Will Mercury Brand Survive?

Before I became a VW guy, I was a Ford/Mercury driver. They were much cheaper to maintain than VW's, too....and I am not 100% certain that I would necessarily remain with VW next time. I like the Fusion/Milan
siblings, and when I was a Ford guy, I generally preferred Mercurys over Fords, but with the current problems FOMOCO is facing, will the Mercury brand survive, or be killed like Plymouth was from Chrysler? Thoughts?
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Sills wrote:

Just my opinion, of course, Ford will have to retain Mercury to attract buyers such as you who prefer that line. They are all the same underneath, the difference is in styling, but you prefered Merc and so do many others. I believe it would be a big mistake on Fords part to off Mercury. Looking back at the 80s, look at the T-Bird and Cougar. They were the same car, but the change in roofline and trim attracted very different buyers. The Cougar looked and seemed a bit more elegant and upscale. The differences today are less noticible, but they are identifiable, such as Crown Vic and Grand Marquis.
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I think Mercury is staying alive for two reasons...
1. the Lincoln dealership alignemnt
2. They intelligently cut the ad budget, big-time. - Accounting then can reduce attributed cost of sales - Mercury sales hinge on those who KNOW... eg repeats and up-shoppers! ... Ex: Mountaineer.. those who want a slightly better trimmed Explorer but cheaper.
There's a lot of people who wont buy anything BUT Mercury
3. I think the # of dupe models will decrease... but Mercury always was a good marque to put re-brands of imports into. - Capri... and the over-reaching of Merkur
Also look at the styling of Milan, opposed to the Ford version; unlike the Sable-Taurus, IMO.. a great improvement by being more 'classic'.
Chrysler killed Plymouth gradually ... they let Dodge ( 'cooler' name, as well) impinge on Plymouth pricing and market.
And dont forget 'DeSoto'... truly a redundant line to Dodge.
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let's not forget 2 things: if there's a market for a chevy, saturn, and pontiac chassy-twins, there's certainly going to be room in the ford lineup for a ford and mercury twins. Is it ideal and what the japanese/european/korean brands are going to do? not exactly. A 'mass market' version and then a 'near luxury' version is quite a bit different than the (for example hyundai/kia) strategy of the 'family' and 'near sporty' brands. (no flames - this is hyundai's stated strategy for the long term)
More specifically, the newer mercury's are very attractive cars, especially in the lighter, metallic colors. They're being allowed to differentiate just enough, and they seem to be angling towards female buyers.
So, I don't know if ford has stated that, but it seems mercury will survive as the near luxury feminine brand -- and I think it will do quite well at that.
I'm MUCH more concerned about Lincoln. Caddy has majorily impressed me with their recent products; Lincoln, not so much. I wonder if the lincoln interpretation of 'american luxury' (big, boat' will allow the division to prosper, even with the quite attractive designs they're coming out with.
JP
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I have to admit I was a little shocked to see the Zephyr (Lincoln) (looking at cars in my dealer's showroom)
It is small for a Lincoln. the Lincolns I'm accustomed to (along with Caddys and Crown Vics) are big 4-wheeled ocean-liners. Built like little tanks :)
I drove a 2k1 Crown Vic last weekend (belongs to my *almost* stepfather), it's a Police Interceptor version Crown Vic, and the thing's a real sleeper. I'm trying to get him to sell it to me :)
(so much smoother and alive than my 4-banger Contour)
Just a thought, I would *love* to try an all-wheel-drive version of those things (if they existed). they would rock.
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What have been the sales figures for Mercury over the years?
What kind of buyer do they appeal to?
With Oldsmobile it was a long and slow painful death as sales declined and GM frantically trying to appeal to younger buyers with things like the trucks and minivans with the Oldsmobile name but it was hopeless.
Hopefully Mercury is not in that kind of situation.
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