FoMoCo must do with Lincoln what it has done with the Ford brand

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

So that Ford Motor Co. can offset the loss of Mercury sales when this brand ends, Ford has to turn its attention to Lincoln and energize it as well as build excellent models for it.

When compared to what it has offered in the past, Lincoln has a refreshed lineup and stronger styling. Currently, Ford will have to add more volume from Lincoln to satisfy Mercury dealers, in particular those who have Lincoln-Mercury stores.

Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, said that the company has to make a very compelling case to its dealers right away. Ford's decision to end the Mercury line means that its resources can now be turned towards the Ford and Lincoln brands.

But before this, Ford would have to give up the 92,299 sales Mercury reported last year. Ford must be consistent and disciplined in product and marketing if it wants to succeed in taking Lincoln upscale. Mercury sales stand for about 50% of most Lincoln-Mercury stores' volume. Filling this gap would certainly be challenging.

Ford will keep two-thirds of its Mercury customers through the Ford brand, according to Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of Edmunds.

This is a result of the heavy cross-shopping Mercury customers have been doing with Ford products. Anwyl believes that Ford will reap success if it treats it the same way as the Ford brand. He added that Lincoln's status is similar to Ford's several years ago. He also said that Mercury's staff will only transfer to Lincoln.

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