This just so happens to coincide with Ford's announcement that it will build the European Ford Mondeo in North America beginning in 2010. The Mondeo is slightly smaller than the current Mercury Milan (a near identical twin of the Fusion). Ford has also announced that an all-new American-designed Ford Taurus will be sold in 2010 (which has recently been seen undergoing proving ground testing thanks to the auto spy photogs), but Ford apparently hasn't said a thing about a 2010 Sable. Therefore, the U.S. automotive press has shifted into rumor overdrive with speculation that the 2010 new Mercury will actually be a Mercury-badged version the current Mondeo.
|2008 Ford Mondeo|
In other Mercury new model news, Motor Trend is reporting that another "new Mercury should be a version of the Ford Kuga", a European Focus-based crossover -and another vehicle that Ford President Alan Mulally has promised to bring to North America in press interviews. The next-generation Ford Escape is likely to be accompanied by new Lincoln version, not a new Mercury Mountaineer. The Mercury-badged Kuga would fill the Mountaineer's spot in the Mercury model line-up.
|2008 Ford Kuga crossover|
Another European model that could possibly be rebadged as a 2011 Mercury Villager is the European Ford C-Max, a smaller but tall wagon-ish people mover. Mulally has also stated that this model will be sold in North America in the near future.
|2008 Ford C-Max|
It clearly seems that Ford is applying GM's Saturn's strategy of selling slightly modified European models (in Saturn's case, using Opel) to rapidly revive its Lincoln-Mercury division. I have to wonder if the rear-drive Australian Ford Falcon sedan will appear finally in North America as a much-needed replacement for the Mercury Grand Marquis or as a belated replacement for the Lincoln LS sedan (in XR6 Turbo format).
So, is revitalizing Mercury as Ford's version of Saturn - utilizing GM's model strategy - really a good idea? Will the European Ford "kinetic" influenced styling work with the more conservative tastes of North American buyers? Your thoughts please, fellow motorheads?
[Edited 2008-08-03 18:56:31]
[Edited 2008-08-03 19:04:16]