23
Jul
08

Mercury to play “integral part” in Ford’s small-car plan

In a faltering U.S. automotive market experiencing record losses, it’s no big surprise Ford Motor Company is making drastic companywide changes. Most recently, The New York Times and other outlets have been reporting that the Blue Oval is expected to officially announce its small-car strategy on Thursday during a quarterly sales meeting. New details of the plan include Ford’s utilization of the struggling Mercury brand as an integral channel in which the automaker will market its upcoming small-car lineup. 

In the report citing sources close to the matter, a conversion of three of Ford’s North American truck plants to car manufacturing is expected by 2010. Six of Dearborn’s European compact cars will be manufactured for the U.S. market beginning with the newly redesigned Fiesta and Focus. Production of the current Focus will be increased by an unknown amount in order to meet a growing demand for fuel efficient small cars. The retooling of two V-8 engine plants to make way for the building of smaller, more efficient four and six-cylinder EcoBoost units will be undertaken as well.

Many of the changes CEO Alan Mulally and his executive team have gradually made over the past few months may seem obvious given the nation’s economic situation. But the possible revival of the Mercury brand, which many believe was going to be left for dead, is an interesting twist to the automaker’s critical restructuring plans. No details other than comments from unnamed sources have been disclosed, but it seems likely the brand will receive a second chance at life and will be maintained to distribute the planned higher amounts of Ford’s compact models slated for the U.S. marketplace.

Stay tuned to MT Online for more information on Ford’s official small-car strategy in the coming days.

Source: The New York Times

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