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Will Mercury soon be joining Plymouth and Oldsmobile?

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Comments

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The Hummer is in big trouble.....if that happens. I also don't buy the Global Warming propaganda - I think it's just the media that has signed off on it now, not sure "most do". So, that being the case, I think a Crown Vic, which gets great mileage, btw, is safe. It'll be the SUVs that will take a dump first. I am also a big car lover - so I feel ur pain. Mercury would remain unaffected - but if Mercury becomes not needed to sustain Lincoln dealers, like if Lincoln dealers were also given say, Volvo or Mazda to sell along side all of the EmmKays, then Mercury could go the way of Plymouth. Not the worst idea.

    If I ran Ford - that's exactly what I would look into doing. Give the Volvo Dealers Lincoln franchises too, and the Lincoln Mercury Dealers Volvo franchises, maybe Mazda too, and let Mercury goooooo.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Yeah, I guess there isn't much hope for Mercury, no matter how you cut it.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 235
    Yea, I guess not :cry:

    Does anyone know if ARM has said anything specific about his plans for Mercury. I know many on these boards advocate bringing Euro Fords here as Mercury's to justify the price premium (and I agree), but has he said anything at all about the brand's future?
  • I do not know anyone who believes in global warming - everyone I know ridicules the idea and note that I live in SF Bay area. But American people somehow managed to put SF liberals into control of house during war and now have to face consequences. But as soon as they start to feel pain brought by higher taxes and fuel prices as well as slowing down economy because of C02 regulations they will change their mind. I still think American people believe in economic freedom, growth and common sense in general.

    Volvo buyers will not like idea of tainting reputation of fine European marque by associatiing it with lowly Lincoln or Ford.

    And BTW Lincoln buyers are already unhappy that Lincoln had become higher trim version of Mazda. Well nice idea to bring Mazda into Lincoln dealership and kill whatever left of Lincoln reputation. I once walked into Lincoln/Mercury/Kia dealership and left immediately when sleazy sale person approached me talking about good deals on Kia.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    I have thought, since abandoning some of the propaganda and booga booga instilled in me as a child, that most of these contentious questions can be researched. There are many, many unanswered questions, but I almost always find it surprising how much is really known about a subject...and how little the populace seems to realize the level understanding already existing. I try not to believe in anything, so much as to either know about something, or know that I do not know.

    I wonder how many "sleazy" salespeople have killed Lincoln/Mercury sales, and if that contributes as much as not having exciting products? Look at all the people who have bought Saturns (no haggle, customers treated with respect) over the years. It was only recently that they started building anything but the most mediocre of cars.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    An industry insider (I believe that he is an analyst) who posts on other messageboards has said that Mercury is gone, once Lincoln can take up the slack.

    Note that no show cars with the Mercury nameplate have been featured this year (or last year, if I recall correctly). Every future product we've seen from Mercury so far is an update of an existing product.

    On sites such as blueovalnews.com, I'm not reading anything about new Mercury versions of upcoming new models. The new Fairlane-based people mover has a Lincoln version, but nothing from Mercury.

    As for offering Euro-Fords under the Mercury nameplate - it would never work for several reasons.

    One, Lincoln Mercury dealers have no idea how to sell them.

    Two, a Lincoln Mercury dealer is the last place most buyers of that type of vehicle would ever shop. (Maybe the next-to-last place, after the Buick dealer.)

    Three, these Euro-Mercurys would be considerably more expensive than traditional Mercury products. They would compete in the near-luxury market. No matter how good these vehicles are, near-luxury buyers would prefer the prestige of a BMW or Mercedes nameplate.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    BTW Lincoln buyers are already unhappy that Lincoln had become higher trim version of Mazda.

    You are damn well right about that!! And I'm one of them who is mad about it..... That Zephyr is a really nice Mazda 6. But it's not a Lincoln, or what a Lincoln should be.

    Volvo buyers will not like idea of tainting reputation of fine European marque by associatiing it with lowly Lincoln or Ford.

    I had not thought of that - but you're right. It won't work. Do you think Mazda could be sold with Volvo?
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    No matter how good these vehicles are, near-luxury buyers would prefer the prestige of a BMW or Mercedes nameplate.

