We don't have anything in stone yet, but Bloomberg is reporting that Ford executives may be planning to shut down its little-known and flailing Mercury brand. The closure would mark the end of almost 71 years in the business for Edsel Ford's Mercury brand.
The move makes good business sense, however, as Mercury's sales have been in the tank for a full decade now, and with little to no new product in sight outside of a "small car" promised for 2011--itself little more than a derivative of the upcoming Focus sedan, but pegged to get the Tracer tag.
Beyond the oft-delayed Tracer, however, the product landscape for Mercury is essentially a desert. Heavily badge-engineered vehicles have proven over the last 10 years that they're not going to work, and investing in substantially new cars for the small-volume, low-equity brand isn't a justifiable position.
That leaves Ford with the decision to limp it along as it has for the past several years or finally tail it off and cut its losses. And that's apparently exactly what CEO Alan Mulally is planning to do, according to Bloomberg. The sources are unnamed people "familiar with the plan."
We'll keep you up to date on the latest happenings as Mercury nears the chopping block, and you can get even more detail on the situation over at TheCarConnection.