Ford to drop Mercury, expand Lincoln
1939 Mercury Eight
1949 Mercury wagon
1967 Mercury Cougar
1977 Mercury Marquis Brougham
Looking back at Mercury:
1939: The first model, the Mercury 8, goes into
production. It sold for (USD) $916 and boasted a 95 horsepower V8. Sales for the first year total 65,884
1945: Lincoln-Mercury Division was established.
1950: The one-millionth Mercury, one of 293,658 vehicles manufactured by the division this
year, rolls off the production line.
1953: The height of Mercury’s success came this year when the division held 5 per cent total
1955: Lincoln-Mercury becomes two separate divisions.
1957: Lincoln-Mercury division is recombined.
1958: Mercury, Edsel and Lincoln division are joined to form M-E-L (Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln)
Division. Lincoln-Mercury Division is reformed in 1959 with the discontinuation of the Edsel.
1975: Grand Marquis nameplate introduced and goes on to become Mercury’s longest running,
best-selling nameplate, with more than 2.7 million units sold.
2010: The Mercury line-up consists of four models – the Milan, Mariner, Grand Marquis and
Mountaineer. In 2010, Mercury holds 0.8 per cent market share in the US.
8th June, 2010
- Ford will cease production of Mercury vehicles in the fourth quarter of this year
- Ford is expanding its Lincoln line-up with seven all-new or significantly
refreshed vehicles in the next four years – including its first-ever C-segment vehicle
Ford Motor Company will expand and enhance its Lincoln brand with seven all-new or significantly
refreshed vehicles in the next four years as part of a growth plan focussed on product design,
technology and new powertrains – all aimed at competing with Cadillac and Lexus in North America.
Ford will end production of Mercury vehicles in the fourth quarter of this year to fully devote
its financial, product development, production and marketing, sales and service resources toward
further growing its core Ford brand while enhancing the Lincoln brand.
“We have made tremendous progress on profitably growing the Ford brand during the past few
years. Now, it is time to do the same for Lincoln,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The
Americas. “The new Lincoln vehicles will transform luxury for North American premium customers
through an unexpected blend of responsive driving enjoyment and warm, inviting comfort. We will
also offer our customers a world-class retail experience through a vibrant retail network.”
Lincoln’s hallmarks will be refined, modern design, the most fuel-efficient premium powertrains
and industry-leading technology that provide a unique driver experience both in the cabin and on
“Profitably growing Lincoln in North America is an important part of our One Ford plan,”
said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. “Our Ford brand is gaining momentum and winning
customers around the world. Now, we are going to use the same laser focus to further strengthen
Lincoln and deliver even more products luxury customers really want and value.”
The future of Lincoln is building from a strong base that includes the all-new flagship MKS
large sedan, the all-new MKT seven-passenger crossover and a significantly refreshed MKZ mid-size
sedan – all now in showrooms. The hybrid version of the MKZ will reach showrooms later this year
and is expected to be the most fuel efficient premium sedan on the market.
Lincoln’s product actions continue later this year with the debut of the significantly refreshed
2011 MKX crossover, the first vehicle to feature MyLincoln Touch driver connect technology.
This will be followed by another six all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles within four
years developed with Lincoln’s 'DNA' of standout design, precise and confident driving experience,
class-leading technology and powertrains delivering top performance and fuel efficiency.
Lincoln will be led by expanded product development and marketing, sales and service teams to
support the brand’s growth plan and ensure it has a strong cadence of distinct products that are
well positioned in the market. Plans for Lincoln include:
- Lincoln’s first-ever C-segment vehicle
- New Lincoln-exclusive powertrains, including an all-new V-6 engine and advanced fuel-efficient transmissions
- EcoBoost engines available in all Lincolns – from the Navigator full-size SUV to the new C-segment Lincoln
- Fuel economy leadership with each new vehicle – leading to Lincoln emerging as the most fuel-efficient luxury
line-up on the market
- More useful technology and features than any other competitor – with a special focus on comfort
and convenience. New advanced features include: fully retractable glass roofs; adaptive
computer-controlled suspensions; electronic, push-button gear-selectors; active noise control; and
exclusive MyLincoln Touch driver connect technology
“Lincoln vehicles will reward drivers with smooth, effortless power complemented by agile handling
and responsive steering,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president, Global Product Development.
“The cabin is a sanctuary with segment-leading quietness, genuine materials and intuitive, useful
Lincoln has started gaining traction with customers, as evidenced by market share gains during the past
five years. Lincoln’s share of the retail U.S. luxury vehicle market has grown from 4.5 per cent in 2005
to 6.3 per cent through the first quarter of 2010.
In addition, Lincoln’s reputation with consumers has risen, with favourable opinion and purchase
consideration reaching its highest level in the past five years. Lincoln’s long-term durability was second
only to Porsche’s in the 2010 J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Survey.
Mercury was originally set-up as a premium offering to Ford and was an important source of incremental
sales. However, the continued strength of the Ford brand – particularly during the past three years – has
accelerated the migration from Mercury to Ford for many customers.
Today, Mercury’s customer profile, pricing and margins are almost identical to Ford, but Mercury’s
incremental sales have been declining.
The majority of current Mercury sales are to fleet buyers and customers purchasing through employee,
retiree and friends and family discounts, which Ford anticipates can be largely satisfied by Ford brand
Of Ford Motor Company’s 16 per cent market share in the U.S., Mercury accounts for 0.8 percentage points,
a level that has been flat or declining for the past several years. That contrasts with the Ford brand,
which has increased market share by 2.2 percentage points so far this year on the strength of new products
and improved quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.
Ford’s strengthening financial position – including the return to profitability and positive cash flow –
allows the company to absorb short-term costs associated with the discontinuation of Mercury and to
consolidate future product investments into Lincoln.
Today, there are no stand-alone Mercury dealerships remaining in North America. Ford is working closely
with dealers to maintain properly located stand-alone Lincoln or Ford-Lincoln dealers, which will offer
dealers and the company the greatest opportunity for long-term profitable growth.
New operational standards developed with the company’s dealers will facilitate a Lincoln customer
experience that exceeds the expectations of North American luxury customers.
Ford will work closely with Mercury dealers and customers during the transition, including providing
existing Mercury owners with continued access to parts and service support at Ford and Lincoln dealers and
by honouring current warranties, including Ford’s Extended Service Plans.
“We are 100 per cent committed to supporting Mercury owners through Ford and Lincoln dealerships and
working hard to keep them as valued customers in the future,” Fields said. “At the same time, we
will work closely with our dealers to phase out Mercury franchises and continue to build a healthy,
growing Lincoln with strong new products and a profitable dealer network that delivers a world-class