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Officially Official: Ford kills Mercury to expand Lincoln lineup


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#1

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 02:10 PM

Officially Official: Ford kills Mercury to expand Lincoln lineup
by Steven J. Ewing (RSS feed) on Jun 2nd, 2010 at 4:00PM



This was bound to happen sooner or later. Over the last ten years, Mercury's sales numbers have plummeted, and currently, the brand only accounts for 0.8 percent of Ford Motor Company's overall market share. In a press conference this afternoon with Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, and Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of product development, the automaker has officially announced that Mercury will be discontinued in the fourth quarter of this year.

With all of the forward momentum that Ford has been experiencing over the past few years, no brand-specific models were introduced to the Mercury lineup. What's more, the vast majority of recent Mercury purchases were made through discounts offered to retirees, friends and family. Mercury's dealer network (coupled with the Lincoln brand) is currently in the process of being notified about Ford's decision, and owners are reassured that existing Mercury products can still be serviced at any Ford or (newly standalone) Lincoln dealer.

But it isn't all bad news down in Dearborn – Ford is using Mercury's demise as a better reason to seriously beef up the Lincoln brand. Including the 2011 MKZ Hybrid and refreshed 2011 MKX, Ford is expanding the Lincoln lineup with the addition of seven all-new or wholly refreshed vehicles, including the brand's first-ever C-segment vehicle, possibly related to the C Concept that we saw at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.

Furthermore, Lincoln will be offering EcoBoost powertrains across the entire lineup, including the next-generation Navigator full-size SUV. Ford is committed to making Lincoln substantially more prosperous in America, saying that the brand will house more useful features and technology than any other competitor, as well as offering the most fuel-efficient lineup of luxury vehicles.

For the full details about Mercury's demise and Lincoln's expansion, hit the jump to read Ford's official press release.

FORD TO EXPAND LINCOLN LINEUP AND BRAND EMPHASIS; MERCURY PRODUCTION ENDS IN FOURTH QUARTER OF 2010

Ford is expanding its Lincoln lineup with seven all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles in the next four years – including its first-ever C-segment vehicle

Lincoln's plan accelerates with more investment and attention on standout product design, class-leading technology and powertrains delivering top performance and fuel efficiency
Lincoln product development, marketing, sales and service resources expanding as the brand competes with Cadillac and Lexus in the marketplace

Ford will end production of Mercury vehicles in the fourth quarter of this year to fully devote its financial, product development, production and marketing, sales and service resources toward further growing its core Ford brand while enhancing Lincoln

Existing Mercury owners to receive continued access to parts and service support at Ford and Lincoln dealers; current Mercury vehicle warranties and Extended Service Plans will be honored; special offers available on new Mercury vehicles through the summer

Affected dealers to receive specialized support during the transition, as the company continues its transformation to a more profitable dealer network

DEARBORN, Mich., June 2, 2010 – Ford Motor Company will expand and enhance its Lincoln brand lineup with seven all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles in the next four years as part of an aggressive growth plan focused on standout product design, class-leading technology and new powertrains – all aimed at competing with Cadillac and Lexus in North America.

Ford also will end production of Mercury vehicles in the fourth quarter of this year to fully devote its financial, product development, production and marketing, sales and service resources toward further growing its core Ford brand while enhancing the Lincoln brand.

"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."

Lincoln's hallmarks will be refined, modern design, the most fuel-efficient premium powertrains and industry-leading technology that create a unique driver experience both in the cabin and on the road.

"Profitably growing Lincoln in North America is an important part of our One Ford plan," said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. "Our Ford brand is gaining momentum and winning customers around the world. Now, we are going to use the same laser focus to further strengthen Lincoln and deliver even more products luxury customers really want and value."

Foundation Set

The future of Lincoln is building from a strong base that includes the all-new flagship MKS large sedan, the all-new MKT seven-passenger crossover and a significantly refreshed MKZ mid-size sedan – all now in showrooms. The hybrid version of the MKZ will reach showrooms later this year and is expected to be the most fuel efficient premium sedan on the market.

Lincoln's product actions continue later this year with the debut of the significantly refreshed 2011 MKX crossover, the first vehicle to feature MyLincoln Touch driver connect technology.

This will be followed by another six all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles within four years developed with Lincoln's DNA of standout design, precise and confident driving experience, class-leading technology and powertrains delivering top performance and fuel efficiency.

