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.
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]