Mercury brand refresh no guarantee of future

By Automotive Staff | February 20, 2008
U.S. dealers sold 168,422 Mercurys in 2007. That’s down 6.9 percent from 2006. Meanwhile Lincoln sales were up 9.1 percent. Thus, Mercury dealers are concerned. Some have said that Ford has left them unsure about the marquee’s future. But execs at Ford Motor Co. say that they will continue to invest in it. In fact, they said, new products will be coming down the pipeline. Plans call for the updating of the powertrain on the Mercury Mariner, a small SUV, and updating and adding a hybrid version of the Milan, a mid-sized sedan. Our take? Pundits have been forecasting the end of the Mercury division for some time now. Personally, we don't see it. We know Ford is aware that, if it drops the brand, that it'll lose potential buyers to competitors like GM did when it dropped Plymouth. And the Lincoln Mercury dealers will scream bloody murder with less product, nevermind the cost to pay the suddenly single dealerships. No, we suspect Ford has plans for its middle child....
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