Mission Mercury
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Thread: Mission Mercury

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    Mission Mercury

    What to do with Edsel’s brand? This is a question no doubt being asked by many in the corporate halls of FoMoCo these days, and it is a question of great importance to many on this forum including 2B2 and myself…which is why this thread you are now perusing has been created.

    Mercury, for me the mere mention of the name brings to mind images of the performance, class, and grandeur which guided the brand through its better years, brief as they may have sometimes been. The 49-51 coupe, the full-size coupes and sedans of 1964, and the first generation Cougar. Personally these three cars show in grand fashion why the brand was conjured in the first place. Mercury, when performing as it should, has produced cars that were far more than the simple sum of their parts. The question now is how to recapture what those cars brought to the marketplace, and how to do so in a way which is profitable, practical, and appropriate for the brand.

    So for the automotive armchair quarterbacks of the world, here is your chance. You will get an eyeful of what 2b2 and I believe should be done with the brand, broken down year by year for reasons of simplicity and progression. However, what we really want to know is what you think should be done, and what you think of any and all ideas mentioned in this thread.

    So bring your plans, your sketches, your renders…and most of all your wanna-be CEO A-game.

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    Mission: Mercury!

    one of my favorite metaphors for Mercury has been
    the 'hole' in Ford's corporate-DONUT
    so here's how I'd start to change that neglected center part into the Heart of a new F.M.L.


    2008cy / 2009my Mercury lineup - in addition to Milan, Sable, Mariner, & Mountaineer:

    Milanetto / XR3 / Capri - based on the '08 Focus
    - body styles: I'd love to see hatches for both 2 & 4 doors but that might have to wait for C2. CAPRI would have a BAMR (big ass moonroof aka Vistaroof) standard, with future versions having a complete Sliding-Glass roof (probably 2 pieces that lower over the rear windshield).
    - engines: 2.3 at least, hopefully the new 2.5 4cyl & a smaller displacement turbo for the XR3 sport model
    - trannies: I don't know if a manumatic is possible (Mazda?) but if it is that would be sole offering for the first year. Hopefully the PowerShift/DSG Getrags will be available soon.
    The Milanettos are intended to meet-or-beat the Mazda3's AND Jetta (& eventually/maybe the TSX & ...)

    MetaSpace - CD3 people'n'stuff mover(s)
    5 passenger - built in Hermosillo, based on the Milan
    7 passenger - built in Oakville, based on the Mazda CX-9
    but using as much of the same Milan-ish body as possible, these would be narrower and lighter than the Edge/MKX or Taurus-X.
    Other differences: the 5 pass. would be about the same length as the Milan, ie longer than Edge/MKX; & the 7 pass. wouldn't be quite as long as the Taurus-X.
    MetaSpaces would be marketed as 2 'flavors' of a single 'model'
    and along with the Milan sedan,
    would look at least as similar as the CX-7/CX-9.
    note: This is a somewhat simplified version of my CUV proposal - if only one version is economically feasible, I'd vote for the 7 pass. version... but really prefer the two-fer approach, at Least!)

    Panthers - since all models are concentrated at St. Thomas (& they've only built 114.7" and 120.7" wheelbases in the past), I'm reserving the largest as TC-exclusive and adding the 117.7" to Mercury (If STAP can also build the 123.7" wlb, then all 4 sizes can be utilized):
    XR8 - 114.7" wlb, under 200" ovl, with a chopped-tail short trunk (that I'd love to be a hatch but...) = sport model
    - 3valve 4.6v8 +DI +CVVT, approx 340~350hp
    Marquis - 114.7" wlb, 207" ovl, with 'regular' trunk = deluxe family sedan
    - 3.5v6 +DI, approx 285hp
    Grand Marquis - 117.7" wlb, 210" ovl, " " " = premium sedan ("baby Lincoln")
    - 3valve 4.6v8, just over 300hp
    optional on all - 3.5v6 hybrid, approx 300hp
    tranny: 6 speed manumatic Only
    These three would share as much of their New sheetmetal as possible with the upgraded/restyled TC;
    but the CV and any other 'Commercial Vehicle' would continue to use as much of the old/current sheetmetal as possible...
    so there would be 2 distinct varieties of Panthers (more on this in future threads).

