joeyb

June 2nd, 2010 at 4:50 PM ^

It was bound to happen. They have been trying to "focus on core brands" for a while. While Mercury is one of those, having two high-end brands that are basically the same isn't helping them out. Honestly, though, Mercury has more meaning to me than Lincoln, so I am surprised the picked that one to get rid of.

Blue Ninja

June 3rd, 2010 at 11:58 AM ^

Agreed in that Ford marketed their brands with Ford as the base, Mercury as the mid-level and Lincoln as upscale. The writing has been on the wall for some time with Mercury not procuring its own versions of hot sellers like the Focus, Taurus or Edge. Mercury sales have been lagging for some time now and this will alow Ford to focus on 2 brands instead of 3 plus to be honest the Ford brand is about where Mercury is anyways as a mid-level brand.

 

The shame of it is I currently own a Mercury so I own a dying breed. Too bad it doesn't make it more vauluable!

bliang

June 2nd, 2010 at 7:20 PM ^

Buick is a big player in China, which has been the major market of growth for GM for the last decade or so.  Think of it as you would Lexus here state-side.  Pontiac definitely was getting rave reviews in terms of the performance/gear-heads (G8, etc), but they had trouble translating that into volume sales.  Buick has made significant strides in recent years (Enclave, Excelle, new Regal), along with some "performance"-tuned variants.  FWIW, most of these models are imported / rebadged Opels from Germany, and are very competitive with other low-tier luxury brands.

No one should be surprised by the end of Mercury; rumors have circulated ever since GM/Chrysler entered bankruptcy.  Poor quality products, lack of market share, and customer overlap within Ford (Lincoln and in part Volvo).

JeepinBen

June 2nd, 2010 at 4:47 PM ^

It's very similar to what happened to Oldsmobile a few years ago... the differences between brands disappeared.

It used to be that a Ford was the entry level vehicle, then you moved up to a Mercury, then a Lincoln for true luxury. (Chevy, Olds, Buick, Caddy for the GM version). But as Fords (and Chevys) have gotten nicer and more luxurious, the intermediate brand stopped being any different from the other model. You can get a Fusion that's as nice as a Milan, so what's the point of the Milan? People just buy the Top-of-the-line Ford, it's the same car, and it's a whole lot cheaper for Ford to make.

markusr2007

June 2nd, 2010 at 5:12 PM ^

The last of the great 1970s luxury cars IMO. The one we had was cream-white colored with chocolate cap and velvet brown seats inside. I remember never ever feeling a bump in the road. That vee-hicle literally floated like a boat on the waves.  I still wonder what kind of shocks and struts they used. They were magnificient. The rear wheel wells had cute skirts of modesty over the massive rear tires. I think it had a 400 engine or something ridiculous like that. The car's heater was a thermal reactor. 8 miles per gallon. 

http://www.mercuryarchive.com/1973to1978/1978MercuryMarquisBrougham4-Dr…

somewittyname

June 2nd, 2010 at 5:03 PM ^

Why not focus on improving the quality of a Taurus instead of placing that effort into making a Sable. At one point the auto industry was defined by consumers wanting choice, now they just want quality and affordability.

WolvinLA2

June 2nd, 2010 at 5:06 PM ^

This isn't very surprising, and I don't really see this as bad news either.  Most (if not all)Mercury models are a nicer version of a Ford model.  Now that the Ford models are getting a bit nicer, the Mercury brand isn't necessary.  As someone said above, this is a lot like GM cutting Olds, and it's really not a step down as much as concrentrating on the models that sell.

Vasav

June 2nd, 2010 at 6:40 PM ^

The new Tracer was supposed to be a rebadged Focus. In the News' article, there was mention of the fact that Lincoln would NOT be just rebadging a Ford, but would be offering a model on the same platform to step in for the Tracer.

It's the smart move. Off the top of my head, in the past twenty years, the only Mercury's that weren't rebadged Ford's are the Cougar and the Marauder.

Yostal

June 2nd, 2010 at 5:09 PM ^

When I went car shopping earlier this year and was looking at the differences between a high end Fusion or a mid-grade Milan*, I genuinely could not see much of a difference besides the grill and marque.  That was about it.  I think Lincoln dealers will be frustrated because they don't have that mid-level brand to get people in the door, but clearly with the diminishing returns on Mercury, I am not sure people were coming in the door for Mercury.

*-leased a 2007 Milan and it was a fantastic ride, loved it.  The 2010 Fusions that I looked at were even nicer, which is a tribute to Ford's efforts at quality, reliability, and styling.

MattisonMan

June 2nd, 2010 at 5:09 PM ^

Mercury was supposed to be the mid-level between Ford and Lincoln.  The niche just doesn't exist anymore now that Fords are all pretty well equipped at the base level. 

 

I also talked to a Ford person and they said the sales were 'meh' even in the hayday. 

Njia

June 2nd, 2010 at 5:16 PM ^

And have you seen the new Taurus, and especially the Limited or SHO? That is a fine, fine automobile. A very sweet ride.

EDIT: Something funky happened in my browser (Mozilla) just now. Sorry. I typed the subject line, started typing the comment and hit "backspace" to correct a typo. All of a sudden, browser posts the thing without any comments, just the subject line.

CleverMichigan…

June 2nd, 2010 at 5:36 PM ^

my '95 Mystique will be a collector's item?

/sarcasm

It'll probably be out of comission by the time I graduate anyway, at which point I plan on buying a relatively new Ford.

Tater

June 2nd, 2010 at 8:07 PM ^

I remember Steve Miller covering this song in the 70's, but it turns out that it was written in 1949 under the original title of "Mercury Boogie," according to the oft-maligned but semi-accurate wikipedia.  My first thought was that now we will see even more versions of this song by even more artists as the Mercury becomes a quaint artifact.