Mercury Blues: Is Fordís Troubled Brand Singing its Last Song? [Archive] - Ford Inside News Community

: Mercury Blues: Is Fordís Troubled Brand Singing its Last Song?


1931Chevy
02-18-2008, 08:01 PM
http://www.thecarconnection.com/blog/?p=809&DID=RSS
Itís nice to know that singer Alan Jackson has a thing for Mercury, because it doesnít seem like many other American motorists do. Despite the addition of some critical new products, including the 2009 Mariner hybrid crossover, as well as the restyled and renamed Sable sedan, things arenít looking too good for the ďotherĒ Ford division.

Sinking fast, Mercuryís sales fell a painful 35 percent in January, compared to year-earlier numbers. And for all of 2007, the brandís volume slumped 7 percent, to a grand total of jut 168,422 cars, trucks and crossovers. Thatís barely a third of Mercuryís all-time record, 528,033, set back in 1985. And itís even less than the numbers that convinced General Motors to pull the plug on its Oldsmobile division.



but the part that got my attention was this

So why not put Mercury out of its misery?

Thatís a question new marketing czar, Jim Farley, has had to consider. But for now, at least, heís giving the troubled brand a reprieve. While heís still formulating his strategy, Farley seems intent on turning Mercury into a Detroit version of Toyotaís Scion. Industry aficionados will recall that the young executive initially came to the publicís attention as the first general manager of Toyotaís youth-oriented nameplate.

Scionís approach is to offer a limited selection Ė typically no more than three separate models Ė of hip, and often quirky products, such as the boxy xB. The strategy has been working quite well. For one thing, Scion helped boost Toyotaís overall volumes to the point that it pushed past Ford to become the number two U.S. automaker, in 2007.

Actually, the Scion numbers really arenít much different from Mercuryís. More significantly, itís been drawing in the sort of upwardly mobile trendsetters that have long ignored Toyota showrooms. And that could be the biggest payoff for Ford, if it can revitalize the Mercury brand.

MERCURYSABLE08
02-18-2008, 10:55 PM
I've said it before and I will say it again I wish Ford would stop beating around the bush and either put some much needed attention and effort into Mercury and let it become the thriving division it once was or tell us that they plan to murder Mercury which I hope and pray they don't.

In my opinion these are just a few new vehicles Mercury needs to make a comeback.

A new Crossover based on the Flex but with totally different sheet metal and a different interior.
A new Cougar based on the Mustang but with totally different sheet metal and a different interior.
A new Capri just like the European Ford Focus Convertible
And the Grand Marquis needs a complete redesign inside and out.

megeebee
02-19-2008, 05:43 AM
Like Scion?

Hmmm.

I'd ask where the product might come from. Europe? Not if it's to be low priced.

And I wonder how it would effect Lincoln since they are sold at the same dealerships. Entry-level, one could say "cheap" cars, sold on the same showroom floor with a presumably luxurious brand.

megeebee
02-19-2008, 05:46 AM
A new Crossover based on the Flex but with totally different sheet metal and a different interior.
A new Cougar based on the Mustang but with totally different sheet metal and a different interior.
A new Capri just like the European Ford Focus Convertible
And the Grand Marquis needs a complete redesign inside and out.

Can Ford afford any of this?

1931Chevy
02-19-2008, 12:01 PM
^ If they add this to their future product plan it can be afforded because they already have the platforms and they just need to tweak the sheatmetal here and there and they can make a completly different car based on the same platforms

MERCURYSABLE08
02-19-2008, 12:33 PM
^ If they add this to their future product plan it can be afforded because they already have the platforms and they just need to tweak the sheatmetal here and there and they can make a completly different car based on the same platforms

You are exactly right.

megeebee
02-19-2008, 12:49 PM
1) A Cougar would only cannabalize Mustang sales. And remember CAFE standards coming in to effect.

2) Re skin (AGAIN) the Panther platform?


Even if they could be called affordable, are they smart ????

Personally, I feel Ford has rather painted themselves in to a corner with Mercury. With all the product being given to Lincoln, they have limited their options with Mercury. As a business situation, it was a good move. People will pay more for something that says "Lincoln" on it than they will for a "Mercury". I have written before that I think Mercury is alive and well. It's called Lincoln.

