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Mercury ever closer to getting the axe

Old 9/3/07, 04:09 PM
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Mercury ever closer to getting the axe

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Old 9/3/07, 04:53 PM
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For once the rumour mill is on to something IMO. It seems pretty obvious that mercury is going out with a whimper, and you can thank Mulally for it since the only other two folks in a likely position to make such a call are, by all accounts, opposed to the idea.

The worst part of all of this is that the above primarily shows two things. Mulally has absolutely no imagination and little ability to recognize opportunity in general. Long term this guy could be more harmful than Nasser.
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Old 9/3/07, 07:04 PM
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Yeah, Mercury just offers tons of enthusiast potential....

Only a fraction of a percent of current buyers could give a **** about a new Cougar, axing just one of Ford's two badge clone divisions (let's not forget about Lincoln) is far from a bad idea.
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Old 9/3/07, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jsaylor View Post
For once the rumour mill is on to something IMO. It seems pretty obvious that mercury is going out with a whimper, and you can thank Mulally for it since the only other two folks in a likely position to make such a call are, by all accounts, opposed to the idea.

The worst part of all of this is that the above primarily shows two things. Mulally has absolutely no imagination and little ability to recognize opportunity in general. Long term this guy could be more harmful than Nasser.
Ok, first off the only way to be more harmful than Nasser is to climb on top Ford world HQ with a sniper rifle and start picking off drivers. Everyone said before Mullaly showed up that Ford needed to shrink, now that he's actually getting it done he's being hammered for it. Too bad, too late, learn to live with it.

Secondly, exactly what were Fields and Bill Ford cooking up for merc before Mulally clocked in? I like both those guys, and many of their calls. But come on, we had rumors of one CUV/wagon based off the Freestyle, and a whole bunch of people begging for a new Cougar but no movement. Wow, great plan there. Merc "enthusiasts" and "loyalists" don't want a wagon, they want something that gets them excited. Ford's establishment might be opposed to closing Merc, but they sure weren't doing anything to prevent that from becoming the obvious choice.

As for Merc's future, the obvious choice is shuttering Merc. But I wouldn't count it out for good just yet. Mulally's conscious of brand and nameplate value, witness the Taurus. He's focusing their very limited resources on repairing the Ford brand itself, becuase as it goes so goes FMC. But I could easily see him re-launching Merc in a different segment after they've gotten the money flowing the right way again.
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Old 9/3/07, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by AnotherMustangMan View Post
Yeah, Mercury just offers tons of enthusiast potential....

Only a fraction of a percent of current buyers could give a **** about a new Cougar, axing just one of Ford's two badge clone divisions (let's not forget about Lincoln) is far from a bad idea.
Mercury offers far more potential than simply continuing on as a clone brand, and I am speaking strictly from a business perspective. I don't expect the masses to be able to see this but I do expect it of Ford's CEO.

Originally Posted by Moosetang
Ok, first off the only way to be more harmful than Nasser is to climb on top Ford world HQ with a sniper rifle and start picking off drivers.
Alright, that was funny. I don't agree, but it was funny.

Originally Posted by Moosetang
Everyone said before Mullaly showed up that Ford needed to shrink, now that he's actually getting it done he's being hammered for it. Too bad, too late, learn to live with it.
FWIW I've never stated that Ford needs to shrink, in fact I think they need to grow the brand just a bit. As for your comment regarding Mulally's plan...you say this as though it will obviously work and I just don't approve of his methods. On the contrary, as info makes its way to the public I am increasingly convinced that his plan wont work and that Ford cannot likely survive unless his stint at the top is a very short one.