Lincoln will be led by expanded product development and marketing, sales and service teams to support the brand's growth plan and ensure it has a strong cadence of distinct products that are well positioned in the market. Plans for Lincoln include:

Lincoln's first-ever C-segment vehicle

New Lincoln-exclusive powertrains, including an all-new V-6 engine and advanced fuel-efficient transmissions
EcoBoost engines available in all Lincolns – from the Navigator full-size SUV to the new C-segment Lincoln
Fuel economy leadership with each new vehicle – leading to Lincoln emerging as the most fuel-efficient luxury lineup on the market

More useful technology and features than any other competitor – with a special focus on comfort and convenience. New advanced features include: fully retractable glass roofs; adaptive computer-controlled suspensions; electronic, push-button gear-selectors; active noise control; and exclusive MyLincoln Touch driver connect technology

"Lincoln vehicles will reward drivers with smooth, effortless power complemented by agile handling and responsive steering," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president, Global Product Development. "The cabin is a sanctuary with segment-leading quietness, genuine materials and intuitive, useful technology."

Lincoln has started gaining traction with customers, as evidenced by market share gains during the past five years. Lincoln's share of the retail U.S. luxury vehicle market has grown from 4.5 percent in 2005 to 6.3 percent through the first quarter of 2010.

In addition, Lincoln's reputation with consumers has risen, with favorable opinion and purchase consideration reaching its highest level in the past five years. Lincoln's long-term durability was second only to Porsche's in the 2010 J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Survey.

Mercury

Mercury originally was created as a premium offering to Ford and was an important source of incremental sales. 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.

Today, Mercury's customer profile, pricing and margins are almost identical to Ford, but Mercury's incremental sales have been declining.

The majority of current Mercury sales are to fleet buyers and customers purchasing through employee, retiree and friends and family discounts, which Ford anticipates largely can be satisfied by Ford brand vehicles.

Of Ford Motor Company's 16 percent market share in the U.S., Mercury accounts for 0.8 percentage points, a level that has been flat or declining for the past several years. That contrasts with the Ford brand, which has increased market share by 2.2 percentage points so far this year on the strength of new products and improved quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.

Ford's strengthening financial position – including the return to profitability and positive cash flow – allows the company to absorb short-term costs associated with the discontinuation of Mercury and to consolidate future product investments into Lincoln.

Today, there are no stand-alone Mercury dealerships in North America. Ford is working closely with dealers to maintain properly located stand-alone Lincoln or Ford-Lincoln dealers, which will offer dealers and the company the greatest opportunity for long-term profitable growth.

New operational standards developed with the company's dealers will facilitate a Lincoln customer experience that exceeds the expectations of North American luxury customers.

Personal Attention

Ford will work closely with Mercury dealers and customers during the transition, including providing existing Mercury owners with continued access to parts and service support at Ford and Lincoln dealers and by honoring current warranties, including Ford's Extended Service Plans.

"We are 100 percent committed to supporting Mercury owners through Ford and Lincoln dealerships and working hard to keep them as valued customers in the future," Fields said.

"At the same time, we will work closely with our dealers to phase out Mercury franchises and continue to build a healthy, growing Lincoln with strong new products and a profitable dealer network that delivers a world-class customer experience."

Mercury owners will receive additional details in the coming days explaining the transition and assuring them that Ford and its dealers will continue to provide all necessary parts and service support for Mercury products.

Ford has notified Mercury dealers of the decision and provided details of a financial package that includes payment in exchange for resigning the franchise.

Ford today also informed dealers of special offers on new Mercury vehicles that will be available through the summer to support the sell down of current Mercury inventory and remaining Mercury vehicle production.

"We are taking decisive action and moving into the future with the right plan to deliver profitable growth for all stakeholders," Fields said. "These moves position us to continue building momentum through strong brands, great products and an unwavering focus on the customer."


link:
http://www.autoblog....coln/#continued
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#2

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 02:14 PM

Ford retires 71-year-old Mercury brand
Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

Dearborn -- Ford Motor Co. today confirmed that it is killing its mid-market Mercury brand to focus its resources on reviving luxury-brand Lincoln.

The automaker said it plans to end production of Mercury products sometime in the last three months of this year.
It promised to compensate dealers who lose their franchises as a result of the decision. Furthermore, no workers will lose their jobs as a result of the decision, which was approved by Ford's board of directors today.