    A lot of the rationale for the 3 Mercury Panthers has to do with maintaining platform-variations for commercial sales AND providing some additional volume for the renewed TC. Any sales of the BigMercs is almost a side-effect; yet the extra efforts of making 3 models is KEY to the choice-multiplicity that is part of my "Tailored for Mercury, Tailored for You" marketing theme... as well as 'setting the stage' for a new Rwd lineup when Huntsman & BOSS arrive.
    note: the Marquis and Grand Marquis would Not try to Look different - the drivetrains and features would make for a Real difference and the 'stealth' nature of the GM is part of its appeal imho.

    The Milanetto(s) and MetaSpace(s) would debut at the Chicago Autoshow AS THEY ARE ARRIVING AT THE DEALERS!!!

    The XR8, Marquis, & GM would have some sort of Preview (partial cars, cutaway bodies, dis-embodied interiors as seating/rest areas, silhouette projections?) along with drivetrain specs and dimensions...
    ...and go on sale ASAP after the show (for some reason, I have a feeling they couldn't be ready before ...June?... Anyway, intro'ing One each month during the Summer sounds good to me).

    Conclusion: 2008 marks the next step of Mercury's rebirth by doubling their number of offerings, built off existing platforms...
    ...just making as-much-as & the-best-that they can with what's available.


    Next post I'll deal with the arrival of global plaforms (which gets a bit more adventurous).
    Last edited by 2b2; 11-06-2007 at 09:39 PM.

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    Re: Mission Mercury

    My thinking is that this provides enough time to get the cars mentioned below ready for prime time....

    In keeping with the year by year theme of the thread my ‘mission’ for Mercury begins early in the 2009 calendar with 2010MY cars. My thinking is that this provides enough time to realistically get the three models listed ready for prime time. To keep it simple I’ll review a few model wide changes I would like to see and discuss a few of the corporate wide changes I would enact which together may help to explain some of the decisions leading to the cars listed below.

    My plan starts with the return of the classic god’s head emblem for the 2010MY. I have always felt that the god’s head emblem suits the brand, and the image the brand seeks to convey, far better than the contrived waterfall/stylized M emblem the brand has employed since the mid 1980’s. Integrated into the grille or the leading edge of the hood on all Mercury vehicles the emblem should be finished in either chrome or brushed stainless depending on the trim level of classification (sport or luxury) of the vehicle.

    Of greater importance, provided with the opportunity I would greatly alter the near future plans of FoMoCo and thereby those of the Mercury brand largely changing the nature of Ford’s global strategy as it relates to both. You will eventually see my thoughts on how Ford should handle their global network of brands, and the same will no doubt make some of my ideas for Mercury much clearer, but until then suffice it to say that, in my plan, Ford North American will neither build nor sell cars which share their platforms with any FOE of FOA designed product.

    Given the historically more Continental image of the Mercury brand, and the brands recent female friendly positioning, I have taken those plans, and transferred them exclusively to Mercury. And while my plan for Mercury involves much more than simply sharing platforms with FOE, it does being there…….

    2010MY

    Comet
    : B2/Fiesta based 3-door and 5-door hatchback

    I see this as a slightly up market sub-compact meant to sell in modest numbers…. Quite likely the interior would be a virtual carry-over from FOE’s upcoming Fiesta since the new European interiors are excellent in design and execution. Also, I think a mild facelift of the body would be all that is necessary to make a proper Mercury out of the next Fiesta. Pricing should begin close to that of the Honda Fit and I believe that sales numbers of 4500 per month are realistic. I’ll provide a sketch later. Initially I would like to see two versions……

    Base
    2.2L, DOHC/16-valve, Inline-4 producing ~170hp
    6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic
    15” wheels standard, 16” wheels optional

    XR1/XR2
    2.0L, DOHC/16-valve, TC/INT, Inline-4 producing ~215hp
    6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic
    17” wheels standard

    Expected date of debut: Early 2009 as a 2010 MY vehicle.

