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Adieu, Mercury. Which brandís next? (Ford shutting down Mercury after 71 years)
MSNBC Online ^ | Paul A. Eisenstein

Posted on 06/03/2010 6:31:08 AM PDT by AAABEST

Analysts say there are too many brands chasing too few buyers

Mercury has come to that big garage in the sky, and there's a convoy behind it of what could be more disappearing brands.

After 71 years, the Mercury brand will vanish from the market with little more than a whimper, by the end of the year. The brainchild of automotive pioneer Edsel Ford, Mercury had become little more than an afterthought on the automotive sales charts in recent years, a costly and irrelevant distraction that company officials, after years of debate, finally decided to do away with.

The move is one more step in CEO Alan Mulally’s One Ford strategy which previously resulted in the sale of foreign luxury brands Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Jaguar, and will allow the Detroit-based carmaker to put a “laser focus” on rebuilding the struggling Lincoln brand, which has steadily lost ground to luxury leaders like Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and arch-rival General Motors’ Cadillac marque.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cougar; ford; grandmarquis; lincoln; mercury; tracer
Mercury goes into history with Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Hummer and a bunch of others.

Merc has made some great cars in the past, but most anything they've put out in the past 20 years has been a major POS.

1 posted on 06/03/2010 6:31:09 AM PDT by AAABEST
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To: AAABEST

UAW, now there’s a brand that needs to go away!


2 posted on 06/03/2010 6:32:41 AM PDT by hometoroost (Proverbs 8:36 - All those who hate me love death.)
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To: AAABEST

Who cares about the cars. I just like the girl in the commercials who says “You gotta put Mercury on your list”.
Someone feel free to post her picture.


3 posted on 06/03/2010 6:33:38 AM PDT by woodbutcher1963
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To: AAABEST

I’m still driving a 1994 Mercury.


4 posted on 06/03/2010 6:33:39 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: AAABEST

Mercuries are just Fords with a different emblem and higher price tag. It’s been the case since the early 70s.


5 posted on 06/03/2010 6:33:52 AM PDT by PhilosopherStone1000
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To: AAABEST
If I had money
I'd tell you what I'd do
I'd go downtown
and buy a Mercury too!
6 posted on 06/03/2010 6:35:25 AM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: AAABEST

Steve Miller Band

Mercury Blues

Had my money
I tell you what I’d do
I would go downtown
Buy a Mercury or two
Cause I’m crazy ‘bout a Mercury
Cruise up and down this road
Up and down this road
I’m goin’ to buy me a Mercury
And I’ll cruise up and down this road
Up and down this road

You know that gal I love
I stole her from a friend
Fool got lucky stole her back again
Because she knowed he had a Mercury
Cruise up and down this road
Up and down this road
Well, she knowed he had a Mercury
And she cruise up and down this road

Hey now mama
Where’d you stay last night
Your hair’s all down
Your clothes don’t fit you right
Had my money
I tell you what I’d do
Go downtown and buy a Mercury or two
Cause I’m crazy ‘bout a Mercury
And I’ll cruise up and down this road
Up and down this road

I’m going to buy me a Mercury
And I’ll cruise up and down this road
Up and down this road

I’m going to buy me a Mercury
Going to buy me a Mercury
Going to buy me a Mercury
Cruise, cruise up and down this road
Up and down this road

I’m going to buy me a Mercury
Buy me a Mercury
Going to buy me a Mercury
Cruise, cruise up and down this road
Up and down this road


7 posted on 06/03/2010 6:38:20 AM PDT by Red Badger (There can be a fine line between having a vision and having a hallucination........)
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To: AAABEST
Sad but not unexcpected.

Worse: They have that cool song now.

Gonna buy me a Mercury and cruise it up and down the road.

Worst: Doesn't apply to any Merc over the past 20-30 years or so.

prisoner6

8 posted on 06/03/2010 6:39:22 AM PDT by prisoner6 (Right Wing Nuts are holding The Constitution together as the Loose Screws of The Left come undone!)
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To: AAABEST

Ford is making a good business decision here, but they still have a problem with the lincoln line. How may new lincolns have been seen running around? Ford ought to make lincoln a special order vehicle and zero in on the Ford products, save up a lot of cash and prepare for the coming assault by the unions and their buddies in the white house. When Maobama took over GM and Chrysler they didn’t go after Ford. That didn’t make sense. Ford should be very wary of this bunch.


