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Mercury Mariner

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Comments

  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    I didn't want another eight or is it nine (LOL) vehicles in the same body style platform.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    What's wrong with that? If the structure is good and flexible to accomodate various vehicles upon it, then it's much more economical for a manufacturer. Aside from that, it allows more variety and choices for consumer's. It'll solve people's concerns when they say "well, I want it but with an extra row of seats" or "well, I would like it, but one size bigger" or the "well I just do NOT want a Ford" -Yet they'll buy another of Ford's brands that might use the same platform.

    Saving on the platform development allows the company to invest those savings, into other items such as interior materials, quality, dependability, etc.
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    but it all comes down to they are all very similar. you could have an optional third row seat and make a mid-size version of a compact SUV, that's fine, but my point is I hate having nine identical mid-size truck-based same-company platform-shared SUVs competiting against each other. Hmmmm, should I get the H3, TrailBlazer, Envoy, Bravada, or Rainier? See what my point is, ANT? I don't mind having a sedan, car-based SUV, wagon, coupe, and convertible on the same platform, just 10 sedans made by the same company competing against each other.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    The H2 and Trailblazer, drive differently from one another. The platform is the only item that is similar, it doesn't dictate that the suspension and tuning will be identical. On Ford plans, the vehicles will be based on the same platform, it does NOT mean the platforms will be identical. All will differ in sizes from one another. It's like your A/C system, it probably is the same as uses in 7 other Ford vehicles, doesn't mean you'll feel the difference.

    Unfortunatly, is you do not use the same platform for other vehicles, then you will NOT have an efficient vehicle program, and soon it'll be cancelled such as Camaro/Firebird. And Ford isn't the only manufacturer doing this, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, GM, Chrysler, Mitsu, etc. All need to reuse their platforms on other vehicle strategy.
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    I know every manufacturer uses shared platforms. But Mitsubishi doesn't have five mid-sized under $30K sedans like GM does. My sole point is that I don't like having the same manufacturer having ten mid-sized SUVs competing against each other. It's fine to have one luxury (Rainier), one off-road oriented (upcoming H3), one mainstream (TrailBlazer, and one a little larger (Ascender) but having ten luxury or ten mainstream SUVs made by the same company doesn't do it for me. I wish manufacturers just had a luxury and mainstream brand (unlike the American Big 3 and Korean Big 2 and like the Japansese Big 3). I hope you understand my point.
  • monty2222monty2222 Member Posts: 48
    This may be the wrong forum, but I figured you would know. My wife saw a TV ad for a large SUV type vehicle, 4 door, which you can push a button and the rear roof retracts to make it more like a pickup truck. Any idea what manufacturer this is? Thanks.
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    Chevy Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT do that.
  • monty2222monty2222 Member Posts: 48
    Thanks, but she said the roof retracted, not just a mid-panel. Know of anything like that?
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Liverty, and that's why Mitsubishi isn't making much of a profit, and why Daimler/Chrysler is integrating better usage of the platform.

    By a manufacturer offering different vehicles, that are pretty much the same (badge engineering most commonly known) they target other demographics. Case of the Ford Five-Hundred and Mercury Montego. Mercury shoppers are very different than Ford consumer's. They want a Ford, but do not necessarily which to drive a vehicle that is common at every traffic light. Therefore, they have THAT option to go to. ANY option, better than NO option, creates a large chance they'll stick to the Ford company, period.

    But in the case where platforms are being used for various vehicles, that's not exactly badge engineering. The Futura, Mazda6, Lincoln sedan, Ford mid-size unibody SUV, next minivan, will all share the same platform, but every vehicle will be vastly different from one another.

    Whereas, badge engineering fits the case of the Freestar to Monterrey.
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    It is okay for say a sports-oriented 6, a mainstream Futura, luxury Lincoln sedan, a minivan, and an SUV to be on the same platform. MY ONLY POINT IS THAT THERE SHOULDN'T BE ANY SEBRING/STRATUS, OPTIMA/SONATA, TRAIL-BLAZER/ENVOY, 9-7/RAINIER, VENTURE/MONTANA/SILHOUETTE, TOWN & COUNTRY/GRAND CARAVAN, VOYAGER/CARAVAN, OR GRAND PRIX/CENTURY/REGAL/IMPALA/INTRIGUE CASES WHERE THERE ARE TWO TO FIVE CARS THAT ARE ALL VIRTUALLY IDENTICAL LIKE THE CASES I JUST MENTIONED. THEY SHOULD BE MADE TO HAVE ONE SPORTS-ORIENTED, ONE ROOMY, ONE LUXURIOUS, ONE MAINSTREAM, AND ONE CHEAP. Sorry I had to use caps, but this is what I've been trying to say my last three posts.
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Member Posts: 518
    libertycat-

