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Should Ford kill Mercury

  • Yes

    Votes: 17 32.7%
  • No

    Votes: 35 67.3%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

When the lifeboat is sinking, only one option remains: Throw the dead weight overboard, or all will drown. That’s the cruel choice facing Ford, a company whose leaking sales and too-casual rescue attempts could threaten the entire company. That dead weight is Mercury.

Mercury is the Abe Vigoda of automobiles, a brand many are surprised to learn is still around. It’s breathing, but on life support. Mercury sales have plummeted 60 percent over a decade, from 438,000 in 1999 to just 168,000 last year. Yet Ford and CEO Alan Mulally — ostensibly hired to make the tough calls that the Ford family was too squeamish to make — continues to cling to Mercury.

For years I’ve argued that Ford needs to use it or lose it. Give Mercury the cars it needs to compete, or end the charade and move on. At Chrysler, new Vice Chairman Jim Press, the former high-ranking Toyota exec, is ready to do the dirty work. He’s been streamlining by eliminating redundant models, putting Chrysler on the road to becoming a smaller but more profitable company.

Ford has rightly rid itself of Aston Martin, whose glorious cars did nothing for the bottom line. India’s Tata recently closed a deal to buy Ford’s Jaguar and Land Rover units, two more British luxury brands whose pedigrees can no longer make up for billions in losses.

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Mercurys were known to be the victim a while back, yet I think they changed their mind killing it. I've heard about killing the brand about several years ago, number of times, and yet, they are still clinging on. To me, what they really need right now are some exiting new products. Bringing back the cars like Cougar, and adding some new, sporty models to differentiate with the Ford to really UP the anti. In other wods, spend some money. Sure, no-one knows, if THAT will solve it, and they will say that it is a wasted effort for the brand that you don't know if it is worth to spend money and care for, but they can still try to save the brand if they have the guts and still love left for Mercury, or else, just kill it. But I am OPPOSE to killing any brands and still one of the few who thinks the death of Oldsmobile and Plymouth was the bad choice. They could have just find different ways to differentiate themselves with other divisions and lived on. I certainly don't want to see another established American nameplate disappear into the history. I know I am the only one. But, if there are no hope, I guess, that's the only way.
 

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I know that THAT is how it seems right now, but apparently Ford has grand plans for Mercury ... they just have them on back burner until the key brands of Ford and Lincoln are fixed.

That is what I have heard. I do, however, still have a nagging sensation, that THAT is just a load of brainwashing BS, as Ford tries to keep Mercury alive long enough to keep Lincoln viable alone. We shall see by 2011 or so.

Igor
 

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Ford needs to wake up and realize that rebadging does not work. You can't take 3 vehicles and dress them up a little different and sell them as 3 different models. Mercury needs completely new material to work with. They need to compete with Buick, Lexus, and Infiniti. Ford just doesn't want to put the money into it. They apparantly still want the division, but want to put in as little work possible to keep it around.

Killing Mercury will not give Ford or Lincoln more sales. It will just give Mercury loyalists another excuse to jump ship and head to japanese dealerships. We see how well it worked for GM after they killed Oldsmobile.
 

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IThat is what I have heard. I do, however, still have a nagging sensation, that THAT is just a load of brainwashing BS, as Ford tries to keep Mercury alive long enough to keep Lincoln viable alone.

Igor
Personally, I feel this way too. The Lincoln name has more equity with the public now than Mercury. 2 more products are coming to Lincoln very soon to augment further what is already there. If one is reading the "writing-on-the-wall", rather than the press releases, this is a conclusion that one would come to.

I believe that, years ago, it was planned that Lincoln would move down-market and replace Mercury as to not interfere with Jaguar. (Jag was planned to be a 150K a year brand in the US earlier in this decade. Fate had other plans, as we now know.) I feel this explains all of the Lincoln-grilled Fords that came our way since 2005. Anyway, I feel that as the "plan" began to unravel along with Jaguar sales, Ford was caught with its nickers down.
 

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I know that THAT is how it seems right now, but apparently Ford has grand plans for Mercury ... they just have them on back burner until the key brands of Ford and Lincoln are fixed.

That is what I have heard. I do, however, still have a nagging sensation, that THAT is just a load of brainwashing BS, as Ford tries to keep Mercury alive long enough to keep Lincoln viable alone. We shall see by 2011 or so.
If that really is the plan it's not necessarily a bad one. If Lincoln can be massaged into a healthy, higher-volume brand and claw back the market share that Mercury is losing, is that such a bad thing? Ford will then have one fewer brand to steal precious development, marketing, and advertising dollars. As a car fan it's sad to think of a brand going away, but Ford can't afford to be overly nostalgic... if killing Mercury can strengthen Lincoln, it might be a hard but necessary step.
 

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It’s breathing, but on life support. Mercury sales have plummeted 60 percent over a decade, from 438,000 in 1999 to just 168,000 last year.
Buick sold 185,791 vehicles in the US in 2007. If Mercury is wavering on the edge, is Buick that far behind? The only saving grace might be growing China sales for Buick... we might owe the Chinese a big thanks, Buick fans!
 

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I know that THAT is how it seems right now, but apparently Ford has grand plans for Mercury ... they just have them on back burner until the key brands of Ford and Lincoln are fixed.