9 posted on 06/03/2010 6:39:54 AM PDT by Texas resident (Outlaw fisherman)
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To: PhilosopherStone1000
Mercuries are just Fords with a different emblem and higher price tag. It’s been the case since the early 70s.

And that is the problem. As Ford improved their quality the difference between a Ford and a Mercury became null. Why pay a premium price for something that isn't all that different. Lexus - Toyota proves that you can have a premium brand. But you need to have a big quality difference between the mid level and premium brand.
10 posted on 06/03/2010 6:40:51 AM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: woodbutcher1963


11 posted on 06/03/2010 6:41:26 AM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: PhilosopherStone1000
Kinda like it used to be Plymouth = Dodge = Chrysler.

You could buy a Chrysler, but it still smelled like a Plymouth.

prisoner6

12 posted on 06/03/2010 6:41:59 AM PDT by prisoner6 (Right Wing Nuts are holding The Constitution together as the Loose Screws of The Left come undone!)
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To: Texas resident
When Maobama took over GM and Chrysler they didn’t go after Ford.

Ford wisely wouldn't take Obama's stolen money. If you don't take the bait, you don't have to worry about being able to spit out the hook later.
13 posted on 06/03/2010 6:42:56 AM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: Red Badger

FYI, “Mercury Blues” was written in 1949 by K. C. Douglas and Robert Geddins.


14 posted on 06/03/2010 6:43:32 AM PDT by kosciusko51
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To: PhilosopherStone1000

actually Mercury had the extras of lincoln into a ford. For the most part they seemed to get good ratings. However, like most of Detroit they had some huge screw ups like when they redid cougar into a poorly wired compact.

They must have used the same woman who killed oldsmobile to run mercury.


15 posted on 06/03/2010 6:44:48 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: PhilosopherStone1000
“Mercuries are just Fords with a different emblem and higher price tag.”

And the real villain behind all this?

Robert McNamara

He was one of the “whiz kids” brought in by Henry Ford II. McNamara decided that having all these different brands actually be different cars was “inefficient.” He could do the same thing by just putting different trim and decals on the same car.

After this tremendous success, he was made Secretary of Defense. Here he decided that we didn't need all these different aircraft and could do everything with just one (the F-111). His style of micromanagement was also largely responsible for the huge success of the VietNam war.

16 posted on 06/03/2010 6:44:53 AM PDT by I cannot think of a name
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To: woodbutcher1963

I hear ya, brother. She’s a cutie; her name is Jill. She’s now a host on the TV show “Wipeout”. I think it was in the National Rifleman magazine that I read she is from Texas and is a gun enthusiast / collector.

In regards to another comment on this thread, I’ve owned several Mercury’s in the past, and while the 80’s models were poor quality (like every other American car at the time) the newer ones are great. Mercury’s problem is that they have no distinct products from Ford, and are basically just a trim level on a Ford.


17 posted on 06/03/2010 6:44:54 AM PDT by Fletcher J
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To: prisoner6

Lincolns have ecome unusually ugly while Caddys have never looked better.


18 posted on 06/03/2010 6:45:33 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
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To: Rummyfan; Red Badger

If ya wanna hear the real “Mercury Blues,” go here, and click on “1940s Blues from small independent labels” Then click on the check mark after “Mercury Boogie.” If you’re a Blues fan, you’ll love it!

http://juneberry78s.com/sounds/index.htm


19 posted on 06/03/2010 6:46:40 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Fletcher J

Wow, I might need to start watching Wipeout.
She hot and a conservative. That makes her rank right up there with Megan Kelly.


20 posted on 06/03/2010 6:48:33 AM PDT by woodbutcher1963
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To: Texas resident
How may new lincolns have been seen running around?

You see alot in New York, but they are all owned by car services.

21 posted on 06/03/2010 6:48:38 AM PDT by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

My favorite is the version by David Lindley and El Rayo X.