The move had been widely anticipated, in view of Mercury's lagging sales.
The brand was launched in 1939, the brainchild of Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford. Its mission was to fill the gap between the mass market Ford brand and the luxury Lincoln marque.
As a result of today's decision, the automaker is expected to launch a new compact promised for Mercury as a Lincoln.
The Mercury brand has suffered from lack of new product and advertising, and its sales have dropped precipitously in recent years.

Sales peaked in 1978 at more than 580,000 vehicles, but just over 92,000 Mercurys were sold last year.
This year, the Mercury brand has captured less than 1 percent of the U.S. market, while the Ford brand has 15 percent.
Fewer than 300 U.S. dealers sell both Lincoln and Mercury.

Mercury is the latest American brand to die as part of an industry-wide restructuring. Others included the Chrysler Plymouth and GM's Saturn, Hummer, Pontiac and Oldsmobile.


From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.c...d#ixzz0pjEVfG00









Ford retires 72-year-old Mercury brand

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

Dearborn -- Ford Motor Co. today confirmed that it is killing its mid-market Mercury brand to focus its resources on its luxury Lincoln marque.
"We are very proud of its history, but we are now looking forward," said Ford Americas President Mark Fields, who promised that the nation's 1,712 dealers would be fairly compensated for the loss of their Mercury franchises.

He said the company would work with them to make sure their remaining Ford and Lincoln franchises make up for the lost sales. "We absolutely remain committed to working with our dealers."

There are no stand-alone Mercury dealers left. However, 276 of those stores are paired only with Lincoln, and Ford acknowledged some may have a hard time surviving alone.
Ford said no employees will lose their jobs as a result of the decision, which was ratified at a meeting of Ford's board of directors this morning. It had been expected for some time; the brand has been losing market share in the United States since the 1990s.

"Our total market share for Mercury is eight-tenths of a percent," Fields said, noting that Ford's mass market Blue Oval brand has increased its share of the U.S. market by more than double that amount since the beginning of this year.

In fact, he said, Ford's success is a big reason for the decision, as it gives the automaker the financial resources it needs to wind-down Mercury without undermining its stated goal of being "solidly profitable" this year. Ford made $2.1 billion in the first quarter.
"It really allows the company to absorb the short-term cost of discontinuing Mercury," he said.
The decision also is motivated by the need to invest more resources in Lincoln, which has struggled to hold its own in an increasingly crowded and competitive luxury marketplace.

"We've made a lot of progress with the Ford brand," Fields said. "Now's the time to do that with Lincoln."
Derrick Kuzak, Ford's head of global product development, said the automaker will deliver seven all-new or substantially refreshed Lincolns to showrooms over the next four years.

Included in that will be a new compact based on the same platform as the new Ford Focus. Mercury was to get a more upmarket version of the Focus, but those resources will now go to a Lincoln version that Kuzak said would be quite different from the Ford version.
"It will not be a badge-engineered version of another Ford product," he said.

Lincoln also will get new, brand-exclusive powertrains, including an all-new V-6 engine. And all Lincolns, including the big Navigator sport utility vehicle, will be available with one of Ford's fuel-saving EcoBoost engines as an option.

Dealers were informed of the decision during a webcast this afternoon. Some said they were "disappointed" in the decision.
"My phone's been ringing off the hook," said Bob Tasca, chairman of the Lincoln Mercury Dealer Council.
He said the reactions he was getting from his members depended on whether they also owned a Ford store. Tasca said those who do "are OK" and believe the decision will make the company stronger.

As for the rest, he said "it's a different call."
"Some of them are going to go out of business," Tasca said.
Fields said Ford will work with those dealers to combine their Lincoln franchises with a Ford franchise where possible. The rest, he said, will be compensated.
Henry Ford's son, Edsel Ford, started the Mercury brand in 1938 to bridge the gap between Ford and Lincoln. Since then, there has too often been little to differentiate Fords and Lincolns.

But the brand has succeeded in attracting new buyers -- particularly women -- who would not otherwise have considered a Ford product. Now, Fields said the Blue Oval's newest products are proving just as attractive to those customers. He noted that Ford's share of the U.S. car market has increased by more than double Mercury's total share since the beginning of this year.
George Pipas, head of sales analysis at Ford, said 53 percent of Mercury customers cross-shop Ford or Lincoln.


