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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 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..

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