    Although I know a lot of people hate "badge engineering", it does have its merits in that it gives you more choice over styling details. For example, I bought a Pontiac Parisienne rather than a Chevy Caprice. You can make a Parisienne into a Caprice or vice versa by swapping about a dozen parts. The cars are really as identical as two cars can get. But there is something about the Pontiac grille that I really like, which is what attracted me to the car in the first place. If only the Caprice had been available, I might be driving a Mercury Colony Park today. You shouldn't be fooled into thinking that badge engineered cars are actually different, but if you take them for what they are, it just gives you more choices.

    -Andrew L
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    And choices, is what allows a manufacturer to have a better chance of selling a product than have a customer just leave the brand altogether.

    I have a friend who bought a Tribute, over the Escape, the only reason was mainly because the Tribute had a longer warranty, and it's lower body cladding was painted, rather than the Escape's rubberized panels. And sometimes it's those differences that can appeal to some people, and allow them to stay within the company.
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    You're missing my point once again. Two is okay. Ten on the same platform competiting against each other is not.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    I understand your point, your not catching mine. There will not be 10 vehicles competing against each other, there will be 10 vehicles from the same platform. BUT all vehicles will not be similar. EACH variation for example, might have a Mercury twin, but that is IT. NOT like GM, that has Trailblazer, Bravada, Rainier, Etc. one on almost each of it's brands.

    While for Ford, you'll have a twin ONLY supplied to Mercury. Hence Futura, Mercury clone, Freestar/Monterrey, 500/Montego. Currently the only vehicle that will be tripled, is the Escape, Tribute, Mariner.

    And incase you mention the Focus senario sharing with Volvo and Mazda, the engine offerings, suspension tunning, etc, is so different from each other, that I wouldn't even call it a twin to one another.
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    Ford is doing great with its upcoming vehicles. All seem to be very different. I'm only saying I don't like the GM SUV and mid-size sedan situation and the DaimlerChrysler mid-size sedan situation with vehicles that drive, look, and feel the same. I already said I think Ford is doing a great job with upcoming vehicles.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Well I don't care much what they are doing with their stradegy, I thought it was a problem you were mentioning about Ford's....
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    Well! I'm glad we cleared that up!

    One thing that we seem to forget sometimes, is that any car company from anywhere, must be profitable, or they go the way of American Motors, or Chrysler, or Packard, or
    Studebaker, etc. So, platform sharing, parts bins and decontenting will always be a way of car life. Every component will always be made as cheaply as possible, yet to specifications from the manufacturer. If a panel can be made cheaper, but isn't too noticeable to the consumer, it will be. If a switch can be eliminated and not lose sales, they will. And I hate this as much as anybody else, but if the company doesn't make money, the stockholders don't hold their stock, and the whole ship sinks. It's business.

    Those who make cars that never compromise on the product or quality - are now owned by someone who does. (Rolls, Bentley, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Jaguar).

    The Mariner is a fine idea. It is already profitable, and that's the name of this game.
    The Ford family is in the Car business - to make money, not cars. Henry was the last guy who only cared about the cars, and about lost the company several times because of it.

    The surviving car companies will be the ones who can meet the most customer's wants and needs, in the most efficient manner. If that's 10 cars on a platform, who cares? I can tell you that there is a HUGE difference between how the Explorer feels and how the Aviator feels, and they're the same platform and share tons of the same parts. But if you didn't know it, you wouldn't guess they are even relatives by simply driving the two. So, it makes sense to do it, it makes money to do it, and it doesn't offend me at all.
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    I care if there are 10 INDENTICAL vehicles on a platform. The Aviator may have slightly better handling but still it is VERY similar to the Explorer Limited. I think Ford should discontinue the Limited and just have the Eddie Bauer be the top of the line with the Aviator filling the luxury spot.
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Member Posts: 518
    libertycat-

    Well, from one view your idea about the Explorer and Aviator makes sense, but think about it this way: Ford sells a certain number of Explorer Limiteds and a certain number of Aviators. If they drop the Explorer Limited, do you think Aviator sales will increase by the number of Limited sales in the previous year? I don't. Some of those buyers will go elsewhere. If you have both models with even minor differences, you reel in more people who think the Aviator grille looks cool, or prefer the Explorer wheels.

