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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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By Nfarce on 6/2/2010 8:58:04 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
WTF is the point of coming out with a new company that sells the exact same crap with some different trim? It's cheaper to sell that trim as options.


Uhm, maybe because early in the 1900s there were dozens of automotive manufactures, some of which later were scooped up by Ford, Chrysler, and the GM coalition for brand marketing and historic reference? For example, did you even know Oldsmobile was its own brand prior to GM?

Try picking up a book about car history sometime and shut off the console/PC racing game, mmmmkay?


By afkrotch on 6/3/2010 2:02:03 AM , Rating: 1
Please, enlighten me then. What new things did Mercury bring to the table? GMC? Pontiac? Plymouth? Eagle?


RE: American Car companies and their stupid rebadges
By Uncle on 6/3/2010 8:30:21 PM , Rating: 2
I can think of one,Pontiac, was the first of GM to bring out the Muscle Cars. I know I bought one, 64 GTO convertible, then a 70 GTO. Google Chrysler and check out Chargers, Challenger, Hemies. You don't know what you missed out on till you drive one. Quit being lazy and Google it yourself. Japanese have never built cars like them.


By afkrotch on 6/3/2010 10:59:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, cause GM never threw out a 64 Chevelle SS.

I also know exactly what I'm missing out on. A car with crap handling. Sorry, driving in a straightline fast is not fun for me.

Probably why I'm driving an Impreza.


By Nfarce on 6/3/2010 11:37:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes, cause GM never threw out a 64 Chevelle SS.
I also know exactly what I'm missing out on. A car with crap handling. Sorry, driving in a straightline fast is not fun for me.


You are such a tool. What was Subaru building in 1964? Or Toyota for that matter? You don't have the mental capacity to comprehend the history of US auto makers and why 50 years ago GM, Ford, and Chrysler's future division had different models.

What is available today is not comparable to decades ago. Any 10 year old car enthusiast can tell us that. Who can argue otherwise? Again, you still don't get it. Your premise here has been Americans are stupid and have had too many car manufacturers and models to choose from.

Oh, and enjoy your Subaru and take a p!ss on the Chevelle. I'm sure I won't be seeing a 2006 Impreza for sale for $40,000+ at a classic car auction 40 years from now.


By afkrotch on 6/4/2010 1:38:15 AM , Rating: 2
Subaru was building cars, that's what they were building. The Subaru Sambar was built in 61 and is still being built and sold. How many GTOs, Chevelles, Camaros, etc are still being built?

I can easily comprehend the stupidity of the history of the US automakers. There's a reason why pretty much no Japanese car companies required the need to be bailed out by their governments. Some did ask for a bail out, as well. 0% interest loan, why not? None got one though.

I can tell you, if I had to buy a car from the 60s, it's be a Datsun 510 or Nissan Skyline 2000GT. Course even today, muscle cars suck outside of driving in a straightline. They sucked back then, they suck now.

Nah, you'd see a 99 Subaru Impreza 22B going for $100,000, if it has low miles today.


By callmeroy on 6/4/2010 10:18:16 AM , Rating: 2
I think we are mixing up opinions as facts here...

That's all it is in the end YOUR opinion of american made "muscle" cars....

I've been a huge fan of the Camaro for example...its probably why I've had 3 so far and my 3rd being a recently bought 2010 LT2 Rally Sport. In honesty I'd love to own a brand new Corvette but its out of my price league thus I get the next best thing I both can afford and enjoy the styling of -- which is the Camaro.

I've now owned 3 camaro's and 1 firebird in my life so far. I can tell you I've had a blast driving them. So the going fast only in a straight line is BS.... true does my current 2010 camaro handle corners like a ferrari, porcshe or lambo - of course not....but it also costs anywhere from $70,000 to $250,000 LESS (or more!) than those 'exotic' cars as well.

Furthermore it damn well DOES handle better than most "common" daily drivers --- sedans, compact cars. So while its not a "track star" its also not a slouch either.

Either way the most important thing is that *I* have a lot of fun driving it...considering I am paying for the car each month that's what matters to me most.

Not only that I love the looks of my car and its loaded with pretty much any feature you can name for a car to have.

