Dealers Worried Mercury To Go The Way Of The Dodo, Waiting For A Ford Clubbing

Illustration for article titled Dealers Worried Mercury To Go The Way Of The Dodo, Waiting For A Ford Clubbing

It can't be fun to be a Lincoln Mercury dealer right now. Not only do you have to endure your Cadillac Buick dealer friends showing off their relatively diverse and unique stable of new models, but there's no clear idea of what your future is going to hold. An article in the Detroit News features various dealers of Ford's more luxurious brands worried that there's nothing new in terms of Mercury models coming down the pipeline and that they're being phased out without anyone telling them about it. Ford insists there's no current plan to drop Mercury, despite the fact that the brand has dropped in sales by more than 30% in the last two years. Ford should announce the fate of Mercury by the fourth quarter of this year and there are a few things they need to consider.

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First, it won't come as a shock that the cost of converting Fords into Mercurys isn't exactly astronomical. However, Ford has already indicated that Lincoln is planned to be the stronger of the two brands so why keep around a weak brand? Well, a big reason is that admitting Mercury is soon to be extinct will likely cause an ever greater loss in sales and an increase in lawsuits from dealers. They're not even getting a Flex derivative, so pity Jill Wagner. [DetNews]

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DISCUSSION

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Rob Emslie

Okay, for all those who felt my original post regarding the "typical" Mercury diver was a bit of a downer, how about this:

As you masterfully pilot your Grand Marquis down the sun-dappled country lane, on your way to your granddaughter's medical school graduation, you reflect on what a great life you have had so far.

Your first date with the woman who would become your wife. She all coquettish and demure, you bold and brash, having just left the Navy, and proud to be picking her up in your rakish Mercury drop-top.

Two years later, Rushing to the hospital in the Monterey with her in the passenger seat, puffing and pushing against the dash while the contractions redoubled. The darkness pierced by the Mercury's powerful highbeams, your confidence emboldened by knowing it wouldn't let you down.

Driving home - more sedately this time - in the Monterey, your wife, again by your side, your first child cradled in her arms. She looks at you, tears of joy welling in her beautiful blue eyes, and you realize Nirvana is obtainable.

That first time teaching your eldest how to drive in the Cougar. This was the only time you would regret getting the H.O. engine option. She pops the clutch, and is too timid on the gas - the cat bucks and stalls. She looks at you from under her bangs and smiles embarrassedly. It's okay you say - it's harder than it looks. Let's give it another go.

The first time you saw a Mercury Sable at the car show, and you had to ask three times if it was just for show, or would you be able to actually buy one? Later at the dealer, running your hand across its smooth sides, and marveling at the wrap-around glass, and the light bar front end. Driving home you felt like the future had arrived, and you were lucky enough to be here when it happened.

And now today, driving the big old girl, a car that you can always count on- to fit your golf clubs, to let your wife nod-off after a long day, to keep the grand kids safe while driving them to and fro.

Yes, your life has been rich, and while you never were what would traditionally considered so, you've never had to want for anything, and your life-long love of Mercury has brought you comfort and style that has been more than a man on the downward side of middle age could have asked for.

You reach forward and give the old girl a pat on the dash, mash the pedal and kick her up to 80. Yes sir, Buicks are for old fogies, but you are not that. No, not by a long shot.