22 posted on 06/03/2010 6:49:35 AM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: PhilosopherStone1000

Very true. I used to wonder, what was the point? I once asked a dealer why not import European Fords(Mercur) instead of repackaged Fords.They did do that with one model(XR4) in the 80’sk


23 posted on 06/03/2010 6:49:40 AM PDT by hecht (NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM)
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To: AAABEST

We had a 1963 Mercury Monterey when I was a kid. It had the powered back window that slid down at the touch of a button on the dash (actually a little lever). With the back window down (or even partially down), you could keep the windows rolled up and open the underdash vents, and you got a huge amount of air flowing through the car. The car was very heavy and was a dog as far as acceleration, even with a 390 cubic inch V8. Once it got rolling it was very quiet and comfortable and really ate up the miles on the interstate.


24 posted on 06/03/2010 6:50:00 AM PDT by Stevenc131
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To: Fletcher J

I wish we could claim her, but Jill Wagner is from North Carolina.


25 posted on 06/03/2010 6:50:10 AM PDT by nhoward14 (A mind is a terrible thing to waste. That is why Obama gave his away.)
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To: AAABEST

The Grand Marquis is not the coolest thing but it’s no POS.


26 posted on 06/03/2010 6:50:17 AM PDT by Tribune7 (It is immoral to claim the tea parties to be racist)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

some designer at lincoln like the melted marshmello look. BIG mistake.

The towncar has not changed or improved in over a decade.


27 posted on 06/03/2010 6:51:16 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Tribune7

mercury marauder...


28 posted on 06/03/2010 6:51:39 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: GonzoGOP
But you need to have a big quality difference between the mid level and premium brand.

Assuming that you are building your premium brand as well as you can build a car, that means that you are intentionally building your budget line at a lower quality. One some things quality costs (more metal, tighter specs with more parts thrown out), but other things cost nothing or so little it doesn't matter. GM was the worst because then had to make a Cadillac better than an Oldsmobile, which was better than a Buick, which was better than a Pontiac, which was better than a Chevy. Throw in Hummer, Saturn and a few other brands in that stack and you either don't have room for differentiation or you have to make your Chevy really, really crappy.

My bet on the next car line to disappear is GMC. Its sole reason for existance was to allow Cadillac, Olds, Buick and Pontiac dealers to sell rebanded Chevy trucks. Just dump GMC and make all the trucks Chevies (or dump Chevy trucks and make them all GMC).

29 posted on 06/03/2010 6:56:15 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (I am so immune to satire that I ate three Irish children after reading Swift's "A Modest Proposal")
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To: woodbutcher1963

You should check it out. Wipeout is pretty low-brow humor, but I’m a simple man, I guess. heh It’s one of the few belly-laugh shows I’ve seen in a long time.

I’d love to try my luck at the Wipeout course - it looks like fun!


30 posted on 06/03/2010 6:56:32 AM PDT by Fletcher J
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To: nhoward14

Ah, I remembered wrong then. From now on, I’ll just say she’s a conservative southern gal... Then we can all take credit for her! :)

Fletcher J


31 posted on 06/03/2010 6:57:56 AM PDT by Fletcher J
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To: Red Badger

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAXyMcUP6UU

Steve Miller


32 posted on 06/03/2010 7:03:01 AM PDT by gathersnomoss
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To: Vigilanteman
The Scourge of Demolition Derbies, everywhere!


33 posted on 06/03/2010 7:06:17 AM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (FreepMail me if you want on the Bourbon ping list!)
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To: longtermmemmory
I don't know why they feel it smart to get rid of a well-established brand.

Merging the division with Ford or Lincoln would make sense but why not keep building the cars for which niches exist and giving them the Mercury label?

That a song -- even if it hasn't been played for 30 years -- actually has been written about your product should be marketing gold but I guess that's why I don't run a car company.

34 posted on 06/03/2010 7:07:49 AM PDT by Tribune7 (It is immoral to claim the tea parties to be racist)
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To: hecht
Don't forget the Merkur Scorpio
 
 



35 posted on 06/03/2010 7:09:04 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (PALIN/MCCAIN IN 2012 - barf alert? sarc tag? -- can't decide)
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To: KarlInOhio
Assuming that you are building your premium brand as well as you can build a car, that means that you are intentionally building your budget line at a lower quality.

Not always. Things like wood and leather trim, premium sound systems, uprated engines, and sat nav systems as standard features rather than add ons. This does not mean that the mid range brand is poorly built. It just doesn't have all the gingerbread.

