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Cougar Support Group - Chats On...



  • dgeminidgemini Posts: 161
    Sorry about the lousy service you've received.

    You know, today I grabbed a brochure for a 2001 Cougar at the AAFES dealer place today. Do you know that they still talked about the Cougar S?

    Do you know I have still read 2002 buyers guides that still talk about the Cougar S?

    They must have really cancelled that baby at the last minute!
  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    I just read AutoWeek's news updates for the current issue, and it appears that the Lincoln Blackwood, suffering from poor advertising and a late introduction, will be discontinued after the 2003 model year. For 2002, I believe they've only sold about 250 so far. On the other hand, Chevy has sold more than 2,000 Cadillac EXTs which were (a) introduced sooner and (b) have a more functional pickup truck bed than the Blackwood.

    Also, Mercury is considering, as part of its "re-branding" strategy, bringing back the Mondeo (previously the Mystique) in its current European form (much better than the Mystique). Unfortunately, it will take the company almost a year to get the European model up to American emissions specs. The bottom of the news item had an interesting comment about the "branding" strategy for Mercury. I highly suggest visiting and reading it.

  • daexpertdaexpert Posts: 140
    Where in the East Coast are you located? I thought we had some bad dealers here in VA but I think you got ours beat!
  • dgeminidgemini Posts: 161
    Know why the Blackwood isn't selling?

    The "blackwood" trunk bed is UGLY! It looks CRAPPY!

    I think it is really ridiculous the way they are going to discontinue the Blackwood without making a few cosmetic changes and advertising it better. I think it is better looking (other than the "blackwood" bed) than the EXT.

    Get straight Ford, don't get rid of a vehicle just because it doesn't sell right away...especially a vehicle based on the bestselling Navigator. Fix it, advertise it, THEN IT WILL SELL!

    Of course, they gave up on the Cougar too, so what do you expect....
  • lmigliorelmigliore Posts: 148
    dgemini, you hit it right on the head. Instead of fixing something that's almost right, they quit. Instead of promoting a product, they forget it. Again.
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    While I totally agree with your comments in the last few posts. Lincoln's variant on the Aztec really was pretty hideous looking and probably deserved its fate. The Cougar on the other hand.......
  • dgeminidgemini Posts: 161
    lets not talk about the GT-40 concept I have read about. I am sure it will perform great, but it is retro to the point of looking like a 30 year old car.

    Dodge hit it on the head with the Viper (modern Cobra) and Ford actually made a winner with the new Thunderbird.

    But the GT-40 needs to look a little more modern. If they make it, it won't sell.
  • fastback2fastback2 Posts: 55
    After a quick read of the Autoweek article about Mercury possibly bringing in the Mondeo, I've pretty much come to the following conclusions:

    1. Ford doesn't make cars, it (trys to) make profits and secures automotive market shares.
    2. For corporations such as Ford, 6 months is a long time and 2 years is an eon. Public corporations have a strong tendency to think only on a quarter-by-quarter basis, and not for the long term. Otherwise, Mercury would have realized back in 1999 that they had a great opportunity (due to the lack of competition at that time) to establish a strong position for the Cougar (via a unique technique called marketing) and fully support the car. Instead, Ford launched a stealth advertising campaign, letting the car sell itself. That approach used to work in the 1950s, but it doesn't work now. Unfortunately, due to a complete lack of long-term planning, the other car companies saw the opportunity and moved right on in. Instead of defending the Cougar by responding with the Cougar S, Ford sat on their haunches and only made minor updates (the recent Edmunds sport coupe comparo pretty much sums up the result).
    3. The marketing department at Mercury has either been laid off or lombotomized.
    4. Unless Ford gets back its enthusiasim about making unique quality vehicles, it will eventually become the Sears & Roebuck of the auto industry.

    Enough about that. My Cougar V6 is about 400 miles away from the 50K mile mark, and aside from a lit check engine light (which I've already diagosed to be from an emissions sensor), it has been running well.

    Hope everyone is doing well, as it has been ages since I posted last. Congrats dgemini, and hope married life treats you well.
  • mouse409mouse409 Posts: 34
    Well said Bubba. As I look around at the new cars, yuk, Then I look in my garage and I see a nice looking car that was reasonable. I wonder what happened. Oh-well! I guess Mercury deserves an award for the screw-up of the decade. Only have 15K on our kitty, but no problems. Except for a chip in the front end. (Soon to be fixed) Just thinking about getting her out of winter storage, can't wait. I have to walk past it every morning when we go out the garage in the morning.
    For all the people that wonder what we think of the Cougar...the car that we are driving this winter, while storing the Cougar, is a 2001 Subaru Outback. (bought new)
    Hey... where is the Badman and Lefty, we are going to miss our vacation in the rain this spring.
  • irish21irish21 Posts: 12
    Thanks for the responses. I live North of Boston. Still looking. Maybe the Mini, maybe Honda CRV. Thought I made it thru the winter without the flu. Caught it last week.
  • dgeminidgemini Posts: 161
    I will have to read the Autoweek article.

    If they don't market the Mondeo properly however, they will just have another loser in sales.

    If they bring the Mondeo here, and fail to market as an affordable alternative to an expensive European sports sedan, it will fail.

    For example, the Ford Contour/Mercury Mystique compared quite favourably to the Volkswagen Jetta. I read comparisons where it actually beat it, for less money I might add....but the Jetta is still selling and the Contour/Mystique isn't.

