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Dealers report new Mercury compact will exhume Tracer name

31 posts in this topic

Filed under: Marketing/Advertising, Ford, Mercury

98mercurytracer-train-station-500.jpg

If you're a big fan of Mercury... okay, there probably aren't many Mercury fans, but it looks like Ford is hoping to change that by 2011 - or at least stop certain franchisees from grumbling. On Sunday, we told you that Ford President Mark Fields told dealers at the company's annual meeting that an all-new Focus-sized offering was heading over to the product-starved Mercury marque, and now we have fresh rumors of said vehicle's name.

Our friends over at Automotive News quotes two dealer sources as saying that the next Mercury will carry the Tracer name. What's that? You don't remember much of anything about the first few vehicles to wear the badge? Neither do we, but that apparently isn't stopping Ford. At any rate, we're sure the nation's Lincoln-Mercury dealers will be happy to have a new Jill Wagner-pitched offering on their showroom floors, no matter what the name may be. Let's just hope that the powers that be don't dig up the Trio trim level while they're at it.

In other Ford news, the Blue Oval began accepting orders for its subcompact Fiesta yesterday. A reported 60 percent of dealers said that they would order high trim vehicles when they become available. Ford has started a training program to help dealer salespeople sell the newest and most eagerly awaited Ford model to grace dealer forecourts in some time.

[source: Automotive News - subs. req.]

Dealers report new Mercury compact will exhume Tracer name originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Feb 2010 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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both Comet and Meteor would have been better names...

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Comet and Meteor sound a little too 1950's 'Jetsons.'

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tRACER ...the "t" is silent ;)

&

HOPE it's less of a rebadge than these:

from VinceBurlappCars.com

Tracer563.jpg

from EGMcartech.com

mercury_small_car_rendering_main.jpg

from me ;)

MigaTeaser500.jpg

&

from MotorAuthority

"...The new car is expected to be called the Mercury Tracer and should be revealed for the first time at this December’s 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, before going on sale in the following year..."

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tRACER ...the "t" is silent ;)

&

HOPE it's less of a rebadge than these:

MotorAuthority[/u][/b][/size][/url]

"...The new car is expected to be called the Mercury Tracer and should be revealed for the first time at this December’s 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, before going on sale in the following year..."

I could see it looking like that, since most Mercury models in recent years seem to be Fords with Buick-ish grilles.

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I don't get why they didn't pick "Cougar." Honestly, that name has a lot of good recognition.

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Would be a great name for a coupe of some sort...maybe utilize the Mustang platform for more than just the Mustang...

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I don't get why they didn't pick "Cougar." Honestly, that name has a lot of good recognition.

Belongs on a coupe. Innapropriate for a sedan (though 30 years ago, there were Cougar sedans and wagons).

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Belongs on a coupe. Innapropriate for a sedan (though 30 years ago, there were Cougar sedans and wagons).

Explain to me why it is "inappropriate" on a small, European, sporty car. Seems like the perfect application for the Cougar name, and as you noted it is not a moniker reserved exclusively for coupes.

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If they were going to resurrect a name from their past, "Lynx" would have been cooler than "Tracer", imo. "Cougar" is better reserved for a sport/luxury coupe nearer the top of the line.

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Explain to me why it is "inappropriate" on a small, European, sporty car. Seems like the perfect application for the Cougar name, and as you noted it is not a moniker reserved exclusively for coupes.

It's a 4dr compact. Not a coupe. Chevy didn't name their new fwd 4dr Camaro (Cruze instead).

The past 4dr and wagon Cougars were anomalies, as was the 2dr hatchback of the recent past (that was the Probe replacement).

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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I always thought the Tracer name was ridiculous. To me it sounds like a disposable razor.

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You guys realize of course that the Focus in Europe comes in a number of body styles including a 5-door hatch, 3-door hatch, Wagon, and Cabrio..... none of which have been announced for the US FORD Focus.

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You guys realize of course that the Focus in Europe comes in a number of body styles including a 5-door hatch, 3-door hatch, Wagon, and Cabrio..... none of which have been announced for the US FORD Focus.

if they do a nextgen for the FocusCabrio, it'd make a perfect MERCURY CAPRI -- GLOBALLY!

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You guys realize of course that the Focus in Europe comes in a number of body styles including a 5-door hatch, 3-door hatch, Wagon, and Cabrio..... none of which have been announced for the US FORD Focus.