Last year when I was looking for a car I seriously looked at the Fords and Mercurys. There simply was no difference in the option packages, trim or fit and finish. Ended up going with the Mazda (Ford engine frame and drive train but with a better styled, and several hundred pounds lighter) body.
36 posted on 06/03/2010 7:12:46 AM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: Texas resident
When Maobama took over GM and Chrysler they didn’t go after Ford. That didn’t make sense. Ford should be very wary of this bunch.

Ford cleaned up its own house a few years before the crisis hit. While it got beat up pretty badly, it wasn't about to go bankrupt like GM was about to. It didn't have to take the Gub'mint $$$ to stay in business, therefore didn't have to sell its soul.

The upside to this is that Ford didn't have the "Government Motors" stigma attached to it. Yes, GM is still in business, but there are a LOT of folks who will NEVER buy another GM vehicle just on principle.
37 posted on 06/03/2010 7:14:23 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: kosciusko51

FYI, “Mercury Blues” was written in 1949 by K. C. Douglas and Robert Geddins.

Wow! I thought it was written for Alan Jackson. Where do guys like you come up with this stuff? I love Free Republic.

Thanks.


38 posted on 06/03/2010 7:17:53 AM PDT by olereporter (Today's media should be held accountable for journalistic malfeasance and First Amendment abuse.)
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To: kosciusko51

Well, at least I still have my Hot Rod Lincoln.


39 posted on 06/03/2010 7:30:16 AM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: AAABEST

Driving an ‘05 Montego and have had zero issues with it. I’ve had warranty work done to the braking system and replaced the throttle body, but the car ran fine. I’ve owner Mercs in the past and had zero problems outside of what’s standard with most Fords: cooling system failures.

I’m very sad to see Mercury go. A comparably equipped Ford (i.e. Sable vs. Taurus) is much more expensive than a mid-range Merc. This leaves us with Lincoln as a higher-end standby, but most Lincolns I’ve priced are higher than what I would want to pay. Love the MKZ though!


40 posted on 06/03/2010 7:32:44 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I wonder if the designers of the MKS are the same Merkur douches.

I test drove the MKS, despite the snazy major tom commercial, the inside is bland and outdated.


41 posted on 06/03/2010 7:34:54 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: longtermmemmory

oops mkz (whatever)


42 posted on 06/03/2010 7:35:43 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: olereporter; Dr. Bogus Pachysandra
I remember hearing an older version than the Steve Miller song. So I did a quick internet search to find the proper credits.

By the way, I am more impressed with Dr. Bogus Pachysandra finding the original recording. Very cool!

43 posted on 06/03/2010 7:41:50 AM PDT by kosciusko51
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To: Rummyfan

I was just going to say, I’ll buy one if it will keep Jill Wagner appearing in those TV ads!


44 posted on 06/03/2010 8:01:16 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Rummyfan

Nice belt buckle!


45 posted on 06/03/2010 8:10:23 AM PDT by Piquaboy (Military veteran of 22 years in Navy, Air Force, and Army.)
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To: kosciusko51

Thank you! I’m on a lot of music related sites, and someone on this forum passed that site on to me.
http://www.guitarseminars.com/gs/viewforum.php?f=1
I have a few others if you’re interested.


46 posted on 06/03/2010 8:15:19 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: AAABEST

Most of the Mercury models were simply Fords with a little more expensive trim.

However, the Marquis, while essentially a Town Car, was a hell of a lot cheaper and lots of older folks on a budget bought them to have a comfortable big car with a good ride.

You’d think that Ford might keep the models that were pretty good sellers but sell them under the Ford label.


47 posted on 06/03/2010 9:50:21 AM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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To: wildbill
However, the Marquis, while essentially a Town Car, was a hell of a lot cheaper...

Yes - a somewhat scaled-back Town Car. Or, if you like, an upgraded Crown Vic.

You’d think that Ford might keep the models that were pretty good sellers but sell them under the Ford label.

Yes, you would think that. They're even discontinuing the Crown Vic.

48 posted on 06/03/2010 12:32:40 PM PDT by AAABEST (Et lux in tenebris lucet: et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt)
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To: AAABEST

I think the decision to discontinue the Crown Vic may be because they could see the handwriting on the wall. Much of the Crown Vic sales volume was as a government contract like police cars. They had that franchise for a long time.

But when the government owns your competition (GM)maybe it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.


49 posted on 06/03/2010 8:47:22 PM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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