MI Mercury dealers learn the truth hurts. After many instances of skirting around the issue, Ford finally announces the end of a long-standing brand. Mercury is officially done.
Online PR News – 04-June-2010 – – DETROIT, M.I. – MI Mercury dealers found out Wednesday, June 3, Ford is letting go of its Mercury brand after 71 years. The announcement came during a webcast and sales briefing held by Ford. According to the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News, Ford will end production most likely in the final three months of this year.
“This decision was really an outcome of an extensive product plan study that we do each spring,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas, in a quote obtained by the Detroit Free Press. “We don’t take this decision lightly.”
Ford promises to compensate MI Mercury dealers and that no jobs will be lost as a result of the decision, but the exact details of how MI Mercury dealers will be compensated are currently unknown. Additionally, the compact car MI Mercury dealers were hoping for will now become a Lincoln compact car.
It should come as no surprise considering Mercury captured less than 1 percent of the U.S. Market share, and sold a meager 92,000 models last year.
Even though many bloggers and automotive industry insiders have long been predicting the fate of the brand, Ford was tight-lipped whenever directly asked about Mercury. According to the NY Times, “As recently as Tuesday, Ford’s chief executive, Alan R. Mulally, said he had nothing new to report about Mercury, whose demise has been rumored for years.”
Ford said in a press release that MI Mercury owners “will receive continued access to parts and service support at Ford and Lincoln dealers. Also, “current Mercury vehicle warranties and extended service plans will be honored” and there will be promotions and “offers on new Mercury vehicles through the summer.”
Mercury is the latest American brand to get the axe. With no attention now needed for Mercury, MI Lincoln dealers should feel somewhat comforted that Ford will be focusing its energies on the Lincoln brand.
Ford also stated in the press release that it had “notified Mercury dealers of the decision and provided details of a financial package that includes payment in exchange for resigning the franchise.”
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[Source(s): Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, NY Times]