30 August 2004
She's gonna buy her a Mercury
You ask men if Mercury is high on their Desired Vehicles list, and even the Steve Miller fans laugh at you.
You ask women, and they shrug.
Ford, having asked both, has apparently decided that the guys aren't coming back indifferent sales of the now-defunct Marauder sedan, the one semi-sporty product in the line, would seem to bear this out and will now pitch Mercury vehicles more directly toward women 35 to 50.
This may be the last stand for the 65-year-old marque, which in recent years has seemed to exist only to give Lincoln dealers something to sell at lower price points. Ford is taking a fair-sized risk here, given the scorn with which gearheads tend to view "chick cars," but the new Mercurys are not likely to be wussmobiles: women are just as demanding as men when they buy, and their priorities aren't all that different. A lead foot is a lead foot, even if it's wearing a strappy sandal.