    Monterey: EUCD/Mondeo based 4-door sedan, 4-door LWB sedan, and 4-door wagon

    Perhaps of all of FOE’s offerings the Mondeo is best suited to Mercury duty as is. A slight revision of the exterior and a change in driveline choices are all that is really necessary to bring this one completely up to speed as a suitable Mercury sedan. (suitable crash worthiness for the American not withstanding of course) Included is a LWB version of the sedan much like the upcoming Chinese version and a wagon which I believe could do nicely in the American market if well executed. As above I’ll provide a sketch later. And yet again I would like to see two versions of the car….

    Base
    2.5L, DOHC/20-valve, TC/INT, Inline-5 producing ~255hp
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
    16” wheels standard, 17” wheels optional

    XR6
    3.0L, DOHC/24-valve, TC/INT, Inline-6 producing ~300hp
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
    17” wheels standard, 18” wheels optional

    Expected date of debut: Early 2009 as a 2010 MY vehicle

    Puma: C1/Kuga based 4-door, 2-row SUV

    This one was really easy. Rumours have long indicated that a North American version of the Kuga was in the works with plans for the small SUV to be sold as a Lincoln or Mercury product. In my plan I have simply solidified the placement of this on-again, off-again North American Kuga as a Mercury model. Executed much as I described the two cars above I envision two versions of the Puma.

    Base
    2.5L, DOHC/20-valve, Inline-5 producing ~205hp
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
    16” wheels standard, 17” wheels optional

    XRT4
    2.5L, DOHC/20-valve, TC/INT, Inline-5 producing ~255hp
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
    17” wheels standard, 18” wheels optional

    Expected date of debut: Early 2009 as a 2010 MY vehicle

    ……The above represents the entire Mercury lineup for 2010 as I would like to see it. While small I think the above provides an excellent start for a rebirth of the Mercury brand. Yes, I have culled all existing product out of the Mercury lineup by the 2010MY, including Panther based cars, and I am well aware of just how radical that is. Also, as noted earlier while my take on the Mercury revival begins with a great deal of FOE based product, know that it does not end there. Some RWD product, including one all American coupe, will eventually bow in my version of a future Mercury brand, but that is a topic for a later post. Finally, I realize that the above vehciles are much more than merely adequate in the power department, even in base trim. Mercury was once known for building powerful cars, and I think the above brings that facet of the brand back to the forefront while doing so in a manner that will still yield fuel efficient vehicles.


    So what would you do? What does your 2009MY or 2010MY Mercury lineup look like?
    Last edited by jsaylor; 11-17-2007 at 10:37 PM.

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    Mission: Mercury!

    an alternative scenario...

    2010+ Mercury lineup
    core models


    Milanetto*/XR3*/Capri and Mariner - all on C2
    possible 2nd small Cuv: MicroMax = van-let
    note: C2 Mercs are half-a-touch bigger but a-touch-&-a-half roomier than their predecessors

    Milan* and MetaSpace(s) - on EUCD2

    and then I kinda have a quandry...
    Does Mercury get any Huntsman-based Rwd cars? I'm thinking they'll mainly be for a mostly-new mostly-Rwd Lincoln lineup
    & a few 'specialty Fords', so:


    based on D3/E3 ver.2 (see note!):
    XR8* - 114" wlb, 196" ovl, new 5.0v8 +DI & turbo 5.0v8, 350 & 400hp, both AWD Only
    Marquis - 117" wlb, 202" ovl, 3.5v6 +DI, 280hp but tuned for MPG (Sable replacement)
    Grand Marquis - 120" wlb, 205" ovl, 3.7v6 +DI, 300hp and new 5.0v8 +DI 350hp
    note: the Marquises are the nextgen re-trans-figured MKS!!!! (which Lincoln replaces with multiple Huntsmen)