Now, if the Lincoln line up one day has mostly exclusive sheetmetal and more of its own mechanicals (which I understand is being done), then the market for a nicer version of a Ford may return and become Mercury's market again. Maybe allowing Mercury to "rest" for a few years with just a few models is what Ford is planning to do? Time was when Lincoln had 3 models (Town Car, Continental, Navigator) and Mercury was the full line. Now, things seem to have reversed.

RG59061
02-19-2008, 01:45 PM
The Panther platform really just needs to be put down...it has gone for more or less 30 years with little modification. Plus, the primary customers for the Mercury Grand Marquis are starting to go the way of the Do-Do Bird...so the Grand Marquis may need to become a completely different car.

My preference would be to use the next generation Ford Falcon of Australia as a basis for a new Ford Lincoln & Mercury RWD Sedan...with differing sheetmetal between all three. The Mercury could adopt a more European styling while the Lincoln would take the MKR to production. The Ford could adopt a more Kinetic design that would certainly make a powerful and popular replacement for the Crown Victoria and be a well needed upgrade to America's Police Agencies.

The Mercury would utilize the Satin Nickel Trim on the exterior, a new and upgraded style of the Mercury Waterfall Grille and would keep the luxury appointments of the Falcon G-Series...where as the Ford would keep the more sport minded themes of the XR6 and XR8. That of course is not to say that the Mercury version would not offer the higher output V8...in fact, it could be a great way of bringing back the Maurauder in an all new style with the preformance and handling that it is trully worthy of.

Anyway, that is my two cents.

Stay Fabulous!
RG59061

MERCURYSABLE08
02-19-2008, 01:49 PM
The Panther platform really just needs to be put down...it has gone for more or less 30 years with little modification. Plus, the primary customers for the Mercury Grand Marquis are starting to go the way of the Do-Do Bird...so the Grand Marquis may need to become a completely different car.

My preference would be to use the next generation Ford Falcon of Australia as a basis for a new Ford Lincoln & Mercury RWD Sedan...with differing sheetmetal between all three. The Mercury could adopt a more European styling while the Lincoln would take the MKR to production. The Ford could adopt a more Kinetic design that would certainly make a powerful and popular replacement for the Crown Victoria and be a well needed upgrade to America's Police Agencies.

The Mercury would utilize the Satin Nickel Trim on the exterior, a new and upgraded style of the Mercury Waterfall Grille and would keep the luxury appointments of the Falcon G-Series...where as the Ford would keep the more sport minded themes of the XR6 and XR8. That of course is not to say that the Mercury version would not offer the higher output V8...in fact, it could be a great way of bringing back the Maurauder in an all new style with the preformance and handling that it is trully worthy of.

Anyway, that is my two cents.

Stay Fabulous!
RG59061

You listed some fantastic ideas there. I agree.

RG59061
02-19-2008, 02:06 PM
You listed some fantastic ideas there. I agree.

I'm going to try my hand at chopping the new Ford Falcon and giving it more of a Mercury vibe...just to give us an idea.

I'll post it here and in the FoMoCo Design Thread.

Tell me, what would you want to see in a future Mercury RWD sedan?

Give me your ideas and I'll try to incorporate them into my design.

Stay Fabulous!
RG59061

MERCURYSABLE08
02-19-2008, 04:55 PM
I'm going to try my hand at chopping the new Ford Falcon and giving it more of a Mercury vibe...just to give us an idea.

I'll post it here and in the FoMoCo Design Thread.

Tell me, what would you want to see in a future Mercury RWD sedan?

Give me your ideas and I'll try to incorporate them into my design.

Stay Fabulous!
RG59061

Alright! ;)

Well what I would like to see in a future RWD Mercury is...

Mercury's traditional waterfall grille.
Mercury Meta-One Concept inspired headlights.
Mariner inspired front bumper.
Milan inspired tail lamps.
A rear spoiler on the trunk.
And I would love it to have (2006) Mountaineer rims like the ones pictured in my avatar.

Thanks hope that's not too much.

RG59061
02-19-2008, 05:47 PM
Alright! ;)

Well what I would like to see in a future RWD Mercury is...