    That's one reason for the collapse of Mercury, Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac. People would prefer a low end BMW, Lexus, or Mercedes than a top of the line Buick.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Sad part is that if GM, Ford and Chrysler hadn't spent the 1970s and 1980s cheapening their medium-price brands (through badge engineering and giving them vehicles in every segment to sell), they would be in a good position to capture these buyers.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    That's exactly opposite of what I prefer. I'd much rather get a nice, big,loaded Mercury Grand Marquis LS than a teeny-tiny Lexus IS, BMW 3-Series, or Mercedes C-Class. Geeze, I can't even fit in the back seat of that IS.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Well, I had both a 1979 Buick Park Avenue and a 1979 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency and thought they were really nice cars. I didn't like the fact that Olds and Buick sold crappy cars like the Skyhawk and Firenza those years. They cheapened the brands, but the dealers were crying, "Oh, we don't have a subcompact to sell!" So GM cobbled these things together.

    What really killed it for Buick and Olds were the radically downsized FWD C and B bodies of 1985-86. Heck, a Chevrolet Caprice Classic looked preferable to these shrunken abominations. Funny I have one now. It actually is a decent car, but it is not really a Park Avenue in my mind. I would've never purchased one new back in the day.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Geeze, I can't even fit in the back seat of that IS.

    Do you often drive your cars from the back seat?
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    My wife and I just bought a Mercury for the first time, albeit a used one, for our daughter who's in grad school. Sounds like it may be an orphan in the near future . . .

    Oh well, it only has to get her through the next two to three years, and the 2001 Sable LS Premium with leather and all of the bells and whistles is really a nice car - so far. No former rental, it was owned by the proverbial "old lady," and only had 36K on the clock, and has the DuraTec 3.0L and the better of the two available transmissions. Of course, the latter - I hear - is not saying much.

    Paid $6K, and just mentally added that figure to the big bucks we're spending for grad school tuition.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,571
    Do you often drive your cars from the back seat?

    Well the IS is so cramped that taking out the front buckets and then driving it from the back seat would be an improvement! :P

    But in all fairness, I didn't think it was any worse than a BMW 3-series. I was shocked though, at how roomy the latest Benz C-class cars are. I pretty much consider the IS/3-series to be a 2-seater with a leather-clad package shelf in back, but I remember actually being able to fit in the back of the C-class at the auto shows.

    I rarely ride in the back seat of my own car, but I do regularly carry back seat passengers. And if their knees are constantly banging into my seatback, it's not going to make my drive very comfortable.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    What really killed it for Buick and Olds were the radically downsized FWD C and B bodies of 1985-86. Heck, a Chevrolet Caprice Classic looked preferable to these shrunken abominations. Funny I have one now. It actually is a decent car, but it is not really a Park Avenue in my mind. I would've never purchased one new back in the day.

    Interesting, Lemko - because those Cs and Bs were my favorite GM cars of all time, and when they started changing their dynamics, that's when I left and went to Ford. I bought plenty of those C-Bodies from 85 starting with a Park Avenue through 91, with another Park Avenue, and some Olds 88s, and 98, a Bonneville and a LeSabre in between..... To this day, I think they were the most efficient sedan design ever. They were cavernous inside, with big trunks, spunky V-6 engines, good mileage and a great high driving position. The 91 re-design killed all of that, and I didn't like my 91, so in 92, I went to Lincoln. Of course, some C-body Cadillacs contributed to my discontent, specifically, an 85 and a 87.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Yes, I think they were an amazing design for the time. A little too boxy and angular for my taste, but the interior room was amazing for the exterior size. All the 91's did was add longer overhangs and more rounded contours. Larger car but no more room.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,571
    Interesting, Lemko - because those Cs and Bs were my favorite GM cars of all time, and when they started changing their dynamics, that's when I left and went to Ford.

    I think the problem with those downsized GM FWDers is that, while they did have a lot of good qualities, like the good space efficiency, decent comfort, etc, most of the types that normally went for something like an Electra, Ninety Eight, etc, just viewed these downsized models as too small. They could hold 4 big people in comfort as well as their mammoth forebears, and in all fairness, could probably hold 6 almost as well. They didn't have the shoulder room of the older cars, but once you factor in driveshaft/tranny humps, a split front seat, armrests, and contouring, those bigger cars really weren't the best 6-seaters in the world, either.

    When the downsized C-bodies came out for 1985, they did outsell the previous RWD 1984 models by a wide margin, but it must be remembered that the FWD models came out early, while the 1984 models were cut short. And the 1980-83 timeframe was not good to big cars in general, although considering the times, the C-bodies sold very well.