Originally Posted by Moosetang
Secondly, exactly what were Fields and Bill Ford cooking up for merc before Mulally clocked in? I like both those guys, and many of their calls. But come on, we had rumors of one CUV/wagon based off the Freestyle, and a whole bunch of people begging for a new Cougar but no movement. Wow, great plan there. Merc "enthusiasts" and "loyalists" don't want a wagon, they want something that gets them excited. Ford's establishment might be opposed to closing Merc, but they sure weren't doing anything to prevent that from becoming the obvious choice.
I''ll grant you much of the above. But I cannot support Mulally's plan simply because nobdoy else had a good idea either. And I am not so sure Fields didn't have a better plan, rather I suspect that Mulally's plan of axeing Mercury was just the cheaper of the two and thus the Board liked it better.
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Old 9/4/07, 03:25 PM
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Quite understandable as Mercury really has been neither fish nor fowl for the past two decades at least, offering little more than slightly tarted up Fords which offers scant justification for the existance of a whole division and dealer network.

I really thought Mercury ought to be (have been) the purveyor of more upscale and sophisticated European Ford and perhaps Australian models to appeal to the yuppie hords and compete againt the mid-range Audis, BMWs, Volvos (at the risk of cannibalism), Saab and VW. Mercury at times seemed to toy with that concept a bit, but only haphazardly and thus, without any real success. I guess the dealerships couldn't figure out how to sell anything without crushed velour, opera windows and vinyl roofs.
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Old 9/4/07, 04:43 PM
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Ford has limited resources, the cost of revamping Linc, Merc, Ford, etc all at the same time could kill the company before the new models produced by that revamping could savef it. Sure, in a perfect world we'd want them to try it but in reality they can't, there's too little time, too little money, too few chances left. So they're fixing the core Ford brand first, they're trying to help Linc as much as they can, and they're shopping PAG around for investors to share take their burden off. There's no room left for Merc in there. They might grandfather it along until the money is there to fix it, or they might kill it and think about re-launching later.
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Old 9/4/07, 06:40 PM
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Mercury's last breath was when they did nothing with the Marauder five years ago. What an opportunity was wasted there. Now with the Mark LT going by by also. Look for two years out, and maybe they can figure a way to bring the Aussie Falcon up here to save it. Heck even the popular Mondeau is on the chopping block. Both of Ford's gobal guys are battling for mere survival, and they both are going in different directions.
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Old 9/4/07, 08:54 PM
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I told em The Eliminator but they didn't listen to me
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Old 9/4/07, 09:44 PM
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The problem here is simple. Product product product. If you can't produce unique, attractive products for the Mercury showrooms, you may as well shut them. The way it sits, it just drives cost. Cost from all angles. Since the company isn't in good enough condition to field a group of separate products for Mercury, they should cut it lose. Now, if you wanted to put the "Mercury" name on a couple products in the FORD dealerships, then do that. Maybe the Montego and perhaps a nicely done Cougar (using S197 chassis) would work but to just emulate every Ford product in separate showrooms around the country...na...its nothing but cost.
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Old 9/4/07, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 97svtgoin05gt View Post
Now, if you wanted to put the "Mercury" name on a couple products in the FORD dealerships, then do that. Maybe the Montego and perhaps a nicely done Cougar (using S197 chassis) would work but to just emulate every Ford product in separate showrooms around the country...na...its nothing but cost.
I had an idea to use the Mercury nameplate as the hot-rod badge in place of SVT, since it worked out well with the Shelby name taking over for SVT on the Mustang I figured they could try the same with the Merc name and lose the alphabit soup.
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Old 9/5/07, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 97svtgoin05gt View Post
The problem here is simple. Product product product. If you can't produce unique, attractive products for the Mercury showrooms, you may as well shut them. The way it sits, it just drives cost. Cost from all angles.
Could be, but not likely. While I don't like the idea of a rebadge riddled Mercury the truth is that the extraordinarily minor changes made to most Mercury product costs Ford very little. The only way you can really chalk this up as a money losing proposition is if Ford can reasonably expect the vast majority of folks who do buy Mercury models to switch to a similar Ford product if Mercury went away. That might happen, but then again it might not.

To be fair there is one other way in which Mercury was we know it could be considered a money loser. If there is a way in which the Mercury brand could be better used then it is a loser wether it technically brings in profit or not. And since I think there are better applications for Mercury then in this instance I agree...Mercury is a money loser.