    Of course, what they could do is just make one line of SUVs and let you pick and choose interchangeable things like grilles, wheels and interiors. Car ordering used to be more like that years ago, but the assembly process is so heavily automated now that it would slow things down if people got to special-order whatever they want. So instead of making all the choices stand-alone options, they get packaged into different models, trim levels and equipment groups so the line workers don't go crazy trying to get the orders straight.

    -Andrew L
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    Yeah, and I do see what you're saying l.c., and in a logical linear world (which I get, unfortunately, all too well), Ford should make the cloth seats and V-6 Explorer, Mercury should put the V-8 and leather seats on it and sell it, and Lincoln should add the 48 valve engine, air conditioned leather seats, center console and wood steering wheel edition with the Lincoln grille. I've always thought that way. But it's not efficient or cost effective, unfortunately, because of exactly what hubcaps said. People are funny about brands. My Dad always said you paid more for a Mercury, and got nothing his
    Ford couldn't do. He never owned one. I, on the other hand, like the Ford line, but like to be a little different than everyone else on the block, and got into Mercury, and then Lincoln as quickly as I could afford it. So, variations on the theme, Eddie Bauer, Limited, satisfy people like my Dad, who want some luxury, but don't want to appear to be upscaling.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    And that's exactly the direction Mercury will be taking, for those who want Ford, but want to be a bit different. I just believe the dealer network for L/M needs to be reworked a bit to accept these customers.

    I'm also pushing for a longer warranty on Mercury vehicles 4/48K, and a bump up on Lincoln vehicles. 5/60K
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    The warranty you are proposing- would that be for Powertrain only or for Bumper to Bumper? A 5 year 60K B2B warranty would be a darn good reason to get a Lincoln LS (especially a redesigned one in a few years) over a Caddy CTS, if you ask me.

    ~alpha
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Bumper to Bumper. I don't buy much into the Powertrain warranty mainly because a vehicle has to be MAJOR lemonp, to have a warranty repair where it requires the entire powertrain to be replaced. As in, even the worst manufacturer's, can make a somewhat decent powertrain... It's the LITTLE things, (bumper to bumper) that need more attention.

    GM would definatly match it if Lincoln were to make such a move, but it would also send a message that the detroit automaker's are being more serious about quality and reliability.

    Chrysler would be the manufacturer that might be dented by matching such a warranty, but they can step up to 4/50K to seperate themselves from their Dodge brand, and let MB take a 5/60K B-B warranty spot.

    But do not be surprised to see one of the major automaker's take this step in a few years. Already Mazda is offering 4/50K B-B warranty, that is a "one up" the Tribute has, over the Escape (being almost identical as it is).
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    Our 1994 Corolla had a transmission issue at 61,000 miles (it had that wretched 3 speed--ugghh). Despite that the warranty was up by 1,000 miles, Toyota, after some calls to customer service center and my dads statement that he was a long time Toyota purchasee, covered 35% of the parts and labor on the fix, since it was so near to the expiration of the Powertrain Warranty.

    ANT, could you perhaps be misunderstanding the meaning of "Powertrain Warranty" as it applies to today's warranties? It seems that you are claiming powertrain warranties only offer coverage when the entire engine/transmission fail. It is my understanding that the whole Powertrain neednt be faulty, just a major component of the either the engine or transmission. Thus, the warranty applies to the powertrain.

    ~alpha
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    I know of 2 other, 1994 Corolla's that had the same issue. It was prevalent to the Corolla's of that year. I remember one Corolla a friend had...While driving at 60MPH, I heard this massive weird sound, and told her to pull on the side of the highway. I looked under the car, in the engine bay... Nothing, but had a BAD feeling something was just NOT right. Told her to just drive forward slowly, and WHAM tranny fell onto the pavement. We were lucky we weren't in motion when that occured. And after that was fixed, she never bought a Toyota again, she didn't need to be THAT severe, but it scared her quite a bit.

    Yes powertrain is anything relating to the components that compose the driving of the vehicle, tranny, engine computer, engine, front subframe, axle, etc. All manufacturer's will have warranty claims pertaining to any of these, BUT the majority of vehicles will hit 100K easily, without having such issues. These are more common on FWD vehicles from what I've read.

    I wouldn't mind having a 100K warranty, but see how the manufacturer's would handle having such a warranty. If the warranty may NOT be transferable, and most consumer's replace their vehicles before 100K, then chances are they can offer it, and have less claims called upon because of the above mentioned people replacing their vehicles. Whereas a 5yr. B-B warranty, might be a bit costlier for a manufacturer since it's NUMEROUS items that can go wrong during the period the consumer will be keeping the car, and paying for that car as well (if they chose 5 year financing).

