both great American brands with name recognition and an established dealer network. Give them product!!!

    To be honest I'm more of a GM fan, but at heart I want all the domestics to prosper and all the imports to fail. It's just a matter of patriotism. Now, that doesn't mean buy American for the sake of buying American (my family has two nissans that I picked out). It means I really want GM to offer the class leading model in every market segment, and Ford the second leading model.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,205
    Yes, the Lincoln-Mercury in the past few decades but in the beginning they were separate. Lincolns goes waaaaay back, Mercury cam along later and wasn't tied to each other at the hip like they are now. Believe in the 60s when they were tied together through dealerships, as Mercury was then considered higher-up than Ford, had more differentiation between itself and Ford & Lincoln. But little by little the lines crossed, blurred, shot-gun wedding, separation, back together and now almost a funeral. :P

    Yes, I like the Saturn idea comeback for Mercury, using it as funnel for the European or even the Aussie Fords, like Pontiac is the portal for Holden.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 231
    So, assuming someone eventually picks up Jag/LR, FoMoCo will need a new PAG with all but Volvo (which I really hope they keep) being sold. What I would do first is establish a core of models that presents L/M as the new additions to the prenium lineup.

    Lincoln-
    Town Car(S/7)
    Continental(E/5)
    Zephyr(C/3)
    Navigator(GL/Escalade)
    ...and later Aviator (ML/X5), and coupe versions of the sedans, and Surveyor(?)(GLK/X3)

    Mercury-
    Mountaineer (RX/MDX): luxury edge like the MKX
    Milan (ES/TL): luxury fusion like the MKZ
    ...and later Cougar: Milan coupe
    ...and the Sable: the new MKS so it doesn't go to waste; the current Sable is too similar to the Taurus

    How's that? Too much? Basically I figure in order to keep both Lincoln and Mercury, Lincoln needs to be more expensive to allow Mercury to operate in Lincoln's current pricepoint.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    I like your breakdown. I'd vote for it. But Mulally is not a car guy and unless he develops that sense, Ford may survive but Mercury is dead.
  • "Mercury-
    Mountaineer (RX/MDX): luxury edge like the MKX
    Milan (ES/TL): luxury fusion like the MKZ
    ...and later Cougar: Milan coupe
    ...and the Sable: the new MKS so it doesn't go to waste; the current Sable is too similar to the Taurus

    How's that? Too much? Basically I figure in order to keep both Lincoln and Mercury, Lincoln needs to be more expensive to allow Mercury to operate in Lincoln's current pricepoint. "

    I like this idea. But Mercury still has to be less expensive than current Lincolns. It is shame that Lincoln endures cars like MKZ, MKX and MKS instead of making true bug RWD luxury sedans.

    BTW Olds is not completely dead. It is was replaced by Saturn. Of course GM could just keep Olds and get rid of Saturn but evidently Old became just another GM brand and Saturn was more like independent company. It is ironic Saturn being independent company while Olds percieved as artificially invented brand name for rebadged Chevy/Pontiac.

    But it is interesting how GM is able to create 4 distinct cars from 1 platform (like Aura/Malibu/G6/New Small Buick) while making Caddy truly luxury marque.

    At the same time Ford is not capable to differentiate Mercury and Ford. Since Ford already has Mazda as a sport division, similar to Pontiac, I would strongly suggest to make premium duo opposite to GM. While GM has ftd sporty lux Caddy/plush soft premium Buick, Ford can make the opposite combination – Soft luxury Lincoln/Sporty premium Mercury. Mercury may be more like more elegant (without racer-boy design of) Mazda or Pontiac , more like affordable Audi.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 231
    BTW Olds is not completely dead. It is was replaced by Saturn.
    LOL, I think they could have done both. Saturn really does fit as a VW competitor with the whole German engineering concept. I like that. But, Olds could have done battle with Infiniti and Acura while Buick would've fought soft-sprung Lexus and Pontiac could have been just sports cars (ie-GTO, firebird--instead of camaro...).

    At the same time Ford is not capable to differentiate Mercury and Ford.
    Even worse, though, is how the Mazda6 provides the Fusion/Milan/MKZ platform, yet is TOTALLY different. Ford gave the Fusion substantially different sheet metal than the Mazda, and likewise Lincoln gave the then-Zephyr pretty identifiable metal. Why is that? That's what proves FoMoCo cares nothing about Mercury and I'm convinced it will meet a very long unplesant demise.
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