Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ford kills Mercury, will make Lincoln the most efficient luxury brand

Lincoln Concept C

Ford Motor Company is finally getting serious about making Lincoln a top notch premium brand to compete with the likes of Lexus and Cadillac. To make that happen, the Blue Oval will introduce seven all new or heavily refreshed models to the Lincoln lineup in the next four years, each of which it claims will have segment-leading fuel efficiency.

245 Ford's plans for Lincoln include offering Ecoboost engines in every model as well as new exclusive powerplants and advanced transmissions. Ford has already previously committed to having six-speed automatic transmissions in all of its models by 2012 and the rejuvenated Lincolns will likely be the first to move to seven- or eight-speed gearboxes. Even the massive Navigator full-size SUV will get an Ecoboost V6 sometime after it debuts in the F150 pickup truck later this year.

This announcement also brings confirmation that Lincoln will get its first ever C-segment vehicle built on the next-generation Ford Focus platform. That car may be based on the Concept C that was shown at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. Lincoln is also getting its hybrid this fall when the MKZ hybrid goes on sale.

In order to free up the engineering resources to put all of this effort into Lincoln, Ford finally bit the bullet today and pulled the plug on the Mercury brand. Mercury hasn't had an exclusive model since the Cougar was discontinued in 2002, and its sales have dropped by more than 70 percent in the past several years. Mercury production will end later this year.

Source: Green Autoblog