Mercury's traditional waterfall grille.
Mercury Meta-One Concept inspired headlights.
Mariner inspired front bumper.
Milan inspired tail lamps.
A rear spoiler on the trunk.
And I would love it to have (2006) Mountaineer rims like the ones pictured in my avatar.

Thanks hope that's not too much.

I think I can make this happen. I'll post it as soon as I'm done...hope you will like.

Stay Fabulous!
RG59061

2b2
02-19-2008, 06:10 PM
Although we're getting closer & closer to the globalized platforms that'll put an end to this particular kind of armchair-quarterbacking,
here's just-one-more

sub-Milan
the Volvo S40V50 are going to be discontinued soon in favor of some kind of 5-door afaik...
then again, the Mazda3 which is so popular in Canada but hasn't broken any U.S. records (multiple reasons), is due for it's nextgen really soon...
...
just kinda wonder if either or both of the tooling-setups could be used to built my Milanetto?
I've heard building in Europe is too expensive so that set of tooling would have to find a new home,
& don't know if the Mz3 factory has spare capacity or not, so maybe that'd need a new home too.
...
kinda thinking of the Mazda with an xlg. BAMR as the Capri & the S40 economized a bit as the Milanetto sedan...
have them both use the 4 cyl from the Milan (maybe the 2.5 would ready? - eventually EcoBoost)
maybe a very-slight redesign could let them use the same waterfall grille?
...
Since the tooling would mainly involve just the cost of moving it,
maybe it could be cost effective for a somewhat short run until the C2 arrives here?
(tho just using the NA Focus is fine with me)

Crossover
then there's the Mazda CX-9...
wonder if it could be built in Oakville? alongside the Edge & MKX?
(with simpler tail&headlites...
...& a waterfall grille?)
it already has the 3.5v6, doesn't it?
and that be better than re-badging a NISSAN!, wouldn't it?
Kinda doubt that Mercury offering Mazda(&Volvo?) semi-clones/hand-me-downs would greatly effect the sales of either of those brands...
kinda sounds a bit like what Mr. M. said in that interview about partnering WITH FORD-GLOBAL...


Marquis
Also I kinda thought one benefit of the BodyOnFrame construction of the Panthers was it's more economical to change sheetmetal?
...maybe even do overhang-ectomies?
and better versions of the 4.6 & transmissions are "in" the parts-bin...
& as I've pointed out on occasions, their dash already bears some resemblance to Jaguars' - just upgrade the materials along with trim changes...

Cougar or ___ ?
the Mustang is a hard one imho,
between plant capacity & trying to change it enough...
think I'd ask Mazda (while discussing the Mz3 & CX-9) if they have any spare RX platforms laying around (no rotaries or sheetmetal needed)...

and then
there's that Orion ...'xcuse me... FG-Falcon that Mr. M. wants (didya see that article? (http://www.fomoconews.com/forums/showthread.php?p=11373#post11373)).
If/when it has the 3.5v6, I bet the front could be a bit different...
and it wouldn't be hard to change the taillights to be more Milan-ish...
Could that be why we haven't heard a single word about a new Sable???
Wonder if importing "kits" would be less expensive than bringing in fully built "FG's"...
(kinda doubt Broadmeadows could build enuf for Ford, but for Mercury?)
the MERCURY ORION sounds pretty sweet to me! :D



Am I serious about any of ^these^?
Well, I don't have the info to know if they're possible...
so I'm only really serious about Asking If Anyone At Fomoco Has Asked These Questions? re-:D

oh,
one last thing,
(re: cost)
Fomoco wouldn't have to do ALL of these ALL at once.
Could be sorta like PayGo
...
tho it'd be 'nice' to have a new one every six months or so...
awwright, one per year
but
that's my final offer :p

MERCURYSABLE08
02-19-2008, 08:02 PM
I think I can make this happen. I'll post it as soon as I'm done...hope you will like.

Stay Fabulous!
RG59061

Alright thanks! I'm sure I will like it.

RG59061
02-19-2008, 09:47 PM
Alright,

Here is my take on what a Mercury Sedan could be if based on the new Falcon.

MercurySable08, I took some of your ideas, but tweaked their shapes to give this Mercury a more upscale presence.