    The reason...lousy marketing.
  • lmigliorelmigliore Posts: 148
    Somewhere I read an opinion that the Contour and Mystique were not marketed well because they would have taken sales from the Taurus/Sable and did not have as big a margin. Who knows?
  • Yeah, Mercury's new moto should be:

    "Marketing???? What is that?"
  • fastback2fastback2 Posts: 55
    Hmmm...I haven't seen a post from Badulah or Stageleft in quite a while. When Mercury formally announced the end of the Cougar, it was a major letdown for all the folks in the CSG. Both of those guys put a serious amount of effort into the CSG(cool website, getting support from edmunds, setting up the events, etc), and I wouldn't blame them for wanting to take a break from it for awhile.

    It's supposed to get into the mid-80s here in Rochester tomorrow. I suspect you'll be taking the cougar out of storage pretty soon (if you haven't already). As for myself, I may be 'forced' to bail out of work early to go for an extended ride on my other vehicle (Suzuki Bandit 1200S two-wheeler) :-)
  • dgeminidgemini Posts: 161
    From what I understand, people didn't want to pay just as much for a Contour as a Taurus.

    Most Americans simply saw the Contour as a small family sedan, as opposed to a European style small sports sedan.

    Most automag writers called the Contour with the 5 spd MTX and the V6 the American BMW 3 series!

    If Ford would have marketed the Contour as a sports sedan, and compared it to other sports sedans in it's commercials (ie. Jetta, Grand Am, etc.) It would have had much better sales.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Yeah, but what do we know?

    We're only customers!!!!

    Skip G.
  • harbachjharbachj Posts: 51
    Well, my 99 Cougar turned 3 years old last week. Had the last couple of warranty related items cleaned up and now I am on my own. After MANY complaints about speakers in my "premium" stereo unit cutting out, the dealer gave me a new one. Similar to the orginal but with pushbutton volume controls rather than the rotary control. Sounds MUCH better (and no speaker problems!).

    My car continues to be tight, rattle-free, and absolutely reliable. Only regular routine maintenanace and the couple of common warranty problems many 99 owners had. I am looking forward to at least another 3-4 years before I have to replace it. With the discounts that are certain to be around at the end of this model year, the Cougar is an even better value now than is was when I bought mine.

    Jim H.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Well, this past weekend I went car shopping and bought a new vehicle. Since we have an addition to the family (my 8mo son) we needed something bigger than my wifes Accord and my Cougar. So, we traded in the Cougar for a '02 Chevy Tahoe. So far I am very impressed with the quality feel of the Tahoe. Time will tell on it's durability.
  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    Congratulations, fish8! Glad to hear you got a better family car. My new Subaru Forester S still has room for family members, but I want to pay more of it off before I start fillin' back seat spots! ;-)

    Hi to everyone else. Hope all is well!

  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Thanks burnsmr4!!!

    I hope you are enjoying your Sub!!
  • dgeminidgemini Posts: 161
    Oh well! Another CSG'er gets rid of their Cougar!

    Time will tell how long the rest of us will have ours!

    I will still have mine for a while. As far as I know it still runs well (I have less than 30 days left in Korea) I will find out when I get back to NC.

    I know as soon as I get their I need to clean my KKM, and get an oil change, as well as get new tires.

    take care all!
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Would you believe? Yesterday a little flyer arrived in the mail announcing the 35th anniversary version of the Cougar.

    2002 is the last model year for our cats, they're killing it, and they think I should buy one.

    Lets see, I've already got a Cougar that is paid for, has relatively low mileage, they didn't put an SVT engine in the anniversary edition, and they hope that I'll buy one.

    I don't think so!!!!!

    Skip G.
  • lmigliorelmigliore Posts: 148
    Well, of course. It's Mercury marketing. They'll probably put a whole ad blitz on TV after the car is cancelled.

    It coulda been a contender...
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Maybe they should have called it the "Memorial Edition" :-(

    Skip G.
  • dgeminidgemini Posts: 161
    Memorial edition...ha, ha, ha
  • harbachjharbachj Posts: 51
    Check out Based on customer satisfaction surveys, the Cougar was named the best sporty car for 2002. The Acura RSX was second. Sounds like just the time for Ford to kill it to me. I just love the beancounters.

    Jim H.
  • irish21irish21 Posts: 12
    I traded my 99 Cougar for a Saab 9-3. 3 out of 4 Mercury dealers stranded me or almost stranded me.

    Car book ratings:
    Complaints 1, Insurance 1, Theft rating 76
    Complaints 10, Insurance 10, Theft rating 67
    At one dealership during an appraisal to trade in for a NEW Cougar, the mirror housing mysteriously came loose and was hanging. The dealership said they would accept a trade minus the $600 to repair the mirror. Informed the dealer that the alternator light had been on constantly. Dealer told me, it was cold out. 2 A.M I found out differently when the Cougar died and didn't even have enough for the hazard lights.
    To make matters worse, when the part came in, the part was given to another customer who had NO problems with their alternator. I was informed.....LIED to....... that the part would be in next week. So my poor lil Cougar sits in the back of a dealership. There were NO RELIABLE Mercury dealers near me. When I reported this to Ford. Their answer was they are independent dealers.Soooo Ford's lousy, inefficient independent dealers lost them a customer. If these Independent dealers lose customers for Ford, who will buy those cars that Ford sends to those Independent dealers?
  • geb1geb1 Posts: 19
    My 89 Cougar is still going strong at 208,000 miles! Original engine and trans. Just replace the ball joints every 100k and it's fine! :-)

    Replacement parts are cheap, tires last 75K, and nobody bothers to steal it! You can't get any better than that.
  • lmigliorelmigliore Posts: 148
    What engine is that? I didn't think Ford made anything that would go 200,000. Chrysler 318's would do it and sometimes Cadillac 390's.
  • geb1geb1 Posts: 19
    It's the infamous 3.8L. The same engine in our Sable needed head gaskets at 120K, but maybe the Cougar's north/south layout makes a difference. Never even had a valve cover off!
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