Finally....where are you gonna be ABLE to take corners at 80 mph + anyway? I know you certainly don't have many opportunities around where I live....far too much traffic and too many cops!


By afkrotch on 6/4/2010 9:43:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I've now owned 3 camaro's and 1 firebird in my life so far. I can tell you I've had a blast driving them. So the going fast only in a straight line is BS.... true does my current 2010 camaro handle corners like a ferrari, porcshe or lambo - of course not....but it also costs anywhere from $70,000 to $250,000 LESS (or more!) than those 'exotic' cars as well.


I never said ppl can't have a blast driving them. They just suck outside of pretty much straight driving. Sure, it does well on a pretty smooth track, but start throwing any low speed turns in and riding a donkey ends up being faster. Not really surprising, when you consider the car's weight.

quote:
Furthermore it damn well DOES handle better than most "common" daily drivers --- sedans, compact cars. So while its not a "track star" its also not a slouch either.


Well, duh. A daily driver is a daily driver. It's not designed for any kind of performance. I sure wouldn't consider a Camaro to be a "common" daily driver.

quote:
Finally....where are you gonna be ABLE to take corners at 80 mph + anyway? I know you certainly don't have many opportunities around where I live....far too much traffic and too many cops!


My home state is Idaho. Currently, I'm living in S.Korea. Prior to that, was living in Germany. Before that, Japan. Also England.

Idaho, can do it all day long in the mountains. I'd go driving up in the South Hills. Just expect some performance loss from the higher altitude.

S.Korea, not so much. I don't even have a car here anyways.

Germany, you have the autobahn, but if your car has crap suspension, you're probably gonna crash. The autobahn is a horribly maintained highway. The backroads are crazy twisty. Between Baalborn and Otterberg the roads twist like crazy, but between Otterberg and Schneckenhausen is less twisty, so you can open it up a lot more. You'd only have to worry about speed cameras in large cities or the autobahn. Aside from that, cops pretty much didn't exist. I also raced along some of the same roads for the ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

Japan, they let you race up in the mountains for a while. The cops actually ignore it until about 2-3am, then they'll go out and stop the touge racers. My place of choice was Okutama. It was the closest place for Tokyo drivers. Best place for me was a small mountain pass between Ome and Chichibu. The road is small, so the only time to really get to push the full length is at night. Problem, it's super dark, so you'll need a light pod or you'll need to memorize as much of the road as possible. Never seen a cop there, ever.

England, pretty easy to race around there on the back roads. The roads are quite twisty, but worse, really uneven. Suspension and handling is super important. I got my fun on the backroad between Burwell and Cambridge. Have to wait until about 2am, so there are no other cars to slow you down. You'll want to drive it normal once though, to look for speed cameras. England loves speed cameras. Roads are much like Germany, just extremely bumpy.

80+ mph on corners, where I've been driving. Pretty much impossible to do on any stock car. Half the time, it's impossible on any race car with any race driver.


By Nfarce on 6/5/2010 2:38:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Subaru was building cars, that's what they were building. The Subaru Sambar was built in 61 and is still being built and sold.


Who cares? How many people even know what that is or have even seen one? How many people in 1961 had ever heard of Subaru?

quote:
Nah, you'd see a 99 Subaru Impreza 22B going for $100,000, if it has low miles today.


Tell ya what! You show me the first Japanese classic from the 1960s or 70s to come on an auto auction and sell for $100k and I'll give you both my Infinity G35 and Nissan Frontier truck. Yeah, I buy and own both American and foreign.

Until then, I'll relish like tens of millions of others in automotive classic history of American cars. We now return you to your fast-n-furious wannabe road trip.


By afkrotch on 6/7/2010 8:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who cares? How many people even know what that is or have even seen one? How many people in 1961 had ever heard of Subaru?


Apparently more ppl care about Subaru than Mercury. They aren't being closed.

quote:
Tell ya what! You show me the first Japanese classic from the 1960s or 70s to come on an auto auction and sell for $100k and I'll give you both my Infinity G35 and Nissan Frontier truck. Yeah, I buy and own both American and foreign.


Datsun Fairlady SPL212. Toyota 2000GT. So, when and where do I need to go pickup my Infiniti G35 and Nissan Frontier?


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