    Another problem is that the first few years of the C-body, as well as the H-body (LeSabre, 88, Bonneville), were very troubleprone. I think it was around 1988 that they got most of the bugs worked out, but by that time a lot of the damage had been done. In contrast, those older RWD cars tended to be sturdy and reliable, as long as you stayed away from stuff like the Diesel or the 252 CID Buick V-6.

    The 1985 RWD LeSabre and Delta 88 sold very strongly, no doubt partly because they snared a lot of buyers who would have otherwise bought an Electra/98, had they remained big and RWD. That was the main reason my grandparents bought an '85 LeSabre. They wanted an Electra, partly because there was this old guy at church who had an '82 or so. But when they found out it was downsized and FWD, they went for the LeSabre. Granddad used to work on cars and hated FWD because of its complexity, so that was one thing that probably factored into their decision as well.

    When the downsized '86 LeSabre/88 came out, LeSabre sales remained about pat with 1985, but the 88 fell off sharply, and began a slow downward slide to oblivion. For some reason though, the LeSabre remained fairly popular. I'm sure the JD power awards it started getting helped considerably, but it seems to me that if the 88 was the same car underneath, then why didn't it enjoy the same reputation?

    I have an old 1985 Consumer Guide that has tests of a 1985 FWD DeVille, 98, and Electra, as well as a RWD V-8 LeSabre, Parisienne, Delta, and a V-6 Caprice. Interestingly, the bigger RWD cars actually had a TIGHTER turning circle! Acceleration was also the same (0-60 in about 12 seconds, although they didn't list the V-6 Caprice's time), and fuel economy was around the same, ~15-17 in Consumer Guide's testing. However, as the 3.8 V-6 was improved, so was performance and fuel economy. In 1985 it only had 125 hp and about 200 ft-lb of torque, whereas those V-8's were 140 (307) or 165 (305) and had ~245-255 ft-lb of torque, more than enough to make up for the increased weight of the bigger cars.

    But now, comparing the downsized C-body to the previous C-body, rather than a B-body, there probably was a more noticeable difference. My Consumer Guide also has a test of a 1985 Fleetwood Brougham with the 4.1 V-8. 0-60 came up in a leisurely 14.8 seconds, and they had to gear the hell out of it to get that (3.42:1 rear, whereas the B-body V-8's used 2.56 or 2.73:1 rears). Fuel economy was pretty bad too, but I forget their average.

    In retrospect, I think these downsized C- and H-bodies might have made better midsized car replacements than full-sized cars. They would have been a good replacement for something like the RWD "G" body Cutlass Supreme/Regal/Bonneville sedans. Even if they did offer a lot of improvements over the bigger cars they replaced, they lacked the one thing that most big car buyers want: BIG-ness!
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    I'm aware of off those good qualities of the cars as I have a 1988 Buick Park Avenue myself. They just don't LOOK like their stately, elegant RWD V-8 powered predecessors. They're just too teeny and delicate looking compared to what came before. They look less than the cars that came before. Those downsized C-body Cadillacs almost scared me away from Cadillac forever. I was a sophomore in college when they debuted. I've always loved Cadillac and was afraid I'd have nothing to look forward to owning upon graduating. Fortunately, Cadillac was smart enough to keep the big RWD Brougham around for a few more years. Cadillac didn't really address its problems with the FWD C-body until 1989.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Cadillac didn't really address its problems with the FWD C-body until 1989.

    Which - after an 85 and an 87, was too late for me. I did buy a 90, but only kept it a year, and got a Lincoln. At that point, I was done with GM.

    I am, shopping for an Avalanche at the auction today, however.....reasons? It's the only animal of its kind, and I need one. Or an Escalanche, no difference to me.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Kill Mercury. Ford needs the cash and all a Mercury is is a rebadged Ford. Back in the 50's/60's Mercury had its own identity. Ford should kill Mercury, put the money into Lincoln and build a luxo brand to rival Acura/BMW/Lexus ect.. Look at Cadillac, wow what a comeback. Ford needs to change and be able to roll with the punches coming from both sides of the pond. By the way, I'm a Ford fan.. ;)
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    I agree...I've said the same thing. There's just not a big rationale for Mercury these days, and it's just going to keep getting smaller as time goes on.

