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There's all sorts of scuttlebutt on the internets right now that Ford is planning to axe the Mercury brand.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i65d3gomTKwlfr9m64zMlDdHNbmwD9FVG7MO0

Bloomberg, Businessweek, and others have it too.

So what do you think?
Considering that when I think Mercury, I think rebaged Ford, I don't see why they need to keep both brands. Honestly, I'm not really sure what Lincoln offers that is really special. It could all be Ford to me. Most dealers around here sell all 3 brands. Perhaps Ford should focus on Ford as their low to mid range brand and Lincoln as a luxury brand.
 

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Since Mercury was supposed to be a Ford but with a few extra goodies added to it, I don't see it being that big of a deal if Ford drops the brand. If they do, I think the Ford brand will begin having more add ons become standard that you would normally have to pay extra for to try and keep the loyal Mercury owners. According to the article, Lincoln does not sell as much as Mercury but I can see it staying around and maybe gaining some Mercury customers. Just matters on how Ford would end up designing the two after Mercury is gone.
 

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nah nah nah nah....

About time. There's no reason in today's market to have three brands that essentially sell the same cars. I would agree that it is worthwhile to develop and maintain a luxury brand and a low-mid class brand i.e. Lincoln and Ford. Mercury was the third brand that (to me at least) always seemed to lack a true identity. All it accomplished was competition that took away from Ford and Lincoln. It didn't appeal to a particular market that could not already be satisfied with the other two.

It took way too long for American automakers to shed these extraneous brands.
 

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Mercury should be to Ford & Lincoln what Buick is to Chevy & Cadilliac.


But Merc has been getting their butts kicked lately.
 

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Maybe if Ford were to setup as Ford/Lincoln the way that Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura, Nissan/Infinity, VW/Audi are all setup in the US it would be more successful.

Why is Ford able to only be Ford in Europe and be extremely successful?

Never understood why GM had 5 major brands, Ford 3 and Chrysler 3... always thought they were wasting money and had far too much product overlap. Yes, I know these companies purchased some of the brands and just kept them around.



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Mercury should be to Ford & Lincoln what Buick is to Chevy & Cadilliac.


But Merc has been getting their butts kicked lately.
Don't forget, though, that GM has Buick between the two.
 

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Don't forget, though, that GM has Buick between the two.
yup....thats what i'm sayin'.....

Buick seems to be doing pretty well for GM (and has been the past few years), as something "over" a Chevy but not quite a Caddy.

Merc just plain sucks...they are just Fords with very slight trim differences. Like all the brand is around for is a way for Lincoln dealers to sell "Fords" to the people that can afford or don't want a Lincoln.
 

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I think Mercury's longevity was an artifact of my parent's generation of car buyers, where brand loyalty was above all. Many of us knew somebody first- or second-hand who would buy a new mid-line sedan of the same brand and even model - Buick/Merc/Pontiac/Olds - every other year, and trade the "old" car for peanuts or sell it cheap to a friend. They weren't concerned about pennies, and they never wanted the stigma or perceived risk of driving a car that was out of warranty. It was just the way it was done.

So it was anathema for a carmaker to even think about discontinuing a brand since it would then force their frequent repeat buyers to shop around. Again, this was something peculiar to mid- and high-line brands. But with that particular car purchasing habit dying along with the Boomers' parents, the carmakers finally feel free to kill badge-only brands.

Anyway, Merc should've died decades ago. Even in the '60s there was very little difference between optioned Fords and Mercs, unlike GM who had at least tried to keep each line somewhat distinct in the sheet metal.
 

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Mercury's fate has been internally debated @ Ford for some time, but bigger fires have tended to buy it reprieves. To shutter it would be expensive and resource-consuming, apart from which the division traditionally has been profitable (if sometimes just).

I suspect that, this time, Mercury will be shut down. To do so would be consistent with Mulally's "One Ford" philosophy of global product integration, and would facilitate efforts to reinvent Lincoln, which suffers from (among other things) a cultural association with the Mercury brand -- "something your retired uncle would buy."