    All core model Mercurys have a hybrid or alternative-fuel version, even if the Ford or Lincoln equivalents don't.
    All core model Mercurys have Awd available.
    ALL models marked with an asterix * have a "dual-back" version, which looks much like a normal sedan or coupe but is a hatchback with a separate inset trunklid which allows cargo-access without opening the hatch.
    (update: see the VW-Skoda Sedan or Hatch? thread for info/schematics/etc)

    non-core models

    XR6* - based on nextgen Mazda RX-?, 3.5v6 and TWIN FORCE! = sportscar (not just 'sporty')
    Cougar - only built for major anniversaries as a short-run limited edition
    L.M.Custom - Huntsman-based dual-branded family-sedan/21st century LeadSled with Deco-Futurist styling, features/options/price between Mercury and the upwardly-mobile Lincoln.
    Trucklet™ - KingRanch/Platinum-trim Ranger(or equivalent) that they'd never DARE have on the Ford lot competing with the sacred F-series = little brother to Lincoln's new superLux Midsize/F100 truck (only Ford will have F150 & larger).
    MountainLion - off-road-able Trucklet-based Mountaineer successor.


    speculation
    If an ultralight short-range electric 'citycar' is developed, I can see that being sold as a Mercury (or 'Quicksilver') but other than in case of extreme economic/environmental collapse, I don't foresee a near-term need for smaller-than-Focus cars for other than Ford & Mazda (& Volvo, if they stay part of the family).

    Like JSaylor, I too like the God's Head logo ...for specific models
    here's my suggestion for a new general Mercury logo
    images of proposed vehicles will be here in the near future (tho many have been in other threads)
    Last edited by 2b2; 12-21-2007 at 03:30 PM.

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    Re: Mission Mercury

    Quote Originally Posted by jsaylor View Post
    2010MY
    Comet: B2/Fiesta
    Monterey: EUCD/Mondeo based
    Puma: C1/Kuga based
    The above represents the entire Mercury lineup for 2010...

    JS, I really want to see how you develop your lineup going forward from 2010.
    One thing I've never given credence to is the idea that Lincoln should be higher volume than Mercury... unless Fomoco forces that outcome.

    That's partly the reason my scenario boosts Mercury's offerings (tho I'd do that for Lincoln too).
    (I have a whole proportional/percentage theory for F.M.L. sales numbers, that may get posted eventually)
    Guess the way I'd head is making Merc a 'midsize' extravaganza - meaning, many offerings excluding B-cars & topping out near Sable-sized -
    might be my 'Goldilocks' fixation ;)

    &
    Heard one anal-yst say oil is going to $150 (which would qualify for that economic/environmental collapse)
    yet another, ONE mintue later, said it Should be at $60 Now and will go there soon....
    if the future trend makes it sooo hard for my imaginary/ideal lineup, it must be Hell for the RealLife Mfgs!

    anyway, since Your lineup seems to be more 'prepared for the worst', hope you post the next installment soon :)

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    Re: Mission Mercury

    Alright, here are the additions for my 2011MY lineup for Lincoln. All models from 2010 carry-over to 2011, the vehicles listed are simply additions to that lineup. There are more FOE based models here but as you can see I added some spice to the lineup as well. My basic lineup is rounded out by 2011 with the Comet, Meteor, Monterey, and Puma collectively accounting for what I expect to be the bulk of Mercury brand sales.

    More models are on their way in a 2012 model year lineup which will be my last with all new products being integrated into the lineup by that point....

    2011MY

    Meteor: C2/Focus-based 4-door sedan and 4-door wagon

    This one was a no-brainer for my Mercury lineup with this model debuting as a 2011MY offering instead of a 2010 primarily because the basis for the 2010MY cars is already available while C2 won’t be ready for for a few more years. Like the Mondeo this one only needs a slight revision for Mercury duty IMO with interior and chassis features being near 100% carry over and the exterior only receiving a mild makeover. Again we start off with two basic versions of the car….

