Ford announced today that it will shut its Mercury brand and cease production by the fourth quarter of 2010. The move is meant to further streamline Ford’s portfolio; the company has sold off other nameplates, including Range Rover and Jaguar and most recently Volvo. Ford said it will refocus its attention on the premium Lincoln brand instead, mirroring efforts from Toyota with its Lexus line or Honda and Acura.
All current Mercury owners can have their vehicles serviced at existing Lincoln or Ford dealers, and all warranties will be honored, Ford says. If you’re looking for a bargain on a Mercury, the company says it will roll out incentives for new Mercury models throughout the summer.
Mercury’s sales were down 10.7% in May. Lincoln’s sales were down 9.5%, while Ford vehicles were up 27.9%.
As for Lincoln’s future, Ford said there would be seven new or refreshed models over the next four years, including the 2011 MKX but not the MKZ hybrid due out later this year. That leaves six new models, one of which will be based on the upcoming 2011 Ford Focus and will likely resemble the Lincoln C concept car.
Ford also revealed what it would add to future Lincolns to differentiate them more from Ford products, a factor that led to many complaints about Mercury simply being more expensive Fords.
Here is a list of the Lincoln plans, taken from Ford’s press release on the Mercury shutdown:
- Lincoln’s first 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 lineup 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