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Breaking Ford Info

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From Autoblog via KROM at GMI who attended the sneak preview Ford employees recently attended

KROM, a poster on GMInsideNews of all places, has published a rundown of what was shown and his personal impressions. He tells us that 17 cars were on display, most of which will be on the market by this time next year as 2008 or 2008.5 models. Many cars were not shown in person, however, but presented on slides that previewed refreshenings for models stretching out all the way to 2010.

KRON's overall impression was that Ford designers and engineers have paid particular attention to the sounds each car produces, whether they be more substantial exhaust notes or a more solid thuds from closing doors. In his eyes, the general sense of quality for the vehicles was much higher than current offerings on account of this focus. Interiors across the Ford lineup are also getting updated, and KRON was left impressed across the board.

On the GMI Post:

It was also announced that Ford had made a last-minute decision to stop the badge-engineering that most recently can be viewed in such vehicles as the Edge and Lincoln MKX. Upon hearing this, the crowd in attendance "ooooh'd out loud." As evidence of the proclomation, a new Lincoln "people-mover" was shown that looks nothing like the Ford Fairlane, and the luxury brand showed a new front-end design that will be debuting soon across its entire lineup.

Perhaps the preview of most import was Ford's upcoming B-car (small car) slated to go on sale below the Focus. KRON says, "(the) B-car (unnamed) looks sooo good to me that I could not stop staring at it. It is just right. I worried that it might actually be too "bold" for it's segment, but they nailed it and it looks much better than the new Focus to me."

Other vehicles on display include the Mustang along with the anxiously awaited Bullit version. KRON describes a refreshened Mustang for 2008 that only fixes what is wrong with the current car, including the interior. The new F-150 was also shown with Superchief styling cues, along with the Freestyle and 500 with three-bar grilles and bigger engines, the Escape, Mariner, E-Series vans and Transit vans. Apparently no Mercury vehicles were on hand, or at least none were impressive enough for KRON to mention, which makes the division's future with Ford seem suspect.

And it may not be looking good for Mercury...

Finally, as some people have pointed out, lack of Mercuries at the event, plus only the '09 Fusion and Zephyr being shown, seems to imply the Milan --and perhaps the entire Mercury brand-- are history come MY09.

http://www.autoblog.com/2006/11/27/report-...eal-to-employe/

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Too bad about Mercury, though in the quoted text, I'm pretty sure the Mariner counts as a Mercury. Also, why would Ford release a Mariner now for 2008 if it is getting the axe in 2009? I don't buy it. My guess is that the Mercuries are either not being shown due to similarities with the Fords or they might be getting more differentiation (most likely the former).

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Olds released the Bravada a couple of years before Olds got the ax, if I remember correctly the announcement of Olds mobile being phased out and the introduction of the Bravada came without a few weeks of each other and the Bravada was one of the first Oldsmobiles phased out, so it wouldn't be unheard of for Ford to bring out a new Mariner then drop Mercury a year or two later.

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So... is the $18bn loan to pay for the phase-out of Mercury?

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Olds released the Bravada a couple of years before Olds got the ax, if I remember correctly the announcement of Olds mobile being phased out and the introduction of the Bravada came without a few weeks of each other and the Bravada was one of the first Oldsmobiles phased out, so it wouldn't be unheard of for Ford to bring out a new Mariner then drop Mercury a year or two later.

221479[/snapback]

The ax for Oldsmobile came only hours before the offical announcement of the new Bravada.

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It's possible, but I just don't know...the new Mercuries are so nice too...

221490[/snapback]

I agree, I really like Mercury's look, they do come off as more refined than their Ford cousins, but if they're not selling they might as well cut and run. The only big difference between top-of-the-line Mercs and top-of-the-line Fords is the two-tone leather which could easily be made an option on any Ford.

The ax for Oldsmobile came only hours before the offical announcement of the new Bravada.

221521[/snapback]

Wow, was it really that close? I knew they weren't far apart but I thought it was a couple of days at least.

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I agree, I really like Mercury's look, they do come off as more refined than their Ford cousins, but if they're not selling they might as well cut and run.  The only big difference between top-of-the-line Mercs and top-of-the-line Fords is the two-tone leather which could easily be made an option on any Ford.

Wow, was it really that close?  I knew they weren't far apart but I thought it was a couple of days at least.

221531[/snapback]

I think it was the Oldsmobile O4 concept. They announced Olds' demise just prior to the concepts unveiling. It then was unveiled, but not refered to as an Olds.

About Ford, I hope they get their act together. Its tough designing vechicles on a shoe string budget. :lol:

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The main thing preventing Ford from phasing out Mercury is the Lincoln-Mercury dealers, who need Mercury for sales volume. Until Ford gets that changed, they cannot starve their dealers of product (effectively).