Right...but the US market prefers sedans in the compact FWD market...can't imagine anything but a 4dr sedan w/ automatic for a Mercury version.

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Maybe they decided against 'Cougar' because of how that word is often used these days. However, the advertising campaign would write itself.

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Maybe they decided against 'Cougar' because of how that word is often used these days. However, the advertising campaign would write itself.

Bingo. "Start your love affair with Mercury."

HAHA

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:)
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You guys realize of course that the Focus in Europe comes in a number of body styles including a 5-door hatch, 3-door hatch, Wagon, and Cabrio..... none of which have been announced for the US FORD Focus.

My following statement is based on the following 2 assumptions:

1) Ford intends on merging all three brands into a one dealership configuration, and

2) For the most part, Lincoln's lineup will probably be based on FWD Ford platforms for the forseeable future.

Based on those 2 assumptions, I would like to see Mercury go in a slightly premium sportier direction. Like Oldsmoboi stated, there are Focus variants that haven't been assigned to the U.S. Focus line. With Ford being FoMoCo's mainstream brand in the U.S. market, I think the Focus line would be fine with just the sedan and 5-door hatchback variants. I would like to see FoMoCo skip the traditional 3-door version of the Focus and develop a sportier 3-door liftback "coupe" off the C-car platform instead under the resurrected "Capri" name. The coupe-cabrio version would then be spun off the sportier Capri instead of the more mainstream Focus. While the Capri would be sold under the Ford brand in Europe, it would be sold under the Mercury brand in the U.S. Lincoln would receive a premium compact sedan (maybe on a slightly stretched platform) with distinct styling that would be totally differentiated from its Ford Focus C-car platform mate. Basically, Mercury's Capri would be sort of sandwiched between Ford's mainstream Focus line (sedan and 5-door hatchback) and Lincoln's premium compact sedan (MKR?). Being a slightly premium "coupe" product, the Capri would sort of complement the Focus and MKR under a one dealership configuration setup.

Since FoMoCo is reviving the rather dull and sterile "Tracer" name for this compact vehicle, I think one of the following scenarios will probably surface:

1) Best Case Scenario: The new gen regular length C-Max will become the resurrected Mercury Tracer. So far, Ford has stated that the Grand C-Max is slated to become a Ford brand product. That would leave room for Mercury to pick up the regular length C-Max as a compact car offering. From the B-pillar back, the C-Max is almost completely differentiated from it's slightly larger Grand C-Max sibling. With a unique front end treatment, FoMoCo could effectively market the new gen C-Max as a totally different vehicle from the Grand C-Max.

2) Worst Case Scenario: The resurrected Tracer will be a slightly modified clone of the new gen Focus sedan. Since FoMoCo is reviving the "Tracer" name, I would say this is a strong possibility. If this happens, I would almost bet that FoMoCo is keeping the Mercury brand around until all three brands can be completely merged into a one dealership configuration. Once all stand alone Lincoln-Mercury dealerships have been abandoned, then Mercury's unnecessary and redundant rebadged clones will be history and the brand will be discontinued.

I just can't see the "Tracer" name being applied to anything remotely sporty or cool. It's a dorky, sterile, completely characterless name. I also don't see it being applied to a completely differentiated premium compact sedan either. "Tracer" doesn't imply anything remotely premium or upscale. In fact, the name sounds like something an automaker would slap on a cheap import. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm inclined to believe that scenario number 2 will be the likely outcome (unfortunately).

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Last I heard, the Tracer name return is not set in stone. I am still hoping for 'Comet' to return. Comet saved Mercury from going the way of Edsel in the early 60's.

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Last I heard, the Tracer name return is not set in stone. I am still hoping for 'Comet' to return. Comet saved Mercury from going the way of Edsel in the early 60's.

Source please?

tho we'll find out in less the 3 weeks - if the rumors are correct

also while I'm asking;

Have you heard of any bodystyles other than a sedan? ('nother rumor)

&/btw

the Comet was originally intended to BE an Edsel

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...tho we'll find out in less the 3 weeks - if the rumors are correct...

New York Auto Show, I'm assuming?...

Edited by cire
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Maybe they decided against 'Cougar' because of how that word is often used these days. However, the advertising campaign would write itself.

rotflmao.gif

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