Shoes 2013

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The following information includes personal speculation on my part, filling in the gaps on what the Ford Motor Company has already mentioned about its Mercury brand.

When it comes to automotive brands, a number of them are "damaged" having been neglected for many years. General Motors, has several including Pontiac, Saturn and Hummer while the Ford Motor Company has Mercury, a line of vehicles its sells alongside its Lincoln line. As recently as 2007, Ford appeared prepared to consider dropping Mercury but reconsidered that move at the insistence of its current CEO, Alan Mulally. Mulally has insisted that Ford keep Mercury going, changing the brand into a small car retailer which will take Mercury in a fresh direction.

To that end, we offer the following thoughts on how Mercury will look by 2013:

Good-Bye Large Vehicles - Mercury still sells several larger vehicles but that will soon change as the brand transitions to a small car brand. The aged Grand Marquis, capable Mountaineer and stylish Sable will all go away. The Sable will end production in 2009, the Mountaineer in 2010 and the Grand Marquis by 2011.

Milan Flagship - The largest vehicle in the Mercury fleet will be the Milan which itself is a twin to the Ford Fusion. Mercury will keep the sedan as both it and the Milan Hybrid offer a cheaper alternative to Lincoln's smallest sedan, the MKZ.

Mariner Marches On - The Mariner and Mariner Hybrid's place in the Mercury fleet is unknown, but could face the ax if Ford decides to concentrate on the Escape only. The Escape and Mariner are twins, but the Mercury model will become vulnerable if sales slip. I expect that the Mariner will survive.

Return of the Capri - Back in the 1970s and 1980s, a small coupe by the name of the "Capri" was sold by Mercury. At times it was the only truly unique car to the brand while at other times it was the Mercury twin to the Ford Mustang. Look for Ford to utilize the next generation Focus or Fiesta platform to design a car that is exclusive to Mercury.

Intro of a City Car - Ford says that as many as six of its European designed models will be sold in North America, but hasn't outlined each one. The Transit Connect, Fiesta and Focus are definite bets with the C-Max and Kuga suggested as two others. One model that hasn't been mentioned but could be just right for Mercury is the Ford Ka, a city car that seats four and is about the size of the Smart Fortwo.

All Electric Model - Ford has said that an electric car will be offered by 2012, but hasn't mentioned what that vehicle might be. Speculation is that it'll be an electrified Fusion while others have said that it  might be an all new model sharing the Focus' platform. No matter, if Ford dealers get the car then Mercury will see its own version too.

When all is said and done, Mercury may have as few as three model lines to sell but more likely will have as many as five. Together with Lincoln, the most exciting car dealerships in the country could be Lincoln-Mercury dealers who will have a good mix of luxury, premium, standard and entry level models for customers to consider.

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