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They could

--Phase out Lincoln as well (doubtful)

--Roll Lincoln in with Ford dealerships (also doubtful)

--Expand Lincoln with a version of the 500 and maybe the Escape and Mustang (Mark IX?)(most likely)

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I really don't think Ford should kill Mercury. With all the work they have done with giving it a brand image, investing in advertising, and maintaining high levels of quality and consumer satisfaction, it seems absurd to kill it. I mean, there's 190K or so sales that will instantly go somewhere else...and not necessarily to another brand under the Ford umbrella.

I highly doubt Lincoln will be able to absorb the sales volume if Mercury is killed, even if they are given a ton of product. Lincoln right now is hovering around 125K annually...you're talking about more than doubling sales for Ford's domestic luxury marque over a span of a few years. And there's no guarantee these customers are going to move down to a Ford, especially since many probably chose Mercury due to it being a stylish alternative to the Ford brand.

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I really don't think Ford should kill Mercury.  With all the work they have done with giving it a brand image, investing in advertising, and maintaining high levels of quality and consumer satisfaction, it seems absurd to kill it.  I mean, there's 190K or so sales that will instantly go somewhere else...and not necessarily to another brand under the Ford umbrella. 

I highly doubt Lincoln will be able to absorb the sales volume if Mercury is killed, even if they are given a ton of product.  Lincoln right now is hovering around 125K annually...you're talking about more than doubling sales for Ford's domestic luxury marque over a span of a few years.  And there's no guarantee these customers are going to move down to a Ford, especially since many probably chose Mercury due to it being a stylish alternative to the Ford brand.

221630[/snapback]

BINGO

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I read some where that Ford was going to cut down the number of Ford dealers. Perhaps this will increase sales volume for Lincoln-mercury.

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Higher quality? No more badge engineering?? Fresh products quickly entering the market???

My fingers are officially crossed.

Of course, I don't want Mercury to go...but if it must it must.

Besides, if Ford becomes profitable again, they can always revive it.

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I really don't think Ford should kill Mercury.  With all the work they have done with giving it a brand image, investing in advertising, and maintaining high levels of quality and consumer satisfaction, it seems absurd to kill it.  I mean, there's 190K or so sales that will instantly go somewhere else...and not necessarily to another brand under the Ford umbrella. 

I highly doubt Lincoln will be able to absorb the sales volume if Mercury is killed, even if they are given a ton of product.  Lincoln right now is hovering around 125K annually...you're talking about more than doubling sales for Ford's domestic luxury marque over a span of a few years.  And there's no guarantee these customers are going to move down to a Ford, especially since many probably chose Mercury due to it being a stylish alternative to the Ford brand.

221630[/snapback]

BINGOX2

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BINGO

221666[/snapback]

BINGO +3!!! my job depends on a strong lincoln and mercury. i've been doing F-L-M parts for 15 yrs and i really don't want to change careers at this point. tho if toyota's quality issues keep growing i'll bet i could make a good living at a toyota dealer. :lol:

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Someone at Ford said it would cost near $1B in legal fees to L-M dealers, to drop Mercury. GM did that with Olds.

So it's not going anywhere soon, but more like slowly fading...

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Someone at Ford said it would cost near $1B in legal fees to L-M dealers, to drop Mercury. GM did that with Olds.

So it's not going anywhere soon, but more like slowly fading...

222510[/snapback]

Considering that and the fact that many Lincoln dealers couldn't survive without Mercury I say M is still safe. Now, if Ford is making money again and Lincoln is selling at least 200K units a year(we can dream) Mercury could be ditched.

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I'd like to see Mercury survive, but they really need some unique products, not just rebadged Fords.

222283[/snapback]

Unless Ford of Europe were to send the S-MAX here as a Mercury or interpret iosis styling cues on Milan and other models, I really don't see a future for Mercury, and at this point, it sounds like it would be better to just ax the brand if nothing's going on. No one is going to care about Mercury even if it has nice colors and supposed interior materials different from a Ford. I just don't think anyone is going to pony up $1,000 extra for a model because you can get a Black Pearl Slate exterior and two-tone interior on a Mariner Premier that you can't get on an Escape XLT (just a hypothetical example). It really, really is a worthless justification, just kill Mercury unless radical, for the better, changes are going to happen.

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Unless Ford of Europe were to send the S-MAX here as a Mercury

Perhaps some European B segment cars would fit in nicely at Mercury. The upscale Mercury Lincoln image would allow a higher price tag and further diffrentiate Merc from Ford??

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