Ford to Kill the Mercury Brand
If true, the move is rather expected than surprising. Created in 1939 by Edsel Ford, the brand was kept out of the mainstream automotive market for years. Its future began getting darker back in 2006, way sooner than the economic crisis struck. Then the company's new CEO, Allan Mulally, began considering phasing the brand out and even made plans for this.
It took Mulally some four years to make himself heard by Ford's chairman, William C. Ford Jr.. According to The Wall Street Journal, Mulally also managed to convince another Ford family member, Elena, until recently a strong opposer of killing Mercury.
Analysts believe killing Mercury is not a bad move, and is even recommended by the current market conditions.
“For years Ford executives have been asked why they keep Mercury, but they had been adamant about keeping the brand for reasons that are unclear and now, apparently, dismissible,” Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for Edmunds told AutoObserver.
“Clearly, it is more cost-effective to focus precious marketing dollars on fewer brands. Seemingly in preparation for this announcement, Ford had significantly cut back on Mercury marketing money of late.”
The Mercury killing would make for the fifth brand to have bit the dust in the last ten years, after Plymouth, Pontiac, Saturn and Oldsmobile.