Ford Inside News banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mulally: Mercury is ‘doing well'

Richard Truett

Automotive News | October 15, 2007 - 4:14 pm EST




DETROIT -- R.I.P. Mercury? Not yet.

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally said today that the struggling division will not be killed.

In a meeting with reporters at a factory outside Detroit, here’s what Mulally said when asked if Mercury has a future.

“Absolutely. It’s doing well. We’ve got a great set of products in Mercury. It’s a very nice complement to the Ford products. And so we have a good lineup in Ford, Lincoln and Mercury.”

But Ford officials have been tight-lipped about Mercury’s future products. Except for a hybrid version of the Milan sedan coming next summer, no other vehicles are known to be in the pipeline for Mercury.

Mercury sales have been declining for years. In 2006, Mercury sold 180,848 vehicles, its lowest total since 1960. Through September, sales were off another 11 percent, down from 146,418 to 129,743 for the nine-month period.

Mulally, lumping Mercury’s sales performance in with Lincoln, said: “It’s a great product line, and dealers are very happy with it. Sales are spectacular for Lincoln Mercury. In some areas, Lincoln Mercury has been growing faster than Ford.”

Lincoln is one of the rare bright spots for Ford; the division has posted sales gains every month this year. Lincoln’s sales of 102,449 units through September are running about 11 percent higher than last year.

Mercury has about 1,900 dealers. Most are dualed with Ford or Lincoln.

On other topics:


Mulally said he expects Jim Farley to have an immediate impact once he settles in as Ford’s group vice president of marketing and communications. Mulally wooed Farley from Toyota, where he was general manager of the Lexus Division.

“Mr. Farley is a proven auto executive," he said. "He’s very experienced in marketing and sales and especially in getting the word out. He’s going to be a great help.”


Ford is expecting big things from the revamped Focus. Mulally said the new compact will: Define Ford going forward, arrest Ford’s market share decline and help position Ford for profitable growth.

“This is the finest small vehicle Ford has ever produced,” Mulally told a crowd of assembly line workers at the company’s Wayne stamping and assembly plant, where the car is built.



SOURCE: www.autonews.com
Subscription
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I see he's being very cagey about the topic, referring to "Lincoln-Mercury" as a whole. I would too. Personally, I'm in the "import Ford Europe/Australia prodcut and call it a Mercury" camp. With Mercury's traditional role of being "the nicest Ford you can buy" being taken over by Lincoln, it seems logical. As long as there are even a few products called Mercury, it can go on indefinetly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
But please spare me the 'Lincoln is the nicest Ford you can buy thing.' Lincolns are as distinct and unique as 95% of the world's luxury cars are from their corporate siblings. Somehow, in a world of Acura/Hondas, Infinity/Nissans, Lexus/Toyotas, Cadillac/Chevys, Mercedes/taxi-cabs, BentleyPorsche/Audis/VWs, Rolls/BMW/Minis, and so on, why is that only Lincoln gets kicked around for sharing platforms and major parts within the Ford family (of Ford, Mazda and Volvo)?? As far as I can tell, onlyl Ferrari stands alone, and even that is a recent change, dating back only two years ago when it separated from Maserati.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
But please spare me the 'Lincoln is the nicest Ford you can buy thing.' Lincolns are as distinct and unique as 95% of the world's luxury cars are from their corporate siblings. Somehow, in a world of Acura/Hondas, Infinity/Nissans, Lexus/Toyotas, Cadillac/Chevys, Mercedes/taxi-cabs, BentleyPorsche/Audis/VWs, Rolls/BMW/Minis, and so on, why is that only Lincoln gets kicked around for sharing platforms and major parts within the Ford family (of Ford, Mazda and Volvo)?? As far as I can tell, onlyl Ferrari stands alone, and even that is a recent change, dating back only two years ago when it separated from Maserati.


?!?!?!?!?!?!


