All eyes on Ford’s leadership

How good are Alan Mulally, Jim Farley and Mark Fields? They pretty much brought Ford Motor back from abyss to one of the most respected brands on the road. Can they do the same for Lincoln?

Now that Mercury will be hitting the graveyard later this year, all eyes will be on Ford’s leadership to reviving a storied but recently lost brand in Lincoln. It’s going to get tougher to charge premiums for near luxury vehicles in this market with Ford, Chevy and Nissan delivering what most would have only expected from expensive brands just a few short years ago. Sometimes you have to take a few steps back before you can move forward and Ford/Lincoln will start writing a new chapter in their history after Mercury becomes a part of it!

From AutoNews.com:

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. must do with Lincoln what it has done with the Ford brand — infuse it with new energy and sparkling product — if it is to offset the loss of Mercury sales when that 71-year-old brand dies.

Though Lincoln has a freshened lineup and stronger styling than in the past, it is still an also-ran among luxury brands in the United States. Ford clearly will need more volume from Lincoln to appease Mercury dealers — especially those who currently have Lincoln-Mercury stores.

“We have to make a very compelling case to our dealers very quickly,” says Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas, in an interview.

Read the full article here.

  

Does Mercury have a future?

The company line is really to say nothing at this time and I’d say that’s pretty coy considering all of the jobs (factory, design, marketing, dealerships and more) that rely on the Mercury nameplate. If Mercury is going the way of the Edsel then you have to wonder where Lincoln fits into Ford’s future? Mercury is down to a few re-badged Ford’s and Lincoln isn’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball at this point in time.

From AutoNews.com:

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. plans to kill the 71-year-old Mercury brand slowly by starving it of product, two sources tell Automotive News.

Ford leaders plan to propose eliminating Mercury to the board of directors in July. They believe Ford no longer can justify the cost of supporting Mercury in light of the brand’s declining volume, the sources say.

The company has been laying the groundwork for eliminating Mercury for years.

Decades ago, Lincoln dealers were encouraged to add Mercury franchises to give them the volume they needed to survive. In recent years, Ford has pushed consolidation of those dealerships into Ford-Lincoln-Mercury stores. Those dealers now derive their volume from Ford brand sales.

Read the full article here.

  

Tracer new small car from Mercury

Mercury stays alive! It is now official that Mercury will get a rebadged Focus for the 2011 model year called the Tracer. This is a badly needed product for the Mercury brand as there is now more Sable and the fleet is thin. Lincoln Mercury dealers really needed a high volume and entry level seller to get folks in the door and the new Focus based Mercury Tracer can’t come soon enough.

From AutoNews.com:

Ford Motor Co. executives confirmed that Mercury will get a new car on the same platform as the Ford Focus.

Ford executives told dealers Sunday at the make meeting that the small Mercury is coming in 2011, the same year the Focus arrives. Two dealers who attended the meeting say the car will be called the Mercury Tracer.

“Here in the United States, the trend toward fuel-efficient vehicles is very important, and the trend toward small cars is coming back,” Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas, said after the meeting. “Our strategy is pretty simple: have a broad-based lineup.”

Read the full article here.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

  

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