Ford recently released a Lincoln concept car that showed a new design philosophy for the whole brand, giving us hope that there’s some life left in the old dog yet. There was also a recent report that Ford may import highly-refined and slightly upmarket European models under the Mercury badge. This would be similar to what GM is doing with its Saturn brand and corresponding Opel vehicles in Europe.
Mulally also explained his trip to Tokyo as simply being a meeting with where the two giants could discuss mutual interests such as manufacturing methods, the environment, safety, and fuel economy. A merger is off the cards at the moment, but you can never say never.