That is what I have heard. I do, however, still have a nagging sensation, that THAT is just a load of brainwashing BS, as Ford tries to keep Mercury alive long enough to keep Lincoln viable alone. We shall see by 2011 or so.
Except Ford has been postponing these "grand plans" for something like 40 years now.

How long has it been since Mercury was anything other than warmed-over Fords sold to women? Since there's no real unique brand identity there, it seems way too late to be thinking about spending tons to reposition Mercury.

(I voted keep by the way because there will always be some market for Ford rebadges and maybe a secretary-car Cougar.)
 

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The only hope for those who would like to see Mercury stick around would come in the form of one person: Jim Farley.

I didn't know much about him while he was at Toyota (other than that he started the Scion brand and ran Lexus briefly), but since he jumped over to Ford, I've read everything I can about the guy. It seems he legitimately wants to do whatever he can to save this automaker (not that people like Mullaly don't want to save it, but it feels like it's for different reasons). He seems creative and dynamic enough to sort out FMC in so many aspects; reworking or recreating Mercury could easily be part of this, and he's got the goods to accomplish that.

I personally would like to see what he could do with the Mercury brand rather than the board of directors simply saying "dump it." In many ways, this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for someone within Ford: a preexisting brand that already has a dealer network setup for it that is, in most other regards, a blank slate.
 

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Bring over the Euro Fords with new front ends, call 'em Mercury's. Little development costs, because they're Mercury people will be willing to spend the extra money for them, and they're attractive cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bring over the Euro Fords with new front ends, call 'em Mercury's. Little development costs, because they're Mercury people will be willing to spend the extra money for them, and they're attractive cars.

My friend in the next 4 years Ford will be integrating it global products into one and that will mean

2010, European Focus= US Focus
2010, European Fiesta= US fiesta
2012, European Mondeo= US Fusion
2012 Australian Falcon = US Taurus RWD
 

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Bring over the Euro Fords with new front ends, call 'em Mercury's. Little development costs, because they're Mercury people will be willing to spend the extra money for them, and they're attractive cars.
I agree and have felt that way a while. Since Ford says it is devising a new global "look" for its Fords, why not bring over the "Kinetic" designed Fords out now, like the stunning Mondeo, tweak them with a heritage design theme unique to Mercuries over the years, and give the company a fresh UNIQUE mix of cars vs. the current lame rebadges. I loved the last Cougar and was sad to see it die.
 

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keep it! Montego and Milan were/are so much nicer styled than their Ford counterparts. I "REALLY" like Mercury with their design philosophy, it appeals to me (and I'm a GM supporter!) Advertise, innovate, differentiate and define a strong brand image. Keep Mercury, they're good cars.

CobaltSS
 

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They killed off Mercury in Canada back in 1999. Guess what. NOBODY NOTICED OR CARED! Mercury is irrelevant and has been for years. It's like Plymouth was in the '90s. There is essentially zero styling differentiation between Ford and Mercury. The differences are in the grilles, headlights and tail lights. Mercury was a Ford with more chrome, but now Ford has just as much chrome, so Mercury is redundant. As long as Lincoln sits so low in the luxury market, Mercury need not exist. If Ford could move Lincoln up to Cadillac's level and drop the hideous chrome bar grilles off of the Fords, then maybe Mercury could stand a chance. As it stands now Ford is stretching the same over 3 brands in any case where Mercury has a car. So I ask, what's the point? :confused:
 

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Ford needs to wake up and realize that rebadging does not work. You can't take 3 vehicles and dress them up a little different and sell them as 3 different models. Mercury needs completely new material to work with. They need to compete with Buick, Lexus, and Infiniti.
You're right. They should, but right now, Lincoln is doing that. Without moving Lincoln up, there's no room for Mercury. Who is Mercury's competition? Saturn? Saturn is going European to compete with the likes of VW and such. The only thing European about Mercury is the names of one of their vehicles. Maybe they can start bringing over the Euro Fords everyone likes so much and throw the waterfall badge on them. :yup:
 

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I think Igor is right, Ford needs to make their Ford and Lincoln brand strong before reviving Mercury.

For those who know the european market, it is quite the same with the Fiat group (FIAT, alfa romeo and lancia). Fiat was really bad some years ago, they make a turn around with fiat and alfa romeo. Now this 2 brands are quite successful and positionned on their respective market, they will renew the Lancia brand with the launch of the new delta this year !

In this story,
Fiat = Ford
Alfa romeo = lincoln
Lancia = Mercury.

Maybe Igor can write on this turn around topic. I think it is the same story that will happen for the ford brands
 

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I think that Mercury as a brand has so much potential, it would be a shame to get rid of it. I guess that Ford just needs to work out what is happening stylistically, and how it will be managing platforms... (getting the global platforms set up etc. etc.)

I still like the idea of just bringing EU fords over as models for Mercury.

-Chase
 

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Bringing Ford EU as Mercury will not happen since Ford EU and Ford NA will be identical in the futur !!!

I think if ford remain a popular brand, lincoln a purely luxury brand, Mercury will address nich market such as "sport luxury model" for young and female buyers.

That is a marketing decision to position right the brand and target the right public.
 

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I think if ford remain a popular brand, lincoln a purely luxury brand, Mercury will address nich market such as "sport luxury model" for young and female buyers.
Lincoln would have to move way up market and that takes a while. Right now, they are the "sport luxury" brand it seems like. And the fact that their line-up consists of rebdaged Fords does not help their tarnished luxury image.
 
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