    Base
    2.5L, DOHC/20-valve, Inline-5 producing ~205hp
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
    16” wheels standard, 17” wheels optional

    XR4
    2.5L, DOHC/20-valve, TC/INT, Inline-5 producing ~255hp
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
    17” wheels standard, 18” wheels optional

    Expected date of debut: early 2010 as a 2011 MY vehicle

    Cosmopolitan: C2/Focus-based 2-door retractable hardtop

    Not much explanation needed here if you know what the European market Focus RHT is. Executed as a RHT version of the Comet above I chose the old Cosmopolitan moniker historically employed on Lincolns here because I think it fits the car, and the female audience this car is primarily intended to appeal to, very well. Execution of minor details really matter on a car like this IMO, and I would like to see interiors that are warm and inviting, colors like white, vintage burgandy, and cream, and exterior colors that are classic yet appealing, like Crystal blue (and a few which are spicier but classic, like Lipstick red) to further solidify this car’s appeal to that market.

    Base
    2.5L, DOHC/20-valve, Inline-5
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic producing ~205hp
    16” wheels standard, 17” wheels optional

    XR3
    2.5L, DOHC/20-valve, TC/INT, Inline-5 producing ~255hp
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
    17” wheels standard, 18” wheels optional

    Expected date of debut: early 2010 as a 2011 MY vehicle

    Capri: 2-door 2+2 hatchback, rwd hatchback.

    Ah, the return of a legend, even if it is a lesser known legend outside of enthusiasts circles here on our shores. Based on a yet to be designed small, low cost, RWD platform developed by Ford North America (I refer to this platform simply as CR1…or compact, RWD, first generation….there would be several variations of the basic platform) The Capri coupe would be designed in Australia and would employ a Macpherson strut IFS and a multi-link IRS affixed to a steel unibody. I would like to see the ‘bread-van’ profile of the classic model revived for this car to draw a line aesthetically to those classic model as well as to ensure rear seat interior room is good for the size of the car. Think of a Porsche 944 with a bread-van rear hatch and you aren’t too far off the mark, although the Capri may be a bit larger tha the Porsche. Like the Cosmopolitan above small features matter and the Capri should have a racier, sportier character than any other Mercury offering. Vivid colors should be employed (RS blue, yellow) along with the classics (black, red) and the interior should be Germanic serious in execution and function. Three versions are offered here….mild, spicy, and nuclear. The RS model would be a limited production piece.

    Note: V4’s are Boss/Hurricane based. I use a V4 design in my theoretical CR1-based models to improve packaging (balance improves since the engine can be set further back in the chassis, and the center of gravity is lower since a 90-degree V has a shorter height than an inline design) and also for the potentially better power-band, exhaust note, as well as the opportunity for major component sharing with the upcoming Boss/Hurricane V8 engines.

    Base
    2.9L, DOHC/16-valve, 90-degree V4 producing ~ 245hp
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
    16” wheels standard, 17” wheels optional

    XR5
    2.9L, DOHC/16-valve, TC/INT, 90-degree V4 producing ~300hp
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
    17” wheels standard, 18” wheels optional

    RS3200
    3.2L, DOHC/16-valve, TC/INT, 90-degree V4 producing ~385hp
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
    18” wheels

    Expected date of debut: Fall 2010 as a 2011 MY vehicle

    Cougar: 2-door, 2+2, rwd coupe

    Someone at Mercury once said that you ‘cannot run a cathouse without a cat’… and so it is. This is exactly what you would expect, a Mustang based Cougar in the spirit of the original 67-70 model cars. This car would be based on the next Mustang chassis which in my theoretical Ford lineup is not the currently planned Huntsman platform but a North American designed and developed piece which will be far more sweeping than Huntsman in both the number of models based upon it and plausible flexibility. (I refer to the basic platform as MR1 or mid-size, RWD, first generation….there would be many variations of the basic platform)

    The Cougar would employ a Macpherson strut IFS and a multi-link IRS affixed to a unibody. Overall content and materials will be noticeably above a run of the mill, volume production Mustang but on par with if not slightly above limited production Mustang models like the GT500 or Boss 427. (top line performance Mustangs may offer a 'luxury' trim package which approaches the Cougar in terms of materials used but not in appointments) Other luxury items like adjustable suspension not necessary for the Mustang should be employed on the Cougar.

