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The glass half full

Posted by: Mark Bilek

2009 Lincoln Concept CIf you've got an ear to the ground of the automotive scene, I am sure you have heard that Ford announced it will phase out the Mercury brand over the next twelve months. It's been a long run for Mercury. The brand was founded in 1939 by Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford, to market entry-level-luxury cars. Initially, Mercury found a successful niche blending luxury and performance. Over the past decade, it developed a serious case of me-too syndrome and became home to a collection of badge-engineered Ford-clone vehicles like Milan and Mariner.

The news is not all bad at Blue Oval HQ in Dearborn, Michigan. FoMoCo plans to add seven all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles to the Lincoln lineup over the next four years, including the luxury brand's first-ever C-segment vehicle (read luxury compact). In addition, Ford is promising to develop Lincoln-exclusive powertrains including an all-new V6.

The bottom line is simple, by putting the flagging Mercury brand out to pasture, FoMoCo has the resources to reinvent Lincoln. Ford can give the luxury brand the attention it needs to once again become a realistic competitor to Cadillac and top European and Japanese luxury nameplates like Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus. Let's hope that last year's well-received Concept C is the direction Lincoln is heading . . .

Click here for more information about the Lincoln Concept C.

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