So, without further ado, here is my design of the new 2010 Mercury Sable.

http://img86.imageshack.us/img86/3797/scancd7.jpg

So please tell me what you think.

As Always...Stay Fabulous!
RG59061

djhogie
02-19-2008, 10:06 PM
With the rumor that Mercury will be eliminated out in the public and people hearing this, of course, customers will skip Mercury. It also doesn't help but to notice a lot Mercury dealerships empty as here in St. Louis. I can only think of two dealerships serving metro area on the Missouri side. That's a sure way to loose sales. There was at least 5 before the downsizing.:( For the majority of fomoco line, I like the looks of Mercury better. The only thing I would like to come out with in the Ford brand line is a 4 seat 2 door midsize coupe Thunderbird. If not then, I'll settle for a Milan Coupe.

MERCURYSABLE08
02-19-2008, 10:34 PM
Alright,

Here is my take on what a Mercury Sedan could be if based on the new Falcon.

MercurySable08, I took some of your ideas, but tweaked their shapes to give this Mercury a more upscale presence.

So, without further ado, here is my design of the new 2010 Mercury Sable.

http://img86.imageshack.us/img86/3797/scancd7.jpg

So please tell me what you think.

As Always...Stay Fabulous!
RG59061

That looks awesome I really love it! Fantastic Job RG! ;)

You took all of Mercury's great design themes and made an absolutely terrific looking car, once again great job. I wish I could do work like that.

2b2
02-27-2008, 10:59 PM
ditto, great sketch, R.G.!!!
(can we hope you'll do more???)
&
wondered where to post this:
Mr. M. interview at WindingRoad (http://magazine.windingroad.com/windingroad/200804/?folio=140)

relevant to-this-thread part:

WR: What is the prospectus for Mercury as a valid brand?
Mulally: You could argue from what you see that Mercury today has the best lineup it ever has.

[ We asked this question to other Ford execs in passing, and there is a collective atmosphere of "no comment."
We predict Mercury will be announced as the next Oldsmobile before 2009. - Ed. ]

--------------
disclaimer:
I couldn't clipboard-copy ^this^, so there may be typing errors in it.

thmpr173
02-28-2008, 01:31 AM
I love the Mercs! I have been selling them for years! But lets face it, Mercury is a dead horse! With the parent company in so much trouble why continue? They spend TOO much on marketing and development of a company that doesnt make up for its losses in sales, parts or merchandise!
Think about it take, some of the money your throwing away in that line-up and spend it on Ford R&D, quality and produce vehicles to stay ahead of the imports and domestic competition! And create more jobs to help our slowing economy. Take what they get from Tata for the Jag/Land Rover sale and sell Volvo too!!, so they can turn Lincoln into the world car it should have been when 'ol Jacques Nasser got his Land Rover pipe dream! That only took money from Ford and ruined Land Rover.
I know it sounds crazy but if we salivate over these european models enough maybe Ford will listen to us and give us vehicles that we all can drive! I have foreigners come into the store all the time wanting to buy some of our trucks cause they love the big bohemouths while we drool over their little pocket rockets! WHAT GIVES? Is Ford just not listening????????????:confused:

:mad: Sorry to rant and rave but it seems so simple to an outsider looking in...

He Named Thor
02-28-2008, 02:40 AM
Meh. Personally I never liked Mercury that much.

Anyways, if Ford's gonna bring higher-priced Euro Fords over here, then they have to be under the Merkur brand. :D

Bring the Euro Focus (including cabrio) here as the new XR4Ti.
Bring the Mondeo here as the Scorpio.
Maybe bring the S-max and Falcon over too.

emdee
02-28-2008, 04:38 AM
Hey guys, with the current exchange rate between the dollar and the Euro, the only thing Ford could possibly do is manufacture small cars here based on the European models. Making them in Europe and bringing them over here would be cost prohibitive. Ask anyone who's traveled in Europe recently. Five bucks for a soft drink, $25 for hamburger, and unthinkable cost to rent a car and put gas in it. Ah, but even making them over here isn't going to be any bargain as they'll have duplicate just about everything and find local sources for everything that's outsourced. There's a good reason Ford (and others) do most of their "foreign" manufacturing to the US products in Mexico and Canada, and no further from home. You just can't make cars anywhere you want and then sell them anywhere. Ford can import it's European designs and ideas but not much more.