From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/a...d#ixzz0pjqvH54H
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#3

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 02:19 PM

Ford announces end of Mercury brand
BY BRENT SNAVELY
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER


After 71 years, Ford said today that its board of directors this morning voted to end the Mercury brand first developed by Edsel Ford.

“This decision was really an outcome of an extensive product plan study that we do each spring,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas. “We don’t take this decision lightly.”

Fields said Ford will stop producing Mercury vehicles by the end of the year. Ford made the decision to terminate the Mercury brand because its market share has sunk to less than 1% and many Mercury customers cross-shop Ford vehicles.

Ford, in contrast, has gained 2 points of market share this year. The decision, Fields said, also will allow Ford to put 100% of its resources into the Ford brand and into developing an expanded Lincoln lineup.

Mercury's product lineup has shrunk in recent years and sales have followed, tumbling to 92,000 last year, down from 359,000 in 2000.

“As we look at the Mercury brand, it has really served us well in the past, but now we are looking forward,” Fields said.

The demise of Mercury is not completely unexpected.

Ford has been encouraging Lincoln Mercury dealers across the country to combine with a Ford franchise wherever possible, but still has 276 stand alone Lincoln Mercury franchises. For many of those dealers, Mercury sales account for 50% or more of total annual sales.

Ford even told dealers earlier this year that it was developing a new Mercury compact car that would be called Tracer.

Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of product development, said the fact that Ford was developing the Tracer shows that Ford truly was committed to the future of Mercury until this spring, when it reevaluated its business plan.

Fields said all Mercury dealers will be eligible for payments to compensate them for the loss of their dealerships. Ford said the amount of the compensation will vary according to the size of the dealership and other factors.

Ford has 1,712 dealers with a Mercury franchise.

Bob Tasca Jr., chairman of the Lincoln Mercury dealer council, acknowledged that the decision to terminate the Mercury brand will be difficult and emotional for many dealers.

“You have to feel sorry for the stand alone dealers, but I think that many of them will get through it and do well,” Tasca said. “Some may not be able to survive it.”


link:
http://www.freep.com...f-Mercury-brand
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Posted 02 June 2010 - 02:33 PM

Ford Officially Kills Off Mercury

By Nelson Ireson
Editor
June 2nd, 2010



In a move that surprises no one, Ford announced this afternoon that its Mercury brand would be wound down over the coming months. Short on product and individual direction in recent years, the once-popular Mercury brand had become a shadow of its former self.

The end of the fourth quarter of 2010 will see the end of Mercury, as well, closing out 71 years of operation since its foundation as a division within Ford by Edsel Ford, the son of Henry Ford. Over the last few years, Mercury has fallen to just 0.8 percent of the U.S. market, compared to Ford's growing overall market share, up to 16 percent this year.
Mercury had once been an aspirational entry-luxury brand offering a stepping stone between Ford's mainstream products and Lincoln's more up-scale offerings. As the three brands progressed through the end of the last century and into the 21st, however, differentiation diminished and Mercury was reduced to little more than badge-engineered Ford products tarted up with some chrome and leather. Buyers overlapped almost completely between the two brands, as well.

In its heyday, however, the Mercury was the subject of not only showroom lust, but popular music, with the Mercury Blues (performed by Alan Jackson in the video below) perhaps the greatest homage to the brand ever created. Enjoy the musical sign-off to the Mercury brand, complete with a slideshow of some of the best of Mercury's cars, in the video below.
[Ford, YouTube]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSYXGLgDrlY&feature=player_embedded



link:

http://www.motorauth...lls-off-mercury
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#5

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 03:11 PM

It's Official: Ford Dumps Mercury Brand
Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Like GM, Ford Motor Company is continuing to shrink its brand portfolio. Following the recent sale of Volvo Cars to China's Geely, with which it completed the dismantling of the premium group that once included Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover, the Deaborn automaker made it official today that it will terminate the Mercury division in the fourth quarter of this year.

Given Mercury's declining sales over the years (the brand holds a pitiful 0.8 percent market share in the U.S. - overall Ford has 16%) and the fact that its entire lineup comprises of re-grilled / re-badged Ford models, the announcement was no surprise.

Some had suggested in the past that Mercury should do what GM is doing with Buick - enhance its U.S. lineup with Ford's European models, but apparently that role is partially going to Ford with the new Euro-style Fiesta and Focus cars.

Ford admitted that the majority of current Mercury sales are to fleet buyers and customers purchasing through employee, retiree and friends and family discounts, which the company anticipates can be satisfied by Ford brand vehicles.