    Also, while the Cougar is a modern luxury/muscle car the overall character of the car should be that of a refined GT avoiding the wild color schemes found on muscle cars of the past. Ride and handling should strike an M3 like balance with comfort never suffering simple for the sake of performance. Overall size and wheelbase would be similar to the last generation/E39 BMW 5-Series although the Cougar’s profile would be closer to that of the smaller BMW 6-Series. Four basic versions are offered here with both the XR7GT and Eliminator being limited production models. (Eliminator is extremely low production)

    Base: 3.2L, DOHC/24-valve, TTC/INT, 60-degree V6 producing ~320hp
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
    17” wheels standard, 18” wheels optional

    XR7: 5.8L, DOHC/32-valve, 90-degree V8 producing ~465hp
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
    17” wheels standard, 18” wheels optional

    XR7-GT: 7.0L, DOHC/32-valve, 90-degree V8 producing ~625hp
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic
    18” wheels standard, 19” wheels optional

    Eliminator: 7.0L, DOHC/32-valve, TTC/INT, 90-degree V8 producing ~685hp
    6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic with standard AWD
    19” wheels standard, 20” wheels optional

    Expected date of debut: Fall 2010 as a 2011 MY vehicle
    Last edited by jsaylor; 11-17-2007 at 10:25 PM.

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    Re: Mission Mercury

    So glad to see the C2, JS!
    Other than my
    - moving the lineup up one size: including D3 but not B's
    - and having more models per platform but no new platforms (or engines)
    Imho we're closer than I thought at first. Do you agree?

    Tho maybe more differences will come out with some of the details (thinking colors and trim stuff but drivetrains too) ...if I get that far...
    It's interesting, from when originally putting ideas together, it's a lot different trying to phrase stuff (& maybe provide examples) when I know someone will be seeing it;
    yet imho, a lot of the identity of Mercury is in how the models are 'fleshed-out' - the sort of thing that calls up (for me) the terms "furnishings" & "haberdashery" from men's wear - like the newly announced VOGA series :bigBIGgrin:

    Guess my main question (which might be premature) is about a 6-7 pass. Cuv...

    (I've got a CrazyIdea™ for post2010 that I'm trying real hard to make sound plausible)

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    Re: Mission Mercury

    Quote Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
    So glad to see the C2, JS!
    Other than my
    - moving the lineup up one size: including D3 but not B's
    - and having more models per platform but no new platforms (or engines)
    Imho we're closer than I thought at first. Do you agree?
    Absolutely, particularly so if you look past mechanical differences like fwd or awd and look at the brand placement and target audience of the cars. Some similarities haven't even shown up yet in the post for that matter...for example if a Capri like the one I envision ever made it to production I would like to see a sliding rag option. Without question it's hard to miss the similarity to a BAMR here.

    Tho maybe more differences will come out with some of the details (thinking colors and trim stuff but drivetrains too)......... imho, a lot of the identity of Mercury is in how the models are 'fleshed-out' - the sort of thing that calls up (for me) the terms "furnishings" & "haberdashery" from men's wear - like the newly announced VOGA series :bigBIGgrin:
    Agreed. I barely scratched the surface on this for the Cosmopolitan and Capri, but cars often live and die by these small areas of execution IMO.

    It's interesting, from when originally putting ideas together, it's a lot different trying to phrase stuff (& maybe provide examples) when I know someone will be seeing it
    Exactly, I really need to get some sketches of the vehicles in my theoretical lineup ready. I think that will do more to demonstrate what kind of cars these are supposed to be than anything else. Although to be blunt the Meteor, Cosmopolitan, and Monterey probably don't require a sketch since little will change from their Focus, Focus RHT, and Mondeo, parent cars. (Meteor might be worth a go since the C2 Focus doesn't exist yet)

    Guess my main question (which might be premature) is about a 6-7 pass. Cuv...
    Gotta admit, aside from a Merc-i-fied S-Max scheduled to debut in my 2012MY Mercury lineup I don't have another 7-passenger vehicle. There is a 5passenger crossover in my 2012MY lineup, but no 6 or 7 seaters.