    It'll be painful/expensive to shutter Mercury, sure...BUT the longer Ford waits, the worse it will get.

    I don't think closing it down will be as expensive as it was to kill Oldsmobile though...there are no independent (or even primarily) Mercury dealers these days.

    I'd have to imagine that, once it's explained to them and Ford keeps it word, dealers would much rather hawk higher-end Lincolns with higher margins in a pure luxury atmosphere than the current mix of middling Mercs/Lincolns... :confuse:
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Kill Mercury. Ford needs the cash and all a Mercury is is a rebadged Ford

    Funny how this is the sin of the ages for Ford, but When any other company does it - it's no big deal.....
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Except no other company is doing it to Mercury's extent. Not one. Although other companies do resort to badge engineering for some models (and that doesn't apply to platform sharing like Impala, Grand Prix and Lacrosse), Mercury does not have a single model that is not completely a Ford with just a bit of change to grill, head and taillights. If Ford doesn't respect Mercury enough to give it the differentiation it used to, why should customers?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    I agree gregg, I don't see the point of Mercury ???? It's not like they are up market like Buick. Ford, certainly hasn'tmoved Lincoln, far enough market to make Mercury, into Buick. Hell they aren't even far enough up market to be Saturn. So when is their expiration date ? :surprise:

    -Rocky
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 235
    Wait, you mean Mercury's still around? I hadn't noticed :P
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Yes, you do see a few women who drive 2008 Mariners...
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    I believe their latest marketing push as a woman's division is working. As gregg stated as well, the few Mercury's I saw last week (Montego, 2 Milans) were driven by women. A past female co-worker drove a Mountaineer. A couple of ladies at my current job drive Marauders (2003 version :( , not the 1960s version :) ). Haven't seen men drive Mercurys except the occasional GM (grandpa).

    I guess Mercury = Woman in Ford-ise. as many stated in the past I do wish they would have better differentiation in product instead of being guissed-up Fords or downgraded Lincolns, whichever you prefer.

    Where's the Cougar?
  • chuckhoychuckhoy Posts: 420
    Where's the Cougar?

    She drives a BMW 5er. :)
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Yes, working in terms of getting a few women to drive them, but sales continue to drift down from already decimated numbers. But really, who cares? Mercury as it used to be ceased to exist long ago.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    ;)
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    Agreed.

    I wonder, with the sale-off of the past PAG groups, if FOMOCO will put any cash into the "Big M" or spend all the monies trying to prop up Lincoln.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 235
    I sure hope so; I guess they can't spend any less on Merc. You know, I've always thought the multiple brands could be an asset foreign makes don't have. Now-a-days, I think there is a real chance to capitalize on the individualism of us youngins that refuse to drive a Camry.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    Yes, I wonder if there is cash spent on Mercury would FOMOCO put it toward an effort to make a car that's not simply a rebadged, re-trimmed Ford. I mean, something that would make someone do a double-take, in a good way. Or just put it on another also-ran or rebadge jobby-job.

    But with the shape Ford is in, leveraging everything, I think we may be seeing the last gasp from Merc.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 235
    Sure hope not. Do you think that targeting women is a good route for future Merc's or would you rather see them competing with a certain brand? I guess ultimately, Lincoln should be up a little higher to make room for Mercurys, but I'm unclear as to what brand they want to emulate/compete with.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    Do you think that targeting women is a good route for future Merc's or would you rather see them competing with a certain brand?

    Tough call. I mean, it's one thing to target a gender with one vehicle or two (a la original Mustang not only targeted the "youth market" but really the secretary) but the whole brand I'm not sure. And I don't think there's the ability to "Scion-ize Merc either. Very, very good question jkr.

    Ultimately I think Mercury needs to appeal to a broad range / group, with products for the mass market, concentrating on those that like Ford products, but are looking for something a little bit more. Maybe not up to the "Lincoln status" yet, but on the corporate climb. In this mix you can have one or a couple of products that are geared toward men or women or a particular segment (yuppie, an intro-lux buyer that doesn't want an A4, 3-series, ES...) but the products overall appeal to an intermediate person. A person maybe not in the luxury market per se, but someone that's looking for something a little bit more than the base division. I don't know what particular brand they can compete with, maybe Buick in this sense (using my example above).

