Jump to content
  • Greetings Guest!

    CheersandGears.com was founded in 2001 and is one of the oldest continuously operating automotive forums out there.  Come see why we have users who visit nearly every day for the past 16+ years. Signup is fast and free, or you can opt for a premium subscription to view the site ad-free.

Sign in to follow this  

Mercury dealers to take hit

Recommended Posts

Mercury dealers to take hit

Some will lose stores, but consolidation could be sped up



The demise of Mercury may be good for some dealers as Ford spends more money to market and develop its Lincoln luxury brand, but it could also lead to faster dealer consolidation.

That means some dealerships will certainly lose their stores.

After 71 years of selling Mercury cars and trucks, Ford said Wednesday that it has decided to stop producing vehicles for the brand at the end of this year, partly because the brand's market share had dwindled to less than 1%.

Ford has 1,712 dealers with a Mercury franchise, but many of those also sell the Ford brand. The company has just 276 stand-alone Lincoln Mercury dealers.

Dealers who also sell Ford-brand vehicles said they would not be affected much by the discontinuation of the brand.

"There is no negative impact on me because I am also a Ford dealer," said Larry Taylor, in Vandalia, Ohio, who just purchased a Lincoln Mercury dealership 30 days ago.

But it's a different story for stand-alone Lincoln Mercury dealers.

"They are going to lose half of their volume," he said.

In an effort to boost Lincoln, Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of product development, said Ford plans to introduce seven all-new or significantly refreshed cars, SUVs and crossovers over the next four years. Those plans will include a first-ever compact car for Lincoln.

"It will not be a badge-engineered version of another Ford," Kuzak said.

Still, 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."

Numbers kept sliding

Ford's announcement to end the storied Mercury brand, which was sandwiched between Ford's luxury Lincoln and mainstream Ford brands, came after years of rumors and an announcement earlier this year that the company was developing a new compact car for Mercury called the Tracer.

Mercury's product lineup has shrunk in recent years and sales have followed, tumbling to 92,000 last year, down from a peak of more than 580,000 vehicles in 1978.

Mercury now has just four vehicles in its lineup: Milan, Mountaineer, Grand Marquis and Mariner.

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

Michael Stanford, owner of Varsity Lincoln Mercury in Novi, said his dealership should be able to survive as a stand-alone Lincoln store.

Last year, Stanford said his dealership sold about 2,500 Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. He said his dealership is more than capable of surviving with 1,250 vehicles per year and he expects that volume will increase as Ford expands its Lincoln lineup.

Andy Czajkowski, a small Ford dealer from rural Van Wert, Ohio, said Mercury accounts for about 10% of his total sales. "My Mercury customers are disappointed. They are bummed out," Czajkowski said, noting that he would easily convert them to Ford or Lincoln.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Who's Online   1 Member, 0 Anonymous, 44 Guests (See full list)

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets



Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.