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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Mercury ever closer to getting the axe

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Mercury ever closer to getting the axe

Posted Sep 3rd 2007 5:27PM by Siddharth Raja

Filed under: Mercury

The writing's on the wall for Ford's pseudo luxury brand Mercury, which is now tipped to face extinction within the next couple of years. Flagging sales and no major new products in the pipeline mean Ford execs are likely to close the book on Mercury for good, and it could happen as early as 2012. Both industry experts and Mercury's own dealers are predicting the brand won't be around much longer. In fact, a recent survey of 125 dealers found that nearly four out of every five dealers were concerned that Ford is planning to dump Mercury.

Sales for Mercury last year totaled 180,848 units in the U.S., less than eight vehicles a month per franchise and the lowest total for the label since 1960. Remember, Chrysler killed the Plymouth brand because its sales dropped to 246,000 units per year and GM said goodbye to Oldsmobile when its annual tally dropped to 289,000 vehicles. So where does that leave Mercury? According to one expert, it leaves Mercury on life support. Of course, we've heard similar reports before, and yet Ford brass continue to pledge support for Mercury with their words. Too bad they refuse to do so with decent products.

source:

http://www.autoblog.com/2007/09/03/mercury...e-axe/#comments

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Mercury is like a fish flopping around in your boat that you just cant grab and he is just flopping around, dying, slowly. Poor Mercury! Ford either needs to find it, or drop it. Stop torturing it.

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Ford needs to take a page from GM's book, and sell fringe operations to raise the cash to pump into their core brands. I'd even suggest putting Jag and Land Rover on the block. If Ford integrates it's European and Australian operations with it's NA operations (much like GM is doing with Holden and Opel), all three core NA brands can be resuscitated.

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Ford needs to take a page from GM's book, and sell fringe operations to raise the cash to pump into their core brands. I'd even suggest putting Jag and Land Rover on the block. If Ford integrates it's European and Australian operations with it's NA operations (much like GM is doing with Holden and Opel), all three core NA brands can be resuscitated.

+1

Bring the Euro-Focus Cabrio over as a Merc, price it less than an EOS or G6 Cabrio and watch it fly off the shelves.

Bring the Galaxy S-Max over as a Merc and suddenly Ford is back in the minivan game again.

Sable is probably about as good as they can get for that class, market it more/better

Give Milan a few more premium features and don't share them with Ford.

Mariner and Mountaineer are fine how they are.

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Ford does not do much to hide the fact that Mercury's products are really nothing more than premium trimmed Ford brand rebadges. Mercury no longer has a true identity. If Ford cannot give Mercury products that look, feel, and perform in a distinct and upscale manner from Ford brand products, then there is no reason for Mercury to exist. I really would like to see Ford Corporation fix this brand (as well as Lincoln), but it will take a lot of talent, ingenuity, and effort.

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Someone at Autoblog raised a good point, and that is that Lincoln sold 120,000 cars in 2006 compared to Mercury's 181,000 - and that's with a more distinct and seemingly-appealing (Navigator and MKZ at least) product line. No one talks about killing Lincoln.

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Well, if this happens, the media will have succeeded at killing one historic division at every remaining american automaker... Quite a milestone!

Ford would be completely ignorant to kill Mercury IMO. The brand has NO identity (Much like Saturn) and would be so incredibly easy to revive because of that very reason.

Hell, the products wouldn't even have to be NEW products. Just import some of the Euro or Aussie cars and sell them as Mercurys. (Duh)

Mercury also needs to step out of Ford's shadow in marketing.

Just like Saab with GM as opposed to Oldsmobile... Why continue to invest money into money losing divisions from Europe while your american divisions suffer and then WHY do we kill our VOLUME (Read: share and profit) divisions in favor of these money losing ventures that barely make a blip on the radar...

Like Saab, Jaguar already has a HORRIBLE reputation because 1) The companies were in sad shape when they were bought. 2) The media has CONSTANTLY informed the consumer to stay AWAY from these divisions because they ARE american owned and 3) FURTHER mismanagement of them hasw occured since they were purchased.

