The Mercury Mountaineer SUV is expected to be discontinued next yearEnlarge Photo
Ford's juggling of its two luxury brands Mercury and Lincoln has seen the Blue Oval attempting to figure out where to place them in the market--and while Lincoln will be going more upmarket, Mercury is expected to get rid of its larger models and focus on smaller mid-sized cars and crossovers. Expected forthcoming decisions to get rid of large cars such as the Mercury Grand Marquis sedan and the Mercury Mountaineer SUV will be part of a larger Blue Oval strategy to make the company’s cars smaller and more fuel efficient.
More importantly, at least in terms of the company’s future viability, is that the consolidation of Mercury nameplates will see a greater preponderance of cars sitting on Ford's global platforms, which should be good for the Blue Oval’s bottom line.
With the Grand Marquis expected to be dumped in 2011 and the Mountaineer SUV disappearing a year earlier, Mercury will be able to focus on a new compact car based on the Ford Focus
. The Mercury model will be sold as a four-door sedan and production is expected to begin by the end of 2010 or early 2011, reports Automotive News
In 2013, Mercury's Milan mid-size vehicle will be moving on to Ford's global mid-size platform, which will also underpin the Ford Fusion, Ford Mondeo and Lincoln MKZ. This move should bring production costs down for Ford and also allow it to ship these products globally. Finally, Mercury will also be a getting a redesigned variant of the Mercury Mariner crossover at the end of 2011. This car is expected to sit on Ford's global small-car platform, which remains front-wheel-drive.