Oh be serious. The Town Car is the only Lincoln that doesn't share at least 50% of its sheetmetal with a Ford badged product. From the sides, there is not telling an Edge from an MKX. The roots of the MKZ are painfully obvious, and we all know where the Navigator came from. None of this can be said about any of the Asian or European brands you name except for their largest SUV's (QX, LX). And at Cadillac, the only example is the Escalade.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,679 Posts
But please spare me the 'Lincoln is the nicest Ford you can buy thing.' Lincolns are as distinct and unique as 95% of the world's luxury cars are from their corporate siblings. Somehow, in a world of Acura/Hondas, Infinity/Nissans, Lexus/Toyotas, Cadillac/Chevys, Mercedes/taxi-cabs, BentleyPorsche/Audis/VWs, Rolls/BMW/Minis, and so on, why is that only Lincoln gets kicked around for sharing platforms and major parts within the Ford family (of Ford, Mazda and Volvo)?? As far as I can tell, onlyl Ferrari stands alone, and even that is a recent change, dating back only two years ago when it separated from Maserati.
You are totally right. The nicest Ford you can buy today is the Limited version of every Ford vehicle.
Oh be serious. The Town Car is the only Lincoln that doesn't share at least 50% of its sheetmetal with a Ford badged product. From the sides, there is not telling an Edge from an MKX. The roots of the MKZ are painfully obvious, and we all know where the Navigator came from. None of this can be said about any of the Asian or European brands you name except for their largest SUV's (QX, LX). And at Cadillac, the only example is the Escalade.
It can be said about the Escalade and the DTX, that is half Cadillac sales there.
Can be said about the Lexus ES 350, and their entire truck line, not just the largest since they have thinly disguised versions of the 4Runner and Land Cruiser, and the RX is not that different from the Highlander.
In Europe the Passat and the A4 go hand in hand as does the golf and the TT and their Skoda and Seat counterparts. Why do I mention VW products, because that is the only European company the resembles anything like their multi brand American counterparts. there are other re-badges or car sharing platforms and components but usually are one time collaborations, like the Ford Ka and Fiat 500. And of course there is that one rebadged Saab called the Cadillac BLS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It can be said about the Escalade and the DTX, that is half Cadillac sales there.
What's a DTX? And what do sales figures have to do with this discussion?

Can be said about the Lexus ES 350, and their entire truck line, not just the largest since they have thinly disguised versions of the 4Runner and Land Cruiser, and the RX is not that different from the Highlander.
No one is claiming these vehicles don't share platforms. But their "disguise", as you term it, is far heavier than anything at Lincoln (save the Town Car)

In Europe the Passat and the A4 go hand in hand as does the golf and the TT and their Skoda and Seat counterparts. Why do I mention VW products, because that is the only European company the resembles anything like their multi brand American counterparts. there are other re-badges or car sharing platforms and components but usually are one time collaborations, like the Ford Ka and Fiat 500. And of course there is that one rebadged Saab called the Cadillac BLS.
Here we go again. "What's a rebadge and what isn't?" The BLS is a Saab at heart, yes. But they share NO sheetmetal and no interior bits.

My point was originally that what we now know as Lincolns are primarily redecorated Fords, and that role has been historically Mercury's.

For some time now, Ford exec's have been saying that Lincoln would be the "volume" name in the Lincoln Mercury franchise and we can see this happening. Lincoln has userped Mercury. The total sales fort he franchise haven't improved, they're just being shuffled from one name to another.
 

·
Mercury C557
Joined
·
22,734 Posts
found some nice blurbs at C&G in discussing this article

"I like Mercury. It's a Ford with better styling."

"I look at it this way... Mercury is the only marque where I like every single one of the models sold... and in fact prefer the Mercury over the sister product from other divisions. There isn't a division at any other automaker that I can say that about."

"He's seen the individual numbers on Merc; we haven't. If the division is making a profit and the revenue to run it is relatively minimal- there are few reasons to abandon it..."

"...so many people do not want commodity brand cars these days, so Mercury is a way for some to have a niche brand but not at a luxury brand price."

"For Ford to fix Mercury, they would have to fix Lincoln first. This means repositioning Lincoln as a true luxury make once again. This would mean that the entire lineup would need to be replaced and moved upscale. The brand would needs its own dedicated, flexible rear wheel drive components set. This would allow room for Mercury to move up into the near luxury territory..."