The company added that it will work closely with Mercury dealers and customers during the transition, providing providing existing owners with access to parts and service support at Ford and Lincoln dealers and by honoring current warranties.

"We are 100 percent committed to supporting Mercury owners through Ford and Lincoln dealerships and working hard to keep them as valued customers in the future," said Ford President, Mark Fields.

"At the same time, we will work closely with our dealers to phase out Mercury franchises and continue to build a healthy, growing Lincoln with strong new products and a profitable dealer network that delivers a world-class customer experience."

Mercury was introduced into the market 71 years ago by Edsel Ford as a Buick-like, mid-priced alternative to mainstream Ford and luxury Lincoln models.

The brand's sales peaked at 579,498 units in 1978, but have since plunged to just 92,299 vehicles in 2009. In the first quarter of 2010, Mercury's sales accounted for a mere 1.9% of FoMoCo's global sales.


link:
http://carscoop.blog...es-mercury.html
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#6

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 03:14 PM

Mercury production to end in Q4
Jamie LaReau
Automotive News -- June 2, 2010 - 1:50 pm ET
UPDATED: 6/2/10 4:57 p.m. ET

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. will discontinue its 71-year-old Mercury brand and end production of vehicles in the fourth quarter, Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, said today.

Fields also announced plans to expand the Lincoln lineup with seven new or refreshed vehicles in the next four years.

Ford product development chief Derrick Kuzak said a new compact car will be developed for Lincoln. The car will be based on the same platform that the 2011 Ford Focus sits on, but it will be designed and engineered specifically for Lincoln, he said.

The final decision to kill Mercury was made this week and approved by Ford's board today, Fields said.

A total of 1,712 dealerships sell the Mercury brand in the United States, but there are no stand-alone Mercury stores. Among the Mercury stores, 511 also have Ford franchises and 276 are combined with Lincoln franchises and 925 are dualed with both Ford and Lincoln franchises.

Some of the 276 Lincoln-Mercury dealerships are in markets that cannot support a stand-alone Lincoln store, Fields said. He said Ford will work with those stores, helping them to either get a Ford franchise or consolidating their Lincoln franchise with a Ford store.

Mercury dealers will all receive packets tomorrow morning outlining Ford's transition plan for the brand and outlining monetary compensation for their store based on a formula Ford has developed, Fields said.

Sources previously confirmed that Ford executives planned to propose to the board in July that Mercury be wound down by slowly starving it of product and marketing funds.

Mercury sales fell 74 percent from 2000 through 2009 and dropped 11 percent in May. "Sales had sunk too low to keep Mercury around," said John Wolkonowicz, an auto analyst with IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Mass. "The volumes are now probably too small for it to be profitable."

Mercury joins the ranks of other departed Detroit brands, such as Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn and Plymouth. Edsel Ford, son of founder Henry Ford, established Mercury during the Great Depression as a mid-priced alternative to mainstream Ford and upscale Lincoln.


Read more: http://www.autonews....8#ixzz0pjTpggFr
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#7

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 05:05 PM

RIDICULOUS. STUPID. MORE OF THE SAME. HYPOCRITICAL.

The Mercury version of the new Focus will now be hastily rebadged... AS A LINCOLN!

They really have no effing clue what to do with Lincoln... which has always been nothing more than a tarted-up Ford anyway for as long as I can remember... nevermind Mercury, which has been systematically dismantled from WITHIN, not from WITHOUT the company.

Lincoln has never been on a par with Cadillac in terms of exclusivity. And their first move, post killing their mid-price brand? Giving Lincoln their very own Cimarron! How rich is that!?

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 05:06 PM

Mercury’s 71-Year Run Coming to End
By Byron Pope
WardsAuto.com, Jun 2, 2010 4:43 PM

DEARBORN, MI – Ford Motor Co. officially pulls the plug on the 71-year-old Mercury brand.

The auto maker says it will end Mercury production in the fourth-quarter to concentrate more resources on its Lincoln luxury marque.


“The company plans to expand and enhance the Lincoln lineup, so we decided to discontinue the Mercury brand,” Mark Fields, president-The Americas, tells reporters at a news conference here today.

Ford says it intends to expand the Lincoln lineup with seven all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles over the next four years, including its first-ever C-segment product. Ford officials are mum on the style of the C-segment vehicle, but vow it will be fully differentiated from any Blue Oval product.