    Although, if a manufacturer does have a transferable 100K warranty, read the fine print as to WHO it can be transfered to. Most times, it's ok within the family. Sometimes, it's not.

    And having a long warranty, doesn't necessarily mean the vehicle is dependable. While Kia offers a long warranty, it doesn't guarantee you from not visiting them a few times a year on warranty issues.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    No kidding, VW too.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    Anyone know if the warranty will be extended on all Mercury models so to keep up with it's "premium Ford" products? Then there'd be no reason not to buy a Tribute over a Mariner/Escape.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    Actually, the Mariner would be a better replacement for my Villager than the Monterey, as our Courier hauls more "stuff" than he does People. Actually, hauls no people at all, ever.

    If it's ready in time, That's what I'll probably get.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Jchan, I was discussing this actually on another thread (do not remember which one). As of this moment, such a senario has not been mentioned. I personally, am pushing for it. Do not expect the decision to occur overnight. BUT if you like the Mariner, but want a longer warranty, you can try the Mazda Tribute :)
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    My friend has a Tribute. he loves it.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    Mazda has a longer warranty than Mercury? That stinks!
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  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    Not many vehicles make the Auto Show circuit rounds two years in a row as future vehicles. Congrats Ford, for delaying another introduction beyond the necessary.

    ~alpha
  • bretaabretaa Member Posts: 130
    To alpha01:
    Right on, unfortunately. I guess the Mercury badges and aluminum trim was on back order.

         In all, I guess this helps flesh out the Mercury "line-up" but still does nothing to give this useless division a purpose or vision.

    Bret
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Mercury is there to keep Lincoln alive, without each other, They wouldn't exsist. But you can't expect for either division to turn itself around overnight.

    The Monterey is a new entry, the Mariner will come next, then the Montego, then the Futura-twin. It just takes time.

    And for those thinking, "rebadged vehicles won't sell". The Grand Marquis (clone of the Crown Vic) had higher sales this year, over last. As well as the Mountaineer, which had higher sales than the past year. While their Ford equivilants had lower numbers then the previous years for those vehicles.
  • lbmmichlbmmich Member Posts: 1
    I saw this today at Mercury website: http://www.rediscovermercury.com

    I like the Mariner, if it had been available when I was looking for my small SUV, I would probably had bought it. It has the coolest design, really pretty.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    has a nice interior, but they need a better warranty, at least on par with Mazda.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    I agree, I've always wanted for Mercury to have a warranty like Mazda's, at least to open up some eyes. While having Lincoln have a 5 year/60K mile warranty. If the Koreans can do 5 years on their vehicles, then Lincoln can easily do it with their vehicles.

    Of course, by Ford doing this... It would open a floodgate, and you know GM would match it soon after. I believe everyone is expecting that, my guess is "who will make the first move".

    But sidenote: The Escape has improved it's dependability quite a bit since introduction, and is not one of the most trouble free SUV's in it's class. So a longer warranty might be just for peace of mind.
  • bretaabretaa Member Posts: 130
    To ANT14:
    I know Mercury will take a while to build, but I don't think it has much of a future as just a rebadger of Ford products (nor does Lincoln). I think the Grand Marquis is an exception to the general rule because it is competing in a market where the only other options are its platform mates (Town Car and Crown Vic).

    My very elderly (near 90) uncle just bought a Grand Marquis not because it's a Mercury, but because it's the only option out there for a RWD, body on frame, bench seat, tufted "sofa style" (his words, not mine) big sedan that "builds them like they used to." He couldn't afford the TC and, to him, Fords are "jalopies" for "cheapies." This is not the logic on which I'd want to build a brand.

    Bret
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Understadable but unfortunately it's what sells best with minimal investment. Not every person wants a Ford, and for those, they have the Mercury variety. If we look back a bit at Mercury's past, it's best successful sales years have been as just that rebadged Ford's.

    Ford isn't the only automaker undertaking this. There's numerous other vehicles that are just rebadged, or restyled over an exsisting vehicles. Camry and Avalon for example, and I'm not throwing in the Es330 only because throughout it's time it's changed a bit more, but realistically it's a Camry. Yet it sales aren't affected because it's just a rebadged/restyled Camry.