"Ford needs Mercury. If they're getting rid of JLR and maybe even Volvo, Lincoln will be pushed further upmarket leaving a gap between Ford and Lincoln. I know people say "just phase it out and sell more expensive Fords," but Mercury appeals to a different audience and there's no shame in keeping it around even if its just an upper trim until Ford fixes the other two...
...If Ford is trying to get rid of Jaguar and Land Rover, of course they're going to be investing into Lincoln to beef it up before the sale. Mercury just gets to hang tight for a little while longer until both Lincoln and Ford gain some traction with new product. But the potential is so great to really do something with Mercury that killing it would be a waste."

"...Mercury has HUGE potential... ...It could appeal to a market that Ford could not even think of touching...
...It's just like clothing... The same person who shops at Abercrombie might not shop at Banana Republic and then the same person that shops at Banana Republic might not shop at Gap.The same person that shops at Gap might not shop at Rule. Well, it's a good thing the same company owns them all isn't it? So they can capitalize on the market by focusing each company to TAILOR more specifically to a certain kind of consumer..."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,679 Posts
What's a DTX? And what do sales figures have to do with this discussion?
The big FWD one. . . whatever its name is.
Sales figures are important. One thing is claiming that you have these "exclusive cars" another one if selling them. If Cadillac makes most of its sales out of their rebadges
No one is claiming these vehicles don't share platforms. But the "disguise", as you term it, is far heavier than anything at Lincoln (save the Town Car)
This is more than platform sharing.


Here we go again. What's a rebadge and what isn't. The BLS is a Saab at heart, yes. But they share NO sheetmetal and no interior bits.
Here we go again.
Really? Look again.

Just for the record. They don't only share the steering wheel (minus the ergonomic add ons in the 9-3 Aero) but also the entire door panels with window gear and all. The HVAC gear is also the same. On the outside they share rear view mirrors and roof.
Let alone the fact that underneath they are nothing more than Malibus.
My point was originally that what we now know as Lincolns are primarily redecorated Fords, and that role has been historically Mercury's.
And my point is that that is not a fair assessment of Lincoln.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The big FWD one. . . whatever its name is.
Sales figures are important. One thing is claiming that you have these "exclusive cars" another one if selling them. If Cadillac makes most of its sales out of their rebadges
Who ever mentioned sales figures as any criteria??? The fact is that ALL of Lincolns competition, foreign and domestic, have far greater offerings of exclusive product.

And my point is that that is not a fair assessment of Lincoln.

And my point is that it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,679 Posts
Who ever mentioned sales figures as any criteria??? The fact is that ALL of Lincolns competition, foreign and domestic, have far greater offerings of exclusive product.
I did. If you fail to see why, that is your problem. But last time I checked carmakers were make cars mostly to sell them. So that criteria is pretty useful to asses how good or bad a car company is doing.

Cadillac may have the most exclusive line of cars in the world, but if they mostly sell their rebadges. What is the point? Bragging rights? Fine, they have a lot of those. Meanwhile, Lincoln sales are up and Cadillac's down, and not doing worse thanks ONLY to the CTS.

Then again, what Cadillac has succeeded immensely on is in leaving the impression that they make exclusive cars, even when they don't. See how wrong you were about the BLS. You were convinced that the BLS and the 9-3 "share NO sheetmetal and no interior bits" when they actually share a lot of both. Kudos to Cadillac, that is not an easy task.
And my point is that it is.
That's fine. We love you anyway. :p
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,978 Posts
Megeebee, I know this won't surprise you...but I agree with Sobe;)

What exactly does exclusivity really mean to a customer anyway - how about almost squat. A Pontiac could have very different sheet metal, powertrains and interiors than a Buick, effectively having their respective exclusivity, but so what. Having a good chassis is to start with is important, but I believe that having an exclusive chassis means far less to far more people than you and I probably realize, and recent sales success's at Lincoln are proof of that. Most people want good value first and foremost, especially in an entry luxury brand, which is where even Caddy plays mostly. The CTS seems to be doing well, because it is a fine product, with solid style and good performance. The price for stripped models (where all the sales are it seems) is a good value, less so with the blinged-out version over $51K. But Cadillac overall is not seeing the constant success that Lincoln is lately - and that is with only half of Lincolns all new products in place. Others have said it better than me, that there is more than one way to offer affordable American luxury cars, and Lincoln seems to have found the best formula.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Megeebee, I know this won't surprise you...but I agree with Sobe;)