Buick endures by virtue of a loyal (if largely elderly) buyership -- the last hurrah of what Mike described -- as well as a certain caché that the brand has developed in Asia. Otherwise, Buick too would struggle for relevance in a segment now largely defined by foreign makes.
 

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IMHO both Buick and Mercury exist due to the inertia of aging brand loyalists, however due to the very nature of their demographics that obviously won't last. I would say Ford would be better off without it, and integrate the Mercury options into an upper level trim line for Ford models, while focusing on Lincoln as their real luxury brand.

BTW GM had a heck of a lot more than 5 brands - don't forget the recently shuttered Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn, and Hummer as well.



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Discussion Starter #16
Anyway, Merc should've died decades ago. Even in the '60s there was very little difference between optioned Fords and Mercs, unlike GM who had at least tried to keep each line somewhat distinct in the sheet metal.
Mercury should have died eons ago, true, but that other part is such a lie :roll:. GM was arguably worse than Ford was about just slapping a slightly different grille into a car and calling it a new name, and given some of Ford's misadventures in rebadging, that's a very very low bar to stumble over. Yes, Ford had the Escort/Lynx and the Fairlane/Zephyr and the Tempo/Topaz and the Contour/Mystake, but at least they did as much differentiation as the assembly line tooling of the era would allow at the top of the market, whereas the Park Avenue/Nighty Eight/DeVille were all pretty much interchangable save for the grilles and the instrument clusters (which were the same functionally but had different fonts), leading to funny advertising for the Lincoln brand, anyway. Heck, GM until a couple years ago had the TrailBlazer/Rainier/Outlook/Saab 9.2/GMC WhoCares/Olds Bravada that were all the exact same car with different grilles.

The commercial was called Valet, but I can't find it on YouTube...

At least Chrysler did it right by being honest about their badge engineering of the K-Cars.

But yeah, Mercury, IMO, has long-since worn out its welcome and has been wandering aimlessly in the wilderness for some time. Aside from Milan, which is actually a pretty good looking car that I like better than the Fusion in every way, nothing else from Mercury has been of any relevence or interest.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
IMHO both Buick and Mercury exist due to the inertia of aging brand loyalists, however due to the very nature of their demographics that obviously won't last. I would say Ford would be better off without it, and integrate the Mercury options into an upper level trim line for Ford models, while focusing on Lincoln as their real luxury brand.

BTW GM had a heck of a lot more than 5 brands - don't forget the recently shuttered Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn, and Hummer as well.
Yep, I've been saying this for a long time-integrate the Mercury differences into Fords as a nicer trim level and dedicate those additional resources into Lincoln. At least GM is bringing Buick down to the less-elderly masses again (I would seriously consider a LaCrosse if I were buying a midsize car).

Oh, GM? Chevrolet, GMC, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Hummer, Saab, Geo, Holden, Opel, and Vauxhall. Oh, and Daewoo. Of course, some of those have been taken out back Old Yeller style, but the point's the same.
 

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Yep, I've been saying this for a long time-integrate the Mercury differences into Fords as a nicer trim level and dedicate those additional resources into Lincoln. At least GM is bringing Buick down to the less-elderly masses again (I would seriously consider a LaCrosse if I were buying a midsize car).

Oh, GM? Chevrolet, GMC, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Hummer, Saab, Geo, Holden, Opel, and Vauxhall. Oh, and Daewoo. Of course, some of those have been taken out back Old Yeller style, but the point's the same.
Forgot Saab, but weren't they sold? Also I was just limiting it to US-sold brands :roll:



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In the last few years alone Ford has sold off most of its brands. Jaguar, Aston Martin, Land Rover, and now Volvo. Mercury should've been sold or discontinued well before Volvo in my opinion. Ford has been making really high quality cars lately and doing pretty well financially. It's about time they really focused on their core brand, with Lincoln rounding out the luxury, to streamline for the 21st century.
 

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