    We are also beginning to see other manufacturer's doing the same, GM just released it's Buick Terraza, Saturn Relay, copies of it's Chevy Uplander minivan (currently Venture). Saab is taking a Subaru and redbadging it. Isuzu took a Trailblazer, and rebadged it, etc. It's very common actually.

    The days of 400K+ unit sales vehicles are being numbered. Save for maybe the F-150, Accord and Camry, we will see many more vehicles entering the marketplace, but in limited numbers. Most consumer's have grown tired of buying vehicles that might be hard to find at the parking lot since there's 10 other's to pick from. So variety in vehicles is what we will begin to see.

    For those thinking Mercury should die, they really can't. If it weren't for the Grand Marquis, Mountaineer and Sable sales they make, their twins might not even be alive. Most manufacturer need to at least sell 75K of a specific platform/vehicle, to make it a solid case. That number is lower on some vehicles, because of improvements in engineering and manufacturing costs.

    As an example, the Escape sells 160,000+ Approx., when the Mariner comes out (Ford hasn't released sales targets yet) let's say they sell 40K units. The Escape shopper's will probably not cross-shop the Mariner, but some might (like Tribute to Escape). And let's factor in that maybe 10K buyer's bought into the Mariner, INSTEAD of the Escape. Let's kill 10K from the Escape's 160K, we get 150K. BUT most importantly, we have 30K gained units from the Mariner. That's 30K buyer's that have a higher chance to buy again into the Mercury or Lincoln brand. In turn, possible future buyer's.

    That's 30K (example) sales that aren't going to another manufacturer, and that's another factor to take into considering when many of those come back to lease something else, or upgrade to another vehicle. Sidepoint: Ford (whole) has the highest loyalty rate (return buyer's) in the industry, and Mercury has the Sable, Mountaineer, and Grand Marquis, which EACH have THE highest loyalty rate, in their segments (RL Polk Survey released recently).

    Then we have consumer's, and their needs. I had one friend choose the Tribute, over the Escape because she preferred painted bumpers, over the Escapes rubber one's (this was before Escape offered Limited version). And the extra warranty was a piece of mind. (Which she never got to use). The Mariner will do the same.

    Then we have consumer's shopping at the dealership. You will have buyer's wanting to shop the Lincoln Aviator at the dealership... Reality hits that they can't afford it, the Mountaineer is their next possible choice. And having that consumer at the dealership, gives L/M a HUGE change of having that person walk out with something.

    Same with the TownCar/Grand Marquis as you stated in your example. And in some way they might have a consumer who wants a Mountaineer and might not be able to afford it, they'll realistically take a Mariner. Plus it's not a vehicle crosshopped with a Lincoln one, therefore all the better.

    Then we have market share to factor in, without Mercury, there wouldn't be Lincoln. They wouldn't be able to sustain themselves independently. Not only because of product, but costs as well. Ford wouldn't give up approx. 400K units of marketshare up.

    Granted, I personally would love for Mercury to have entirely different vehicles than Ford. In fact, I would ship over Ford's best cars from overseas...Mondeo, Falcon, Puma, Fiesta...But that would require massive investment to federalize them for U.S. safety/emmissions standards, and that's not something the stockholders would wish to see at this time.

    So this is what we are given... rebadged vehicles that sell with minimal investment...Conclusion: Safe profits.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    the sales charts just one straight line- sales don't go up over time, yet they don't go down. Safe profits.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Thats one reason they won't get rid of the TownCar (I wish they did). They have a very loyal buyer group, and their sales do not flunctuate much, as compared to the LS and old Continental which were eratic one month to another.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Member Posts: 854
    "For those thinking Mercury should die," They should then go to all the dealers and tell them they should close, "simply because".

    Watch them run for their lives!!!
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    and you also have all those limo companies always buying and leasing brand new Town Cars.
  • mtc81usamtc81usa Member Posts: 1
    Hey, I saw the Mariner at the NAIAS, and it looked sharp. Did I hear the spokesperson correctly when she said that the brushed aluminum trim on the front bumper was a high-end option? I hope so, because I'm considering buying a Mariner in the Fall, but not if I can't get it without the aluminum. It looks great as an option, but it will no doubt end up looking pretty beat up after the inevidable bumps in the parking lots. I need a solid monochromatic bumper please ;-)
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    Wonder if they'll make a Lincoln version, despite the fact that the Aviator isn't exactly a best seller.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Member Posts: 854
    Aviator may not be a best seller, but it certainly has overcome the pre-mature branding of "flop." It helped Lincon increase sales for 2003, and they are NOT killing it.
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