Mercury: And Then There Were Two

By Automotive Staff | May 15, 2008
Even though Ford says that it won’t, rumors continue to persist that it will ultimately retire the Mercury brand in order to focus more on the Ford and Lincoln marquees. The latest rumors were stimulated by comments by Aaron Bragman, an auto industry analyst with Global Insight. He said that Mercury sales have declined which will soon make it expendable for Ford. It was reported in this blog just last week that Kirk Kerkorian advisor, Jerome York, also said that Ford will be dumping Mercury. The Los Angeles Times reported that sales of Mercury models have dropped 23 percent so far this year. That is supposed to be the largest drop in sales of any brand other than the Hummer and Chrysler.
Why all the hubbub? Analysts say that Mercury has fallen from favor because of its look and its cost. They complain that Mercury models look too much like Ford models and sell for $4,000 less. Our take? We hope Ford knows what it's doing. Not only will the troubled automaker have to deal with closing those Mercury/Lincoln dealerships, but it must be keenly aware it'll be losing buyers to foreign imports. Don't believe us? Ask rival General Motors how many Oldsmobile owners it kept after closing the brand.