Will Ford Terminate Mercury Brand?
DEARBORN, Mich. — Rumors are apparently starting to circulate that Ford is looking into winding down its Mercury line, according to a report out Thursday.
Citing two people "familiar with the plan," the report indicates that Ford's top executives are preparing a proposal to kill Mercury that could be presented to directors in July. Apparently, the two individuals asked not to be identified.
The two executives reportedly told Bloomberg that Mercury is losing two of four models next year, which will leave the brand "starved of products and promotions."
Again, according to the report, the timing of Mercury's termination will depend upon how quickly the brand's dealers, who also represent Lincoln, can be convinced to close or merge with Ford showrooms.
The founding family members of Ford (representing 40-percent voting control) have apparently decided that ending the brand is what is best for business, Bloomberg indicated.
Mercury accounted for 1.9 percent of Ford's global sales in the first quarter.
So far Ford's communications team has been silent on this subject. Auto Remarketing reached out for comment Thursday, and as of press time, has not yet heard back.
According to the Mercury site, in the 1930s Edsel Ford believed there was a golden marketing opportunity to produce a line of vehicles that would fill the price gap between Ford and Lincoln. The vehicles would be large, stylish and modern, yet still economical, the site highlighted.
"Edsel originally had many ideas about what to name his new vehicle line. After much deliberation, he chose the Roman god Mercury — the fleet-footed winged messenger and god of commerce who symbolized dependability, eloquence, speed and skill," the site described.
Ford's first design chief worked closely with Edsel to develop the first Mercury, the Mercury Eight.
Dubbed the "Super Ford," the site indicates that this model's 95-horsepower engine offered 10 more horsepower than the Ford V-8, making it a robust performer.
"Design-wise, the Mercury Eight was considered to be among the most aerodynamic cars of its era. It was one of the first Ford production cars designed using a full-scale clay model. In 1938, production reached more than 17,000 vehicles," the site pointed out.
Flash forward to the 2000s, and company officials said that Mercury is opening new doors in technology, fuel efficiency, power and style.
"That's why three Mercury vehicles took home Consumers Digest Best Buy awards in 2008, including the Mercury Milan. Milan has the style and technology that suits you, from the optional two-tone leather-trimmed seats and satin-aluminum accents to the available voice-activated SYNC communications and entertainment system. Mercury SYNC pairs up with most Bluetooth-enabled devices and digital music players to give you hands-free control," according to the Mercury site.
Meanwhile, the site also says, "The Mariner Hybrid takes you farther with a gas engine and electric motor combination that gets an impressive 34 city/30 hwy mpg. And there's more to experience from the next level of smart, sophisticated vehicles from Mercury. Step inside and discover the future now."