Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The End of the Mercury Brand

This morning I was driving behind a 70's era Grand Marquis, one of those huge hunks of metal that you wouldn't believe could be made in an era of gasoline shortages. But still the Mercury Grand Marquis was just a rebranded Ford LTD. In fact, I don't remember Mercury having its unique model in the modern era. So, it is understandable that it might be time for the brand to go.

I appreciate creative destruction and some serious destruction was necessary in the US auto industry.

I've never really understood the real business reasons for throwing some different chrome or taillights along with a new badge on a car and calling it something else. If the manufacturer sold all of the models under one brand, without all of the changes, the efficiencies would grow and they should be cheaper to make. Instead they make redundant models that sell at different dealers. And good luck convincing someone that they should pay more for a rebranded Ford.

So, despite the sentimental attachment we may have to brands, sometimes it is just time for them to go.

1 comment:

  1. About the only smart thing GM has done in the past ten years is killing off Pontiac and Olds, both of which were just the same switch-the-nameplate scam that characterizes most of the company's brands. (Particularly strange, given Pontiac's legendary 1960s rep for muscle cars, that GM chose to degrade the brand so severely.) Ford must have realized the same thing with Mercury - it's redundant and expensive to maintain a separate brand that really doesn't offer anything different from your other brands.

    Congrats on the MBA, by the way. I hope you'll find it to be more long-term beneficial than my MBA has been.