What exactly does exclusivity really mean to a customer anyway - how about almost squat. A Pontiac could have very different sheet metal, powertrains and interiors than a Buick, effectively having their respective exclusivity, but so what. Having a good chassis is to start with is important, but I believe that having an exclusive chassis means far less to far more people than you and I probably realize, and recent sales success's at Lincoln are proof of that. Most people want good value first and foremost, especially in an entry luxury brand, which is where even Caddy plays mostly. The CTS seems to be doing well, because it is a fine product, with solid style and good performance. The price for stripped models (where all the sales are it seems) is a good value, less so with the blinged-out version over $51K. But Cadillac overall is not seeing the constant success that Lincoln is lately - and that is with only half of Lincolns all new products in place. Others have said it better than me, that there is more than one way to offer affordable American luxury cars, and Lincoln seems to have found the best formula.

It seems to me that you are trying to rationalize the fairly low amount of differentiation between Fords and Lincolns.

Lincolns recent "success's" as you term them have come almost entirely at the expense of Mercury. If there were no MKZ, and the MKX was a Villager, then it would be Mercury's "recent success's" we'd be discussing.

Cadillac is not seeing the increases that Lincoln is, that's right. Cadillacs dizzying climb was between 2003 and 2006 showing an increase of some 35-40%. Done chiefly with exclusive product, the Sigma platform vehicles.

I disagree that Lincoln has the "best formula" for "American luxury cars". I believe it is Cadillac that has done that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We all have our opinions, let's leave it to that.

Like this one.
Lincoln's success has nothing to do with Mercury's failures.
Well if not, then it's one of the biggest coincidences in auto sales history. For calendar 2007 Lincoln is up 14.5% and Mercury is down 11.4% (according to Automotive News Data Center as of 10-08-07)

I would hazard a guess that virtually nobody goes to buy a Milan or Mountaineer and ends up with an MKZ or MKX.

I would venture a guess that no one goes to buy a Mountaineer AT ALL(down 21% this year). I think the MKX is indeed bleeding sales from the Mountaineer. It's out selling the Mercury quite handily (Mountaineer: 18,607/ MKX: 26,950)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,679 Posts
Well if not, then it's one of the biggest coincidences in auto sales history. For calendar 2007 Lincoln is up 14.5% and Mercury is down 11.4% (according to Automotive News Data Center as of 10-08-07)
It looks like Lincoln's gain is bigger than Mercury's decline.
I would venture a guess that no one goes to buy a Mountaineer AT ALL(down 21% this year). I think the MKX is indeed bleeding sales from the Mountaineer. It's out selling the Mercury quite handily (Mountaineer: 18,607/ MKX: 26,950)
18,607 hardly is AT ALL. And much better than the "very exclusive" SRX, with 16,922 YTD after its extensive make over. :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It looks like Lincoln's gain is bigger than Mercury's decline.
3 %? (It must be all those Milan fleet sales.)

18,607 hardly is AT ALL.
It is compared to the 23,600 sold last year.

And much better than the "very exclusive" SRX, with 16,922 YTD after its extensive make over.
Ah, and here comes Sobe with his "Apples and Oranges" cart.

(A new Instrument panel and door panels is an "extensive makeover"?)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,978 Posts
Mercury does not make any CUV's, and that is what is hot right now.
If they offered an Edge clone or a Sable X or a minivan, then things would look up drastically, and Lincolns effect would be minimal at best.

Oh yeah, lets not forget the lack of a small car for Merc is also hurting sales lately.
 

·
Mercury C557
Joined
·
22,734 Posts
Oh yeah, lets not forget the lack of a small car for Merc is also hurting sales lately.

....................


Milanetto / Capri / XR3 / Milanetto / Capri / XR3 / Milanetto / Capri / XR3 / Milanetto / Capri / XR3 / Milanetto / Capri / XR3 / Milanetto / Capri / XR3 / Milanetto / Capri / XR3
maybe when the 2.5 4cyl comes out next year?
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top