Last post on Jan 17, 2012 at 2:23 PM
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Mercury Cougar, Hatchback
For Cougar lovers everywhere!
#1524 of 1950 It's all about the money
Apr 07, 2002 (11:47 am)
After a quick read of the Autoweek article about Mercury possibly bringing in the Mondeo, I've pretty much come to the following conclusions:
1. Ford doesn't make cars, it (trys to) make profits and secures automotive market shares.
2. For corporations such as Ford, 6 months is a long time and 2 years is an eon. Public corporations have a strong tendency to think only on a quarter-by-quarter basis, and not for the long term. Otherwise, Mercury would have realized back in 1999 that they had a great opportunity (due to the lack of competition at that time) to establish a strong position for the Cougar (via a unique technique called marketing) and fully support the car. Instead, Ford launched a stealth advertising campaign, letting the car sell itself. That approach used to work in the 1950s, but it doesn't work now. Unfortunately, due to a complete lack of long-term planning, the other car companies saw the opportunity and moved right on in. Instead of defending the Cougar by responding with the Cougar S, Ford sat on their haunches and only made minor updates (the recent Edmunds sport coupe comparo pretty much sums up the result).
3. The marketing department at Mercury has either been laid off or lombotomized.
4. Unless Ford gets back its enthusiasim about making unique quality vehicles, it will eventually become the Sears & Roebuck of the auto industry.
Enough about that. My Cougar V6 is about 400 miles away from the 50K mile mark, and aside from a lit check engine light (which I've already diagosed to be from an emissions sensor), it has been running well.
Hope everyone is doing well, as it has been ages since I posted last. Congrats dgemini, and hope married life treats you well.
Apr 07, 2002 (5:48 pm)
Well said Bubba. As I look around at the new cars, yuk, Then I look in my garage and I see a nice looking car that was reasonable. I wonder what happened. Oh-well! I guess Mercury deserves an award for the screw-up of the decade. Only have 15K on our kitty, but no problems. Except for a chip in the front end. (Soon to be fixed) Just thinking about getting her out of winter storage, can't wait. I have to walk past it every morning when we go out the garage in the morning.
For all the people that wonder what we think of the Cougar...the car that we are driving this winter, while storing the Cougar, is a 2001 Subaru Outback. (bought new)
Hey... where is the Badman and Lefty, we are going to miss our vacation in the rain this spring.
Apr 07, 2002 (9:03 pm)
Thanks for the responses. I live North of Boston. Still looking. Maybe the Mini, maybe Honda CRV. Thought I made it thru the winter without the flu. Caught it last week. <g>
Apr 13, 2002 (7:29 am)
I will have to read the Autoweek article.
If they don't market the Mondeo properly however, they will just have another loser in sales.
If they bring the Mondeo here, and fail to market as an affordable alternative to an expensive European sports sedan, it will fail.
For example, the Ford Contour/Mercury Mystique compared quite favourably to the Volkswagen Jetta. I read comparisons where it actually beat it, for less money I might add....but the Jetta is still selling and the Contour/Mystique isn't.
The reason...lousy marketing.
#1528 of 1950 Contour/Mystique
Apr 13, 2002 (9:23 pm)
Somewhere I read an opinion that the Contour and Mystique were not marketed well because they would have taken sales from the Taurus/Sable and did not have as big a margin. Who knows?
Apr 15, 2002 (10:18 am)
Yeah, Mercury's new moto should be:
"Marketing???? What is that?"
Apr 15, 2002 (5:30 pm)
Hmmm...I haven't seen a post from Badulah or Stageleft in quite a while. When Mercury formally announced the end of the Cougar, it was a major letdown for all the folks in the CSG. Both of those guys put a serious amount of effort into the CSG(cool website, getting support from edmunds, setting up the events, etc), and I wouldn't blame them for wanting to take a break from it for awhile.
It's supposed to get into the mid-80s here in Rochester tomorrow. I suspect you'll be taking the cougar out of storage pretty soon (if you haven't already). As for myself, I may be 'forced' to bail out of work early to go for an extended ride on my other vehicle (Suzuki Bandit 1200S two-wheeler)
Apr 15, 2002 (11:39 pm)
From what I understand, people didn't want to pay just as much for a Contour as a Taurus.
Most Americans simply saw the Contour as a small family sedan, as opposed to a European style small sports sedan.
Most automag writers called the Contour with the 5 spd MTX and the V6 the American BMW 3 series!
If Ford would have marketed the Contour as a sports sedan, and compared it to other sports sedans in it's commercials (ie. Jetta, Grand Am, etc.) It would have had much better sales.
Apr 16, 2002 (6:22 am)
Yeah, but what do we know?
We're only customers!!!!
#1533 of 1950 3 Years and Counting
Apr 16, 2002 (8:23 am)
Well, my 99 Cougar turned 3 years old last week. Had the last couple of warranty related items cleaned up and now I am on my own. After MANY complaints about speakers in my "premium" stereo unit cutting out, the dealer gave me a new one. Similar to the orginal but with pushbutton volume controls rather than the rotary control. Sounds MUCH better (and no speaker problems!).
My car continues to be tight, rattle-free, and absolutely reliable. Only regular routine maintenanace and the couple of common warranty problems many 99 owners had. I am looking forward to at least another 3-4 years before I have to replace it. With the discounts that are certain to be around at the end of this model year, the Cougar is an even better value now than is was when I bought mine.