Originally Posted by svtgoin05GT
Since the company isn't in good enough condition to field a group of separate products for Mercury, they should cut it lose.
I'm not sure I buy this. Compnaies like this can only be so broke before they end up in very, very bad shape, far worse than Ford appears right now. I would bet that Ford has the money to revamp all of their important product, but I think it just as likely that they don't have the money to do it twice and that this is causing them to be overly cautious and spend what they do have on a few 'conservative' attempts to tweak the line rather than gamble it all on one last full frontal assault on the competition.
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Old 9/5/07, 06:33 PM
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Let's face it, Mercury cannot survive as little more than Fords with different grilles and tail lamps. Unfortunately Mercury does not have the volume to profitably sell unique vehicles. Since Ford now has an outside CEO tasked with bringing Ford back to profitablilty, he has little choice other than to kill Mercury.
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Old 9/5/07, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rhumb View Post
Quite understandable as Mercury really has been neither fish nor fowl for the past two decades at least, offering little more than slightly tarted up Fords which offers scant justification for the existance of a whole division and dealer network.

I really thought Mercury ought to be (have been) the purveyor of more upscale and sophisticated European Ford and perhaps Australian models to appeal to the yuppie hords and compete againt the mid-range Audis, BMWs, Volvos (at the risk of cannibalism), Saab and VW. Mercury at times seemed to toy with that concept a bit, but only haphazardly and thus, without any real success. I guess the dealerships couldn't figure out how to sell anything without crushed velour, opera windows and vinyl roofs.
IMO thats a good idea Rhumb, what would Mercury had been like if they used the aussie vehicles as thier own? More or less FoMoCo's version of Pontiac (or what Pontiac is supposed to be) or BMW using the aussie vehicles badged as Mercurys.

Oh well, to little to late.
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Old 9/6/07, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by V10 View Post
Let's face it, Mercury cannot survive as little more than Fords with different grilles and tail lamps. Unfortunately Mercury does not have the volume to profitably sell unique vehicles. Since Ford now has an outside CEO tasked with bringing Ford back to profitablilty, he has little choice other than to kill Mercury.
Mercury shouldn't have to survive as little more than rebadged Ford, but I have as yet seeing nothing that indicates that they cannot do so or that it has been unprofitable to do so. And as for your comment regarding Mercury sales volume, I think you are putting the car before the horse. In fact your comment reminds me a little of Ford's logic for not giving the Ranger a proper rehash. Ford cited waning volume for the existing model as a reason not to invest in a new one. Of course I could not then (and still cannot now) help but wonder if it ever occured to anybody at Ford that the reason for that waning volume was that they hadn't bothered to introduce a new model in the first place.

In the case of Mercury increased volume can only be expected with increased uniqueness. And Mercury has plenty of potential, Ford's CEO has simply chosen to go another path.
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Old 9/6/07, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jsaylor View Post
In the case of Mercury increased volume can only be expected with increased uniqueness. And Mercury has plenty of potential, Ford's CEO has simply chosen to go another path.
Increased uniqueness has a price.
The Mercury brand has been damaged so severely I do not believe the public would pay a premium for more unique Mercuries. 1960 was the last year that Mercuries were distinctly different from Fords. Ford has tried unique Mercury vehicles in the past unsuccessfully with the Merkur.
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Old 9/6/07, 08:37 PM
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That was 20 years ago and those were only 2 models.

And both cars had reliability issues.
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Old 9/7/07, 12:09 AM
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Those facts don't make present Mercury any less defunct or any more deserving of the serious cash a turnaround would require.
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Old 9/12/07, 01:32 AM
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C'mon guys, time to jettison the flotsam for the company's own good.

Lemmie put it another way: Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr (excuse me, MKZ). Quickly now, point out the salient differences.

See what I'm saying? Fact is, there is no long term plan for Mercury to give it its own unique identity. Let's pray Ford can do better with Lincoln, cause right now, building a car that can compete with the likes of the new Cadillac CTS is nothing more than a pipe dream for Ford's premiere brand, and if they don't get it together soon, they may exit stage left right behind Mercury.
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Old 9/12/07, 05:51 AM
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Someone better tell Allan Jackson! He won't be able to buy any new Mercurys and cruise them down the road.
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