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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 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


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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