It doesn't make sense... It's a lose/lose proposition. Kill Oldsmobile; lose share and HUGE equity, then try to repair an equally damaged, LESS established (volume wise) les profittable Saab?!?!?! KILL Mercury lose share AND equity that doesn't have HUGE negative stigma (Albeit a bit of one). Then try to repair a division that has caused nothing but financial hardship, has been KNOWN for it's quality problems for generations now (Yes, Jaguar) and that will NEVER turn the volume or maybe even the profit that Mercury once did?!!

It's typical ass backwards wall street driven domestic executive think and it's bull$h!. What part of "YOU MUST INVEST IN YOUR PRODUCT IN ORDER TO SEE GAINS AND TRUE RESULTS" does Detroit not understand?????? Sure, in wall street logic, this CONSTANT retreat out of the market by the domestics makes sense because they want to make profits. However, you can only RETREAT so long before you are out of business. Eventually Detroit and it's companies are going to have to accept the fact that they must begin a VERY long rebuilding process that does not involve "Kill it if it doesn't make a profit or huge market penetration in 5 years." because if we keep that frame of mind, Detroit won't be around in 10-15 years. (Which is probably what a lot of people on 'the street' ultimately want--- asset liquidation and bankruptcy = HUGE profits, trust me I worked in investments for 3 years.

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Mercury Cougar (rebadged European Focus hatch, sedan, and convertible)

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Mercury Captiva (5-seat C-Max)

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Mercury Mariner

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Mercury Laguna (7-seat S-Max)

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Mercury Mondeo

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Mercury Sable (but make it look good for Chrissake)

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Mercury Mountaineer

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Better than what they have now.

If Mercury is outright discontinued right now, it half-strangles the Lincoln-Mercury dealer network and robs them of half their present sales. That all but kills the chance at a potential Lincoln revival.

The biggest issue is that I - and every else - is sick of Ford making these sexy, appealing, attractive, sell-a-minute concepts like the Messenger and not doing anything about it.

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Mariner and Mountaineer are on the right track for differentiation from Ford products, but more still needs to be done. How about federalizing this or the next Mondeo and making it the next Milan? More equipment, more Kinetic Design from Ford of Europe would make Mercury worth keeping around, as well as importing (or build in North America) many of the European Fords (Mondeo, S-MAX, Galaxy, C-MAX as both a Ford and a Mercury), all steps in the right direction. But if Ford decides to do none of these, just kill it already.

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How come no one including people here ever realize you can sell in low volumes and not have to just "die".... There are MANY car companies that sell low volumes of vehicles and so did Ford when they first started... It's like they got huge and when you can't sell as much as you used to it's not worth continuing on unless you can sell alot.

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killing Lincoln.

I thought that happened in 1865. :AH-HA_wink:

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NO MORE FWD Cougars!!!

I'd rather see Mercury DEAD than making nothing but POS Euro-FWD-ers.

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NO MORE FWD Cougars!!!

I'd rather see Mercury DEAD than making nothing but POS Euro-FWD-ers.

Agreed on the no more FWD Cougars. It's like sending the Mustang FWD.
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Agreed on the no more FWD Cougars. It's like sending the Mustang FWD.

Simple Cougar recipe: take new AU Falcon platform (to be shared with next-gen Mustang) and make a long-wheelbase coupe that's styled like a productionized version of the Messenger concept from a couple of years ago.

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I thought that happened in 1865.

:lol:

Btw, the Captiva name is GM's and the Laguna name is Renault's.

I like the idea of making Mercury a brand for Ford-of-Europe products, but maybe some of them would end up costing more than some Lincolns...

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:lol:

Btw, the Captiva name is GM's and the Laguna name is Renault's.

I like the idea of making Mercury a brand for Ford-of-Europe products, but maybe some of them would end up costing more than some Lincolns...

Which is a sign that Lincoln needs to stop sharing all of it's parts with Ford products and be a dedicated luxury brand like Cadillac.

