Mercury could be shut down

Mercury has been a failed brand for as long as I can remember.  Every Mercury model is a badge-engineered Ford.  The only changes are light sheetmetal differences, and sometimes slightly different packages and pricing.  There is no longer any illusion of a premium brand – Mercury only exists to help give Lincoln dealerships additional sales volume.

Fifteen Years of Failure

According to a neat little graphic at The Truth About Cars, Mercury sales have fallen for 15 years – drastically.  From roughly 440,000 units in 1995 to under 100,000 in 2009 – each year gets worse and worse for Mercury.  With no new models in sight, it’s hard to see how this trend will reverse course.  Think about it – do you even consider Mercury as a viable option when you’re car shopping?  Didn’t think so.

An anonymous source revealed to Bloomberg that Ford is quietly planning to kill the failed division.  A Ford spokesperson, of course, denied any such plans.  That’s hardly unexpected of course – if they make the announcement too early, Mercury could lose the few customers they have.

Following GM’s Lead

GM made a few rare good choices over the last few years- axing several of their brands from an extremely bloated portfolio.  Ford has been in a much better position from the beginning, with just 3 major brands.  (The niche Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin have already been sold off.)

However, Mercury serves no purpose.  It has no unique product.  It has no unique persona.  It doesn’t have a mission.  People don’t grow up dreaming of buying a Mercury one day.  Axing the brand will help Ford focus on the two core brands – Ford and Lincoln.  Hopefully with more focus, Lincoln can reverse its own sales slide.

Published on May 28, 2010 in Deadpool,Ford,Mercury

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