2012 Ford Focus, at 2010 Detroit Auto Show

2012 Ford Focus, at 2010 Detroit Auto Show

Last month we reported Ford CEO Alan Mulally was in full support of keeping Mercury alive and that the future of the mid-level premium brand would be in smaller cars and crossovers. Today we get confirmation that the first of Mercury’s future models is coming in 2011 and will be based on Ford’s new C-car architecture--the same platform underpinning the 2012 Ford Focus (pictured) and the U.S.-bound Ford C-MAX.

Ford is determined to spin-off 10 different models from its C-car architecture and filling out versions for Mercury--and possibly even Lincoln--would take the burden off Ford from launching all the models alone.

The information comes directly from Ford’s president of the Americas, Mark Fields, who revealed the plans during a meeting with dealers at the annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in Orlando, Florida.

"The trend toward more fuel-efficient vehicles is very important, the trend toward (small) cars in general is coming back. We are responding to that," Fields explained.

The new car is expected to be called the Mercury Tracer and should be revealed for the first time at this December’s 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, before going on sale in the following year. Some of the cars it will be competing with are the Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic and even Ford’s own Focus.

[ABC News]