Ford to Relocate Lossmaking Lincoln-Mercury Marque

11 April 2002

Ford Motor Company’s venerable cash colander Lincoln-Mercury is set to undergo radical surgery, with management of the marque transferring to North America from the car giant’s London-headquartered Premier Automotive Group (which also accommodates European luxury brands Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo).

PAG boss Wolfgang Reitzle will recommend the move to Ford’s senior management “within weeks”, according to insider reports. Opined the informant: “There are more synergies from an organisational, sales and marketing standpoint from having Lincoln and Mercury as part of the North American set-up.”

Lincoln-Mercury has been hard hit by the recent stateside tsunami of auto price-cutting and lavish sales incentives, precipitating the unit from a profit of $1.2 billion (€1.36bn; £0.84bn) in 2000 to a $800m loss last year. As part of the new strategy, the European-built Mondeo could soon appear on US highways bearing a Mercury badge.

The switch is not thought likely to undermine Reitzle’s position within Ford. Not only does he serve as PAG’s chairman; he is also responsible for all Ford's marketing worldwide.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff