IT’S OFFICIAL: R.I.P. MERCURY
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Wed, Jun 2, 2010
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
DEARBORN—Ford Motor Company announced it will end production of Mercury vehicles in the fourth quarter of this year to fully devote its financial, product development, production and marketing, sales and service resources toward further growing its core Ford brand while enhancing the Lincoln brand. “Mercury originally was created as a premium offering to Ford and was an important source of incremental sales. However, the continued strength of the Ford brand – particularly during the past three years – has accelerated the migration from Mercury to Ford for many customers,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas. “Today, Mercury’s customer profile, pricing and margins are almost identical to Ford, but Mercury’s incremental sales have been declining.” According to Ford, the majority of current Mercury sales are to fleet buyers and customers purchasing through employee, retiree and friends and family discounts, which Ford anticipates largely can be satisfied by Ford brand vehicles. “Of Ford Motor Company’s 16 percent market share in the U.S., Mercury accounts for 0.8 percentage points, a level that has been flat or declining for the past several years,” said Fields. “That contrasts with the Ford brand, which has increased market share by 2.2 percentage points so far this year on the strength of new products and improved quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.” “Ford’s strengthening financial position – including the return to profitability and positive cash flow – allows the company to absorb short-term costs associated with the discontinuation of Mercury and to consolidate future product investments into Lincoln,” said Fields. According to the manufacturer, there are no stand-alone Mercury dealerships in North America. “Ford will work closely with Mercury dealers and customers during the transition, including providing existing Mercury owners with continued access to parts and service support at Ford and Lincoln dealers and by honoring current warranties, including Ford’s Extended Service Plans,” said Fields. “We are 100 percent committed to supporting Mercury owners through Ford and Lincoln dealerships and working hard to keep them as valued customers in the future. At the same time, we will work closely with our dealers to phase out Mercury franchises and continue to build a healthy, growing Lincoln with strong new products and a profitable dealer network that delivers a world-class customer experience,” said Fields. According to the manufacturer, Mercury owners will receive additional details in the coming days explaining the transition and assuring them that Ford and its dealers will continue to provide all necessary parts and service support for Mercury products. “Ford has notified Mercury dealers of the decision and provided details of a financial package that includes payment in exchange for resigning the franchise,” said Fields. “Ford today also informed dealers of special offers on new Mercury vehicles that will be available through the summer to support the sell down of current Mercury inventory and remaining Mercury vehicle production.” “We are taking decisive action and moving into the future with the right plan to deliver profitable growth for all stakeholders,” Fields said. “These moves position us to continue building momentum through strong brands, great products and an unwavering focus on the customer.”