    For lack of a better example, maybe Merc can be a mix of the "new" Pontiac & Buick. Fit the niche between Ford and Lincoln where they are a step above Ford in terms of creature-comforts but not as much as Lincoln. Also have a sporty side where the suspension / drivetrain has a little more umph to it, perhaps a powertrain that the Fords don't get, but a base Lincoln might. Gear ratios that are a little more aggressive, wheel/tire packages (not dubs or paper-plates but 17 ~ 18-inchers), standard features that may be options on the lower Fords. Bodywork that is more sexy than the Ford (and no, not just chrome trim or different logo). Push these things, kind of like how Ford back in the day pushed "...and now with Thunderbird power...". Basically go back to the original purpose of "Big M".

    And don't introduce the products until they are what they're suppose to be. No early birds because "the dealers are crying"; don't push an also-ran into the market "because the competition is going to get there first" or the many other excuses. But in any event they can't let the product die in terms of marketing, innovation and improvements like the current offerings.

    I agree Lincoln should be the upper-crust of the Ford family, with Mercury above Ford. But product differentiation is the key, and not just by price levels.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 235
    this mix you can have one or a couple of products that are geared toward men or women or a particular segment (yuppie, an intro-lux buyer that doesn't want an A4, 3-series, ES...) but the products overall appeal to an intermediate person.

    Yeah, I like that. Mercury could be what Lexus' volume sells are the RX and ES. Save the RWD/more potent vehicles for Lincoln which would be competing with Mercedes, et al. I say Lincoln = Mercedes only if Ford manages to sell Jag/LR, opening up the top spot in the lineup. You know that would actually make sense and does jive with what The General is doing: the new Lacrosse is supposed to be hot (competing with the ES), and will join the Enclave which is selling like hotcakes in the RX's segment. That frees Caddy up for taking on BMW/Mercedes with its next generation of cars starting with the CTS. Likewise, letting Mercury handle the entry-lux midsize segment with what is now the Lincoln MKX and MKZ would let Lincoln climb to a more prominent position in the industry.

    I wonder if that's ARM's plan...
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    the only realistic way for Mercury to survive would be to be the importer for Ford's European cars.
    The Mondeo, Euro Focus(re name it Capri) maybe the Ford Falcon.
    that way, you have different cars form Ford,and less expensive than Lincoln.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 235
    Well I think there are several realistic ways for Mercury to survive, all of them basically calling for more than FoMoCo does now. That said, there is talk of the Euro Focus being aligned in the next generation, so that's why I didn't mention it. I actually like the Mondeo and maybe it would be a good low-cost fit. The Falcon, though, I thought was Australian (which is okay, I just don't think its sold in Europe). Now with that said, the problem that I see is that the image of the Mondeo and Falcon is, yes, premium when compared to Ford USA, but should these vehicles be sold next to Lincoln? For example, with GM, they wouldn't sell Caddies next to Pontiacs, although it may be okay to sell Caddies next to Buicks. So, that's why whenever people suggest that alternative, I'm always skeptical of its implementation. After all, one of the main points of this Jag/LR sale is to raise Lincoln to a world class luxury brand.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Given the class of cars that Mercury is currently selling, I think the Euro Fords would be a big improvement.
    Lincoln's are barely better than Mercury's today anyway,and that won't change in the near future.
    i don't think that Ford has a real plan for Lincoln at this point.
    Selling Jag has nothing to do with Lincoln.
    It has to do w/ stemming the losses to Ford from Jaguar.
    Actually, if Ford was serious about Lincon,keeping Jag would make sense because they could share platforms and development costs on new models.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 235
    Ooh without question Euro Fords would be a big improvement. Nothing in the auto industry changes in the near future, when any given model may be out 4-6 years. Ford does, however, have a real plan for Lincoln. ARM has said that he doesn't feel Ford needs the British marques to be successful in the global luxury arena. I never said the sale doesn't have to do with stemming losses; what I said was "one of the main points of this Jag/LR sale is to raise Lincoln to a world class luxury brand" which is consistent with management. When I have time later tonight I'll have to find that link. Furthermore, keeping Jag and having two full luxury lineups splits the focus within the company. And there is no guarantee that they will sell the entire company without retaining a small stake for platform sharing (like with Volvo) if that is deemed necessary.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    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: 1,206
    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: 1,206
    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: 235
    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: 2,437
    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: 1,206
    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: 2,437
    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 Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    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?
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