MERCURYSABLE08
02-28-2008, 11:11 AM
All of you may disagree with me but I just don't see Ford dropping Mercury anytime soon I just can't see Ford wanting to drop Mercury and end up losing 165,000+ sales a year. Because I don't think Mercury buyer's are going go over to Lincoln or Ford because I know as a Mercury buyer myself I would not purchase a Lincoln or Ford and purchase a vehicle if Ford dropped Mercury. But that's just what I think.

He Named Thor
02-28-2008, 12:55 PM
All of you may disagree with me but I just don't see Ford dropping Mercury anytime soon I just can't see Ford wanting to drop Mercury and end up losing 165,000+ sales a year. Because I don't think Mercury buyer's are going go over to Lincoln or Ford because I know as a Mercury buyer myself I would not purchase a Lincoln or Ford and purchase a vehicle if Ford dropped Mercury. But that's just what I think.

Why wouldn't you? Would you buy a Mazda or Volvo?

That's not a lot of sales.

MERCURYSABLE08
02-28-2008, 01:10 PM
Why wouldn't you? Would you buy a Mazda or Volvo?

That's not a lot of sales.

Because I don't want just a regular Ford and I don't want a high end luxury Lincoln. And I am sure there are other Mercury buyers who feel the same way.

I would consider buying a Volvo although they can get rather expensive. 165,000+ may not be a huge amout of sales but it's sales that Ford would be missing out on if they dropped Mercury.

2b2
02-28-2008, 05:54 PM
...I just can't see Ford wanting to drop Mercury and end up losing 165,000+ sales a year...&Why wouldn't you? Would you buy a Mazda or Volvo?
That's not a lot of sales.

I still believe Mercury is a neglected/mismanaged 400,000+ brand :)
and completely agree (of course) with , if I may paraphrase,
- - neither Ford nor Lincoln - -
imho Merc is (or can be) like high-style furniture but-that you don't have to be afraid to sit on/use.
&
- - nor Mazda nor Volvo - -
tho can see part of ^both^ in "my" Mercury - a more grown-up ZoomZoom, and more easy-going than my perception of Volvo.

Just hope that Fomoco,
in addition to not committing the "ultimate stupid mistake",
never gets into the One Dimensional approach that GM (& too many of its fans) just can't seem to get away from.

MERCURYSABLE08
02-28-2008, 08:25 PM
I still believe Mercury is a neglected/mismanaged 400,000+ brand :)

Just hope that Fomoco,
in addition to not committing the "ultimate stupid mistake".

I agree 100% with that! And I love the way you put that the "ultimate stupid mistake".

2b2
02-29-2008, 06:56 PM
I agree 100% with that! And I love the way you put that the "ultimate stupid mistake".


maybe it's just other stuff that's going on in my life,
but I've been having some serious mood swings lately over what's going to happen.

At this point, no matter what any Ford exec says, I won't be reassured until they either bring out a Merc-ified Focus, Milan-CX crossover, or a significantly transmogrified Marquis
:( :( :(

theonly saving grace imho is that the general(buying)public is still probably unaware of these web-worries.

MERCURYSABLE08
02-29-2008, 08:26 PM
but I've been having some serious mood swings lately over what's going to happen.

At this point, no matter what any Ford exec says, I won't be reassured until they either bring out a Merc-ified Focus, Milan-CX crossover, or a significantly transmogrified Marquis.
:( :( :(

You and I sound a lot alike when it comes to the mood swings over this stuff.

And I to do not care what any Ford exec. says either.

Like you said what Mercury really needs is a new crossover a Focus based compact sedan and the Grand Marquis needs a major restylin'.

He Named Thor
03-01-2008, 12:57 AM
maybe it's just other stuff that's going on in my life,
but I've been having some serious mood swings lately over what's going to happen.

At this point, no matter what any Ford exec says, I won't be reassured until they either bring out a Merc-ified Focus, Milan-CX crossover, or a significantly transmogrified Marquis
:( :( :(

theonly saving grace imho is that the general(buying)public is still probably unaware of these web-worries.