The answers are so simple it's amazing no one at Ford has yet to Figure it out.

Ford: Everyman brand that continues building on the American design. Build some of the damn concepts

Mercury: Ford Euro. Then teh higher prices of the Euro products combined withe the unique look and feel makes it totally unique from ford

Lincoln: Become like Cadillac, a real luxury player.

Naturally Linclon costs the most to fix but you have to spend money to make money..half assing it gets you half assed results. Mercury is an easy and cheap fix.

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Which is a sign that Lincoln needs to stop sharing all of it's parts with Ford products and be a dedicated luxury brand like Cadillac.

The answers are so simple it's amazing no one at Ford has yet to Figure it out.

Ford: Everyman brand that continues building on the American design. Build some of the damn concepts

Mercury: Ford Euro. Then teh higher prices of the Euro products combined withe the unique look and feel makes it totally unique from ford

Lincoln: Become like Cadillac, a real luxury player.

Naturally Linclon costs the most to fix but you have to spend money to make money..half assing it gets you half assed results. Mercury is an easy and cheap fix.

Mercury was originally planned to be "Ford Euro" but that has now changed under Mulally with Ford moving to world cars. World Focus, world B-car, etc.

Mercury needs to become affordable performance with a tech edge. Focus on smaller volumes but more driver-enthusiast oriented. Get rid of the Mountaineer and bring out sporty sedans, crossovers, and a coupe. Maybe the entire lineup becomes hybrid, plug-in electric, etc? Keep the same urban yuppie demographic but make cars that actually appeal to these people. Rebadged Fords with satin trim won't cut it in the long run.

Ford should not walk away from 180,000 sales. Keep it on life support until there is money free to do something with Mercury.

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Ford: Everyman brand that continues building on the American design. Build some of the damn concepts

Mercury: Ford Euro. Then teh higher prices of the Euro products combined withe the unique look and feel makes it totally unique from ford

Lincoln: Become like Cadillac, a real luxury player.

Yes, yes and yes.

In my opinion, Lincoln should have a single unique platform not shared with the other brands, much like Cadillac does; and some unique engines. Develop product, then take the Wixom plant off idle and bleeding build them.

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Mercury was originally planned to be "Ford Euro" but that has now changed under Mulally with Ford moving to world cars. World Focus, world B-car, etc.

That changes things. If going 100% global is Mulally's strategy, then they already had the 'brand above Ford' they wanted Mercury to be, and one with global presence too: it's called Volvo.

I'm wondering about Lincoln and Jaguar/LR. If Jaguar/LR isn't sold, how do you position Lincoln: as Ford's Buick, with Jaguar as a global luxury brand?

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Jaguar is in even sadder shape than Lincoln though. Sure they have some ok cars, but their sales are terrible.

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+1

Bring the Euro-Focus Cabrio over as a Merc, price it less than an EOS or G6 Cabrio and watch it fly off the shelves.

Bring the Galaxy S-Max over as a Merc and suddenly Ford is back in the minivan game again.

Sable is probably about as good as they can get for that class, market it more/better

Give Milan a few more premium features and don't share them with Ford.

Mariner and Mountaineer are fine how they are.

All good ideas.....but band-aids for a brand with little-to-no importance in today's market......as well as a huge lack of ANY identity.

FORD needs the vehicles above that you mentioned.....among others. Mercury doesn't have the brand-strength in today's market to take those products and sell and market them successfully......

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Ford does not do much to hide the fact that Mercury's products are really nothing more than premium trimmed Ford brand rebadges.

Thing is....they aren't even "premium" trimmed versions of Fords...! Take a look at the top-line interiors of a Sable and Milan.....and compare them to leather-lined versions of Taurus and Fusion......the Mercurys really offer nothing you can't get in the Fords.

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Ford needs to fix Mercury, not kill it. Yes... more features, more differentiated styling, proper marketing, these are all things Mercury needs. Ford brand is their "Chevrolet", Mercury should be their "Buick" and Lincoln needs to be their "Cadillac". Low, middle and high... why can't this work?
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