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Mercury Mountaineer

Mercury Milan Hybrid

Jill Wagner, spokesmodel for Mercury  (Source: The Blemish)
Another American car brand bites the dust

When General Motors and Chrysler were floundering and in desperate need of a lifeline from the American government, Ford was moving forward as a still independent company. Ford Motor Company has made some good decisions over the past few years including offloading its premium brands like Volvo, Land Rover, and Aston Martin.

Ford Motor Company is continuing to trim the fat and transform itself into a lean, mean fighting machine by offloading its long underperforming Mercury division. The Mercury division has long gotten the leftover table scraps from the mainstream Ford brand. The Milan, Mariner, Mountaineer, and Grand Marquis are all thinly veiled rebadges of the Ford Fusion, Escape, Explorer, and Crown Victoria respectively.

“Mercury originally was created as a premium offering to Ford and was an important source of incremental sales,” said Ford in a press release.  “However, the continued strength of the Ford brand – particularly during the past three years – has accelerated the migration from Mercury to Ford for many customers.”

Mercury vehicle sales totaled just 92,299 for all of 2009 compared to 1,445,742 for the Ford brand. Even Lincoln, which caters to a more affluent audience than either Ford or Mercury, managed to move nearly as many vehicles as Mercury with 82,847 vehicles sold.

Ford Motor Company will wind down Mercury production in the coming months and expects to cease all production in the fourth quarter of 2010.

With the laggard Mercury brand now out of the way, Ford Motor Company will now “fully devote its financial, product development, production and marketing, sales and service” to the Ford and Lincoln brands.

For the Lincoln brand, that means the addition of seven all-new or significantly revised models over the next four years. These new vehicles will include a surprising entry from Lincoln, a C-segment vehicle (think Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla).

Lincoln will also likely benefit from hybrid powertrains that Mercury shared with Ford – Mercury currently sells the Milan Hybrid sedan and Mariner Hybrid “cute-ute”. Hybrid powertrains would make a perfect fit for the Fusion-based Lincoln MKZ and the Taurus-based MKS.

Ford Motor Company is also looking to further distance Lincoln from Ford with an exclusive V6 for the brand, more efficient transmissions, adaptive computer-controlled suspensions, and active noise control.

"We have made tremendous progress on profitably growing the Ford brand during the past few years.  Now, it is time to do the same for Lincoln," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas.  "The new Lincoln vehicles will transform luxury for North American premium customers through an unexpected blend of responsive driving enjoyment and warm, inviting comfort. We will also offer our customers a world-class retail experience through a vibrant retail network."

As for Ford, we've already talked about the new vehicles in its pipeline including the new 2011 Mustang/Mustang GT, 2011 Fiesta, and 2012 Focus, along with Ford's turbocharged EcoBoost engines.

With Mercury out of the way, Ford and Lincoln products can only get better from here on out.

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Sorry to see it go
By Dorkyman on 6/2/2010 5:01:14 PM , Rating: 3
We bought a Mercury Mountaineer back in 1999 (it was a '97 model). The car was basically a Ford Explorer with upgrade features, such as all-wheel-drive, a 302 V8, all-leather interior, and so forth.

Aside from the lousy gas mileage, it's been a great car for 120k miles. It's not worth much now so the death of the brand means nothing financially to us.

I can see the value of focusing on the Ford and Lincoln brands, but suspect the Mercury nameplate will be resurrected in the future.

RE: Sorry to see it go
By Brandon Hill on 6/2/2010 5:05:14 PM , Rating: 5
but suspect the Mercury nameplate will be resurrected in the future.

I sure as hell hope not. Ford is doing too well now to go and do something knuckle-headed like that.

RE: Sorry to see it go
By bissimo on 6/2/2010 5:20:11 PM , Rating: 2
but suspect the Mercury nameplate will be resurrected in the future.

Yeah, if Ford starts loosing the 60+ yr-old cat-loving granny segment.

RE: Sorry to see it go
By corduroygt on 6/2/2010 5:25:39 PM , Rating: 4
Yep, this is another good decision by Ford. Hopefully their stock will reflect it.

RE: Sorry to see it go
By afkrotch on 6/3/2010 2:45:56 AM , Rating: 4
Ford has been pretty good with some of their decision. Like creating a single global type model car for the world. Like the Fiesta. The Focus will do the same.