Milan crossover? Nay I say. A Milan wagon would fit the brand better.

2b2
03-01-2008, 02:03 AM
Milan crossover? Nay I say. A Milan wagon would fit the brand better.

nay?
NAY??!??
:) http://www.fomoconews.com/forums/images/icons/icon14.gif
actually... I quite agree
(& been there, done that, got the teeshirt)
even had a companion Montego-Max wagon chop at one time
however
the (ugh) consumers need the 'PC' title of crossover
so
crossreference (http://www.fomoconews.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7886#post7886) (thought there was a nother manifesto ...I mean 'thread' too but can't re-find it)
http://home.surfree.com/~pauld/thMilanCX.jpg (http://www.fomoconews.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7886#post7886)
plus
it could allow for 7-passengers

He Named Thor
03-01-2008, 01:31 PM
nay?
NAY??!??
:) http://www.fomoconews.com/forums/images/icons/icon14.gif
actually... I quite agree
(& been there, done that, got the teeshirt)
even had a companion Montego-Max wagon chop at one time
however
the (ugh) consumers need the 'PC' title of crossover
so
crossreference (http://www.fomoconews.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7886#post7886) (thought there was a nother manifesto ...I mean 'thread' too but can't re-find it)
http://home.surfree.com/~pauld/thMilanCX.jpg (http://www.fomoconews.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7886#post7886)
plus
it could allow for 7-passengers

Wagons could too. Don't you remember the backwards facing third row.

Those were the good ol' days. Stupid people, with their needing "crossovers" now that they've thrown away another segment (suvs).

2b2
03-02-2008, 09:54 PM
^^ Yup, I remember the backwards facing third row, Thor,
even the double inward facing ones they tried.

Just believe that CUVness implies/includes the availability of a forward-facing 3rd row
& that sedan/tall-wagon styling & (relative) lightness can be incorporated into future Cuvs
& would really like to see Mercury lead the way.

My previous ideal lineups had 3 'Cuvagons', from Montego down to a sub-Milan "MicroMax" that'd be just a bit roomier (& powerfuller & upscaler) than the Mazda5... or conversely, 4 (Four!) Milan/CX9-based midsizers as a major 'statement'.
The issue was how to determine their roles VS the Mariner & Mountaineer - - something I believe Fomoco is figuring out with currently.


edit:
the thing I forgot to emphasize is
from what I've seen keeping track of sales figures
ALL mfgs depend imho-completely on new product to maintain/increase their numbers.
Until Merc gets a new vehicle, it's a big DUH that their numbers are down.

mercury_1988
04-11-2008, 04:34 AM
http://home.surfree.com/~pauld/MilanCX-med.jpg
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW I'll definitely buy one good job well designed . Mercury should build it . It's 10000000000000000000000000000 times better than the Mazda CX-7 and the Ford Edge .

2b2
04-11-2008, 06:31 AM
Thanks, Mercury_1988!

co-incidentally, just this evening I came across a new intro of a 5-passenger S-Max (http://www.worldcarfans.com/9080410.006/ford-s-max-trend-to-debut-at-auto-china)
...like: multi Milan/CX9-based midsizers as a major 'statement' (see above)
except
it's for CHINA! :mad:

<quote:>
Ford introduced the S-MAX in 2007, a Sport Activity Vehicle with three rows of seats for 7 people.
At the upcoming 2008 Auto China Ford will release the Ford S-MAX Trend, a five-seat variant of
Europe's 2007 Car of the Year.

Nigel Harris, General Manager of Changan Ford Sales Company: “The S-MAX is spacious, safe and convenient
but not everyone needs seven seats. Introducing a five-seat variant to the S-MAX range makes perfect sense
and illustrates Ford's ability to provide Chinese customers with cars and features they want."

The Ford S-MAX Trend there for seats only five people but buyers do end up with 185 liters of extra cargo space....

(bolding mine ^ )

more at WorldCarFans.com (http://www.worldcarfans.com/9080410.006/ford-s-max-trend-to-debut-at-auto-china)
& pic from Autodeadline.com (http://www.autodeadline.com/Photos?source=Ford&page=1)
http://us.tnpv.net/2008/WKA200804/WKA2008041077541_pv.jpg