Fields says the decision to axe Mercury was made today following a vote by the board of directors. When asked why the timing was right to discontinue the brand now, Fields says it’s largely due to the success of the core Blue Oval brand.

The Ford brand is “growing in strength,” he says, noting an increase of 2.2 points of market share.

“Mercury’s total market share is eight-tenths of 1%, and that’s declining,” Fields adds. “The gain on the Ford brand is more than twice Mercury’s share.”

Ford also says large numbers of Mercurys were purchased using discount plans. And as the Blue Oval made strides in quality and content, more and more traditional Mercury buyers were cross-shopping the Ford brand.

Some 53% of Mercury buyers cross-shopped Ford and Lincoln products, the auto maker says.

Fields says Ford is in the process of alerting its 1,712 Mercury dealerships, a process that should be complete within 36 hours.

Ford will work to link affected dealers with existing Blue Oval franchises. In cases where that process is not feasible, the auto maker will “compensate them fairly and reasonably,” he says.

The future of Mercury, founded by Edsel Ford, has been a hot-button topic for years, but Ford executives repeatedly have shown support for the 71-year-old premium brand that filled the gap between the Blue Oval and Lincoln.

Fields says that show of support was not an effort to deceive dealers or the public, but rather was genuine at the time.

“We were not lying to dealers,” he says. “We go through an annual review process, and based on that we decided on this. We were not misleading.”

Bob Tasca, chairman of the Ford, Lincoln, Mercury dealer council, supports Ford’s decision but says it’s likely to take a toll on dealers.

“For some dealers, if they sell Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, it will probably simplify their business,” he says. “But there’s an emotional side because it affects people. There will be some cases where it makes a lot of sense and dealers will prosper, but some will go out of business.”

Fields says no corporate level jobs will be lost due to the decision, as all personnel currently working on Mercury projects will be transferred to Lincoln.


Plants that build Mercury products also will be unaffected, says Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s product chief.

Kuzak declines to comment on upcoming additional Lincoln models but says an all-new Lincoln exclusive V-6 is in the works, as well as “fuel-efficient” transmissions.

In recent years, the Mercury division has been starved of product. The Mercury Sable, twin of the Ford Taurus, was scrapped when the all-new ’10 Taurus debuted, and the Mountaineer SUV is slated to be discontinued when the ’11 Ford Explorer arrives.

Also departing the lineup is the Grand Marquis large sedan. Production will end this year.

Mercury’s lineup soon will consist of just two models – the Milan midsized sedan and the Mariner cross/utility vehicle.

Accounting for upwards of 450,000 units in a given year during the 1980s and 1990s, Mercury sales have been falling like a rock over the past decade.

The brand posted its best year in 1984 with deliveries of 527,198 vehicles and a whopping 16.5% share of the auto maker’s 3.2 million sales, Ward’s data shows. But last year, Mercury accounted for 92,299 deliveries and a 6.2% share of 1.7 million Ford sales.

In order to sell of remaining Mercury stock once production is discontinued, Fields says Ford plans to offer incentives this summer.


link:
http://wardsauto.com...run_end_100602/
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#9

Croc

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 05:20 PM

I really don't understand what Ford is doing. I thought divesting the European brands was to lead to Lincoln moving upmarket, not downmarket. I personally think a 3-brand strategy is best for an automaker: one entry-level brand, one luxury brand, and one niche or "specialty" brand.

Mercury, IMO would be in a really good position to receive a new position as it really has no reputation (vs. a negative perception), and Ford has stated that the Euro Fords would cost too much for the Ford brand. Lincoln really needs to move upmarket and chase Cadillac, Infiniti, Mercedes and BMW. Mercury could have easily been the recipient of Euro Fords with their distinct design language and been a counterpart to Buick.

Is Ford upping its stake in Mazda? I could see Euro Fords being compatible with the Mazda brand, but if it isn't wholly-owned it's a moot point.

Edited by Croc, 02 June 2010 - 05:23 PM.

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#10

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 05:23 PM

I really don't understand what Ford is doing. I thought divesting the European brands was to lead to Lincoln moving upmarket, not downmarket. I personally think a 3-brand strategy is best for an automaker: one entry-level brand, one luxury brand, and one niche or "specialty" brand.