RE: Sorry to see it go
By quiksilvr on 6/3/2010 12:49:13 PM , Rating: 1
So long as they don't get rid of Jill Wagner.

Dailytech, you are obligated to have a high res photo available upon clicking her breas- I mean her photo.

RE: Sorry to see it go
By Brandon Hill on 6/3/2010 1:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
You could always do a Google Image Search if you're that desperate ;-)

RE: Sorry to see it go
By dusteater on 6/2/2010 5:46:52 PM , Rating: 3
I am sad to see it go. Mercury was not only for old people. I currently own a 2004 Mercury Marauder, which is an awesome car. I am sad they only made for two years.

I only hope they make a "special" Lincoln similar to the Taurus SHO or Mercury Marauder.

RE: Sorry to see it go
By Brandon Hill on 6/2/2010 5:51:57 PM , Rating: 2
I only hope they make a "special" Lincoln similar to the Taurus SHO

They already do, it's called the Lincoln MKS w/EcoBoost

RE: Sorry to see it go
By YashBudini on 6/2/10, Rating: -1
RE: Sorry to see it go
By Spuke on 6/2/2010 11:00:00 PM , Rating: 4
I am glad that Ford FINALLY put this to rest. Mercury's been irrelevant for at least 20 years. I'm also happy to hear that Lincoln is now going to get some much needed attention too. Good job Ford!! BTW, anyone in line for a 2011 Mustang?

RE: Sorry to see it go
By Lazarus Dark on 6/2/2010 9:24:23 PM , Rating: 2
Lucky. I always wanted a Marauder. That was a gorgeous car. (though, honestly, it's the only Mercury I ever cared for... My stepdad's old Cougar was alright, but nothing special really.)

RE: Sorry to see it go
By afkrotch on 6/2/2010 10:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
You talking the old ass boats or the Crown Vic rebadge?

RE: Sorry to see it go
By JediJeb on 6/3/2010 2:18:38 PM , Rating: 2
67-68 Cougars were nice, but after that they were kinda dull.

RE: Sorry to see it go
By Omega215D on 6/3/2010 2:03:16 AM , Rating: 4
I'm so used to the term Ford-Lincoln- Mercury. What will that Post Master do now (a kevin costner movie).

Honestly though Lincoln will always have the town car and luxury SUV side of things and Ford will have the rest. No point in being like GM with too many sub brands that don't even differ much.

RE: Sorry to see it go
By Sazabi19 on 6/3/2010 9:05:03 AM , Rating: 3
Honestly, I'm looking at an MKZ or an MKS myself. They are fanstic looking cars and have a good feel, but are a tad expensive. The new Buick LaCrosse looks fantastic, about the same features as the MKS and same general size (I'm not a car guy) but at a lower price, still very nice. With that said, if Lincoln brings out a "Midnight Edition" or something similar to what they had a few yrs ago, i will be sold.

RE: Sorry to see it go
By Keeir on 6/3/2010 2:25:26 PM , Rating: 1

Mercury became irrelevant for two reasons:

1.) Ford moved "upmarket" with Premium/Titanium packages
2.) Lincoln moved "downmarket" by selling too many Ford rebadges with only minor sheetmetal and interior design changes.

If Lincoln moved "upmarket" again by offering significantly different exterior and interior products, then there might again be a place for a Ford re-badge with higher quality materials. (Seriously, the Fusion is a good value, but some of the materials used are well... not best and the Lincoln MKZ ~34k intro price feels like way to much to pay for a FWD tarted up Fusion. Ideally, Lincoln would have an independant MKZ car and Mercury would sell the tarted up Fusion, more like 28k intro price with maybe a Ecoboost 4)

RE: Sorry to see it go
By DesertCat on 6/2/2010 5:27:58 PM , Rating: 3
Well Mercury has primarily been a Ford vehicle with upgraded trim for quite a while now. If they want to do that, they can follow the pattern they do in many of their truck lines by adding another letter to a model number (ok we have the XT, the XLT, how about the XLM?). It seems pretty inefficient to have a completely different brand name for the "fancy car seats" option.

I'm not saying that Mercury is bad, but this decision seems to make sense to me.

RE: Sorry to see it go
By AssBall on 6/2/2010 9:07:04 PM , Rating: 4
It has seemed like Mercury was lost somewhere vague between Ford and Lincoln for a long time. It probably leeched sales from both divisions.