    (I've got a CrazyIdea™ for post2010 that I'm trying real hard to make sound plausible)
    Alright, now I'm curious. If you want to, and if it isn't ready for the thread, I'd be interested to see what your thoughts regarding the same are in a PM.

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    Re: Mission Mercury

    ^^ nah, s'OK, JS, here's the CrazyIdea™
    < love that 'stirpot' smilie
    SPLIT FOMOCO IN TWO ...sorta
    or at least 2 major divisions (more than a new PAG).
    This still might be more organization-&-marketing than 'hardware' but I'm thinking both.
    1 FordUS, Lincoln, euroFord, FordAu, & Ford-ROTW in one
    2 Mercury, Mazda, & Volvo in the other

    1
    - Most/All U.S. Ford & Lincoln dealers are given the choice of (or able to 'bid') on which group they'll be part of (some mega-dealers could be both I guess & maybe they could do # reduction/right-sizing at the same time [might be a way of getting-around franchise regulations]).
    - Most/All type1 dealers would have both Ford & Lincoln.
    - Pricing would be a major differentiator.
    (more later if we do F-L thread(s))

    2
    - Mazda & Volvo dealers are strongly encouraged ($$$: "such a deal") to have all 3 of these if at all possible. But I'm more thinking of Mercury being the unifying force &-thus adding Mercury to every Mazda and Volvo store.
    - Most/All "model-slots" are retained (with the exception of vehicles much over 200" overall length - dont believe even Mercury needs a 212" to 221" ovl vehicle anymore; but then I think the Panthers could lose some overhang while still in production),
    but will share engineering (which can still be based on Ford's) and Will have per-brand 'tweaks', but it would be a close collaboration.
    - Styling would be a 3 way split but I think their themes are not incompatible, making successful better-than-rebadges easier to do.
    - Pricing would NOT be the main differentiator tho they would range: Mazda most affordable to Volvo most (tho not by much) premium/lux.
    - Seriously explore (at least) the feasibility of some of those 6-additional-factories-saved-by-the-UAW-contract being used to build Volvos & Mazdas (& Mercurys) in NorthAmerica.


    So did I succeed in making this sound plausible?

  11. #10
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    Mission: Mercury!

    & bringing in some "haberdashery" stuff

    I'd like to see a Mercury-palette of paint colors used on all their models.
    A couple years ago I noticed Mazda had over 40 colors in their brochure, which seemed crazy to me (& that's saying sumthin!)
    So I've put together 12 colors that I believe would do a better-than-good job.
    basics:
    silver, gray, black
    red, white, blue
    beige :p (not boring-beige™ of course, but still... :p),
    & green(for hybrids; exclusively, at least at first... ...Nuthin like Ford's 'Kiwi'! btw)
    and that's ALL that'd be available on base models
    plus:
    STEEL BLUE!!! (almost like the Milan-Voga, Almost)
    a darker 'stealth' gray, &
    a couple coppery-bronze colors (small&sport="copper-y", larger & non-sport vehicles="bronze-y")

    The plus-colors would be used on sport trims (as part of a limited 'wilder' assortment - just 6 or 7)
    (actually they might get away with just 3 sport-colors - which I call: "xxxx" "xxx" & "xxxx" ...decided Not to post the names - just too darn good)
    ;)
    and All (11 [per model] of 12) would be available on Premier/Ultimate trims.
    (perhaps needless to say) tho some of these colors may be shared with Mazda & Volvo, NONE would be avail. on Fords or Lincolns.

    (I'd post little sample-gifs except
    I'd have to use 2 posts due to image restrictions &
    only have 'flat'/solid-color examples - need to google&crop some real-er looking stuff, &
    monitors "don't reproduce colors reliably", &
    since a LOT of a color's appeal is exact-shade dependent, I don't want to give-away the whole 9 yards.
    )
    Last edited by 2b2; 11-12-2007 at 04:49 PM.

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