This.
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#11

SAmadei

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 08:01 PM

The brand's sales peaked at 579,498 units in 1978, but have since plunged to just 92,299 vehicles in 2009. In the


The brand posted its best year in 1984 with deliveries of 527,198 vehicles and a whopping 16.5% share of the auto maker's 3.2 million sales, Ward's data shows. But last year, Mercury accounted for 92,299 deliveries and a 6.2%


Hmmm... U.S. Mercury production... according to Wikipedia's US Production figures (one of my favorite pages):

1976 480,361
1977 521,909
1978 635,051
1979 669,138
1980 347,711
1981 375,756
1982 328,597
1983 359,594
1984 475,381
1985 419,869

It looks like production peaked in 1979 with 669K built. So, somebody's numbers are way off here... unless Mercury is selling 60K (in 1984) cars that were never built... or stockpiled 1978/1979's for sale in 1984 since they only sold 579K (first link) in 1978.

I recognize that production and sales rarely line up, but when its off by 100K, I start to wonder. The Wiki numbers are also pretty good for Mercury, as no significant Mercury production or sales were outside the US during this time.
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#12

Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 08:10 PM

I really don't understand what Ford is doing. I thought divesting the European brands was to lead to Lincoln moving upmarket, not downmarket. I personally think a 3-brand strategy is best for an automaker: one entry-level brand, one luxury brand, and one niche or "specialty" brand.

Is Ford upping its stake in Mazda? I could see Euro Fords being compatible with the Mazda brand, but if it isn't wholly-owned it's a moot point.

Ford cut it's Mazda stake a while back.... it's only 13.4% now. I suspect there will be less platform sharing between future Fords and Mazdas.

Basically, they have moved Ford into the Mercury space in recent years while also moving Lincoln downmarket (MKZ, new compact) to fill where Mercury was. Basically a two-brand strategy like Toyota and Lexus.
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#13

balthazar

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 08:18 PM

toyoyo uses -sort of- a 3-brand strategy.
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#14

Camino LS6

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 08:21 PM

toyoyo uses -sort of- a 3-brand strategy.


Perhaps not for long...
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#15

Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 08:22 PM

toyoyo uses -sort of- a 3-brand strategy.

Ah, yeah. I forgot about Scion..it's pretty insignificant. Maybe it's more like Nissan/Infiniti. Ford still has a stake in Mazda, but it's sort of out of the picture.
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#16

Z-06

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 10:31 PM

toyoyo uses -sort of- a 3-brand strategy.


4 brands since it also owns 20% of Subaru.
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#17

deftonesfan867

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 11:08 PM

Yeah....Keep it up Ford and Lincoln will still continue to the be less of a brand than Cadillac.
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#18

2b2

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 01:11 AM

^ since they're saying Lincoln will have 7 vehicles
& that will probably include the MKG/KuGa and a MKfoCus
looks like no GRwdP/MKR in the near future

Hmmm... U.S. Mercury production... according to Wikipedia's US Production figures (one of my favorite pages):

1976 480,361
1977 521,909
1978 635,051
1979 669,138
1980 347,711
1981 375,756
1982 328,597
1983 359,594
1984 475,381
1985 419,869

It looks like production peaked in 1979 with 669K built. So, somebody's numbers are way off here... unless Mercury is selling 60K (in 1984) cars that were never built... or stockpiled 1978/1979's for sale in 1984 since they only sold 579K (first link) in 1978.

I recognize that production and sales rarely line up, but when its off by 100K, I start to wonder. The Wiki numbers are also pretty good for Mercury, as no significant Mercury production or sales were outside the US during this time.

as recently as 1999, Merc sold 438,000
then FoMoCo started starving Mercury to death
(due to Ford being intellectually bankrupt)


bottom line: BIG MISTAKE
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#19

ehaase

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 04:44 AM

No need for Mercury to sell Euro Fords, as the Ford brand itself will sell the Euro Fords here - Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo/Fusion.

I wouldn't be surprised if Lincoln itself is gone within 10 years. The new Lincolns are all sales flops.
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#20

NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 06:16 AM

No need for Mercury to sell Euro Fords, as the Ford brand itself will sell the Euro Fords here - Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo/Fusion.

I wouldn't be surprised if Lincoln itself is gone within 10 years. The new Lincolns are all sales flops.



Bingo! I read and hear they were sales flops too. I post the news here and read it before I post it. They have not hit the spot like Ford had hoped. Ford must figure out what Lincoln is and redefine it as a luxury brand. Front wheel drive V6 powered import looking cars are not it.
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