Fords are very well built and quite nice themselves; there is no need for Mercury anymore. It is like the Oldsmobile of Ford.

What I would like to see them do is further distance Lincoln from Ford, and get them up to where Cadillac sits on the GM ladder. Make the whole Lincoln lineup more powerful, featureful, sexy, and interesting (and yeah expensive).

RE: Sorry to see it go
By Nik00117 on 6/3/2010 12:27:54 AM , Rating: 2
It was, I mean like often times when a customer would come into our dealership and want to know about a Mariner we'd describe the manfuacture process as this:

"The Escape, and Mariner start at the same assembly line, go down the line and get the smart parts, the same assembly, at the end of the line the mariners get mercury badging and the escape gets ford badging"

And generally speaking Mercury was harder to find a vehicle in stock, and generally more expensive (for the same thing)

I think in the 2 years I have been selling Ford products I have sold 1 or 2 Mercury products.

Mercury just leeches and confuses customers. It has no real "market segment" ford is no longer a low end manufacture spitting out cheap broken excuses of cars.

Lincoln however does, I think a Ford/Lincoln combo could do wonders.

Great choice Ford, kill Mercury and let's move on.

BTW I drove a Milan, and a Fusion. Same exact cars.

RE: Sorry to see it go
By Sazabi19 on 6/3/2010 9:08:43 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure if you read the last bit of the article, but that is exactly what they are doing for Lincoln..

RE: Sorry to see it go
By Hiawa23 on 6/2/2010 7:29:51 PM , Rating: 3
Meh, never cared for the Mercury brand. Seemed geared toward the older market. If Ford felt it was time to put it to rest, then so be it, they would know better than anyone. If the brand can't make you money then why have it.

RE: Sorry to see it go
By Makius777 on 6/2/2010 10:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
I had a 99 Grand Marquis... I inherited it from my grandparents when they died. But for a kid straight out of high school it was kind of awesome. That thing was a beast that could fit 5 of my friends with room to spare. It was super comfy, more like driving a giant couch than a car, and a few of my friends actually preferred the back seat! Yeah sure it was gutless and handled like a plate of jello but I can understand why old people liked them.

But I do agree that this seems like a smart move for Ford. It had become an increasingly nonexistent brand.However Ford has been getting consistently stronger and I hope this helps them continue to refine their vehicles for years to come.

RE: Sorry to see it go
By Calin on 6/3/2010 7:43:28 AM , Rating: 2
For you it was gutless - remember that your 99 Grand Marquis had more power and torque than the entry line Mustangs of 1960's (six cylinders, 101 HP). Your Grand Marquis probably had more power, more torque and more power per weight than those Mustangs

RE: Sorry to see it go
By Keeir on 6/3/2010 3:25:39 PM , Rating: 2
Hello Calin, while your right that the entry Mustangs of the 1960s had some low power numbers, specifically in the very first ones having a 2.8L V6 that well... was gutless. The first full model year, the Enines were a 120 hp 3.3L V6 as well as a 200hp (V8), 225 hp (V8), and a 271hp (V8) models. Curb wieghts were around 2,500 lbs for the V6 and 3,000 lbs for the V8.

In contrast the 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis has a curb wieght of 3917 lbs with a 200 hp engine.

So yes, the 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis might be able to accelerate in a straight line slightly faster than the absolute base model mustang from 1965. However, most mustangs from the 1960s would have been significant faster. (Even the base V8 would have smoked the Grand Marquis, and by 67, 335 hp models were availible. In 1969, over 80% of the mustangs were V8 models... unable to find estimates for the other years)

RE: Sorry to see it go
By Makius777 on 6/4/2010 6:19:52 AM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah I mean you could still tell that there was something resembling a V8 under the hood, but it wasn't anything to write home about. I must admit though, I had a blast in that car, lots of good memories with it.

But it's probably a safe bet that the majority of daily tech readers are relatively "young" people. So of course we don't care about losing the mercury brand. But I bet there will be more than a few old timers all fired up and upset that Mercury is no more. And I can't blame them, if I were 80 years old with a bad back, didn't care about getting anywhere fast, and couldn't afford a pimped out Lincoln I'd probably be pissed too! lol

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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