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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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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)

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