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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 afkrotch on 6/2/2010 11:57:55 PM , Rating: 1
lexus has only existed in japan since 2005, before then all of their cars were simply sold as toyotas in japan. the same can be said for infiniti and acura. so when you hear an ad that says "designed specifically by brand XXX for the US market" then that is pretty much BS.

Except, sometimes they are designed specifically for the US market. Not finding a Toyota Tacoma in Japan.

the current infiniti G37 is simply a skyline in japan by the way. and isn't a skyline soooo much cooler than an infiniti alphabet37?

The Skyline Coupe, sure. The Skyline GT-R. No.

By Nfarce on 6/3/2010 12:14:28 AM , Rating: 1
Except, sometimes they are designed specifically for the US market.

Not finding a Toyota Tacoma in Japan.

That's because 1) America has the most open roads and travels the most miles on the planet as a single nation, and 2) we have been using pickup trucks since the early 1900s.

Not those little Toy trucks, so to speak, we Americans consider real pickup trucks or anything. I don't see too many camper and boat haulers in Japan.

Wanna try again asshat?

By Nfarce on 6/3/2010 11:27:33 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong answer. When people like you say "you stupid Americans" it makes people like me want to argue with you - about ANYTHING. You mentioned that the Tacoma wasn't seen in Japan and was marketed to America (that Toyota T100 was a rip roaring success in the 1990s, eh?). What the F does that have to do with the death of Mercury, or Pontiac, or Oldsmobile, or AMC for that matter.

By afkrotch on 6/4/2010 9:51:23 PM , Rating: 2
The fact that Toyota created a brand new platform for the American public and didn't just take an already existing platform, rebadge it, then charge more for it. Thus not leading to the failure of a random offshoot rebadging company.

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

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