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Ford to rebrand Mercury line

July 26, 2008 at 2:30 PM   |   Comments

DETROIT, July 26 (UPI) -- Ford Motor Co. plans to rebrand its Mercury line as an entry-level luxury car, senior executives say.

Mercury will offer smaller cars and crossovers, while the company's Lincoln brand will only offer larger automobiles, The Detroit News reported Saturday.

"Mercury and Lincoln will complement each other," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's global product chief. "Lincoln will start with mid-sized sedans and move up from there."

The newspaper reported that previously Ford planned to scuttle the Mercury brand while expanding its Lincoln division.

Dealers, however, were skeptical, noting Mercury brings a different demographic into the showroom than other Ford brands, the newspaper reported.

"Mercury brings a younger, more female customer than the Ford brand," Kuzak said. "We're focusing (Mercury) very much on small, fuel-efficient products."

Chris Lemley, who owns several Lincoln-Mercury dealerships the Boston, area said he was intrigued by the plan.

"Not only is some product news better than no product news, but some Mercury strategy is better than not having one," he said. "I think there are some definite pluses. Many people don't realize that while Mercury's heritage is in large cars, the division has sold small ones successfully, too."

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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