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Ford CEO Mulally Supports Mercury. Sort of

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Ford CEO Mulally Supports Mercury. Sort of

WASHINGTON — Ford's Mercury brand hasn't shown anything new since Elvis wore fatigues, and at the Washington auto show today, CEO Alan Mulally was asked if the company's Mercury brand has a future. It is a question that comes up a lot lately.

Mulally seemingly backed Mercury full-go, but was careful to qualify his support. Not once, but twice.

"The plan right now is (to develop) Ford, Lincoln and Mercury," Mulally answered.

He said Ford is working to more effectively position Mercury with smaller vehicles that occupy the void between the mainstream Ford brand and Lincoln, which directly targets the luxury-premium market. "That's our plan — to continuously improve the Mercury and Lincoln brands," Mulally said.

But after a little more discussion, Mulally felt compelled to reiterate: "That's the plan right now."

Inside Line says: No, Mulally didn't draw imaginary quotation marks in the air when he said "right now," but his careful persistence in emphasizing the qualifier palpably left room for Ford — and Mulally — to change course any time about Mercury, which more than a few analysts and skeptics continue to insist should be done. — Bill Visnic, Senior Editor, Edmunds' AutoObserver



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