A recent announcement made by a Ford executive sporting a mullet at this years NADA conference in Orlando, Florida that Mercury is getting a new product added to their geriatric line-up. In disbelief upon hearing this news report I found myself continually shaking my head and saying WHY… and put a fork in it already!
Mercury once was in its day a more highly contented vehicle that proved to have some success as being the middle of the road affordable offering between a Ford and at that time high-end luxury Lincoln product. That time has long passed and Mercury has had more issues with its identity branding than one can list. It currently provides four warmed over cosmetic changes in a Ford Division product in their offering. For example: Milan (Fusion), Mariner (Escape), Mountaineer (Explorer) and everyone’s early bird dinner special the Grand Marquis.
The sharp newly design “world car”, Ford Focus for 2011 will be bastardized to meet the screaming needs of the Mercury dealers starving for anything to help them survive. Picture a bunch of baby birds waiting for their parent to feed them some warm regurgitation to survive. The perception by most was that Ford was going to let the brand sunset and wait for dealers to drop off the vine and close before they would have to make an official announcement to avoid purchasing them out right. This roadmap provided by their CEO was to focus on the Blue Oval brand and has been working to their favor thus far.
The announcement of this small segment vehicle being added to the Mercury brand is puzzling at best seeing they are going to also bring back the lack luster name Tracer. This seems to be a departure of their naming convention with everything having to begin with a “M”, perhaps the Mercury Malaise instead of Tracer. All this to delay the inevitable “writing on the wall”, that Mercury is no longer brand that people say I can’t wait to own in this day and age. More often heard is the bewildered grumbling… Mercury still offers product, seriously?