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http://www.autonews.com/news.cms?newsId=4438 (may need password)
Mercury Marauder sales fall short of goals
Reuters / January 29, 2003
DETROIT - The Mercury Marauder, Ford Motor Co.'s attempt to spice up its Mercury brand with a nostalgic muscle car, has not lived up to expectations for sales so far.
After setting an annual target of 18,000 vehicles, Mercury sold 2,910 of the rear-wheel-drive sedans to customers between July and December last year, according to Mercury officials. Mercury is now offering a $3,000 rebate or 0-percent financing on the Marauder, the same incentives it offers for the aging Mercury Grand Marquis sedan it is based on.
Mercury executives say that while sales of the full-size cars may not have hit original estimates, the Marauder has lured younger buyers into Lincoln-Mercury showrooms. Philip Smoker, the Marauder's brand manager, said the average age of the car's buyers was 51, versus 69 for the 2003 version of the Grand Marquis.
"I think the Marauder has been and is successful because it's a niche product. It's this enthusiast niche that is buying this particular vehicle," Smoker said. "When we look at the demographics of Marauder buyer, it's right in line with where we have targeted the product."
But industry experts say the Marauder, named for a Mercury muscle car from the late 1960s, hasn't sold because it doesn't have enough power or sophistication for its price, and too many customers see it as just another Grand Marquis.
"While in concept it's a good idea, in execution the car is woefully short of anything they have any right to promote as a serious enthusiasts' car," said Jim Wangers, an auto industry consultant.
The Marauder was supposed to herald a renaissance at Mercury, the overlooked middle child of Ford's domestic brand lineup. Ford Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford Jr. has committed to reviving Mercury, and the unit will unveil four new vehicles over the next few years.
In addition to a minivan dubbed Monterey coming this year, Ford executives also have pledged Mercury variants of the Ford Five Hundred sedan and Freestyle wagon due out in 2004, as well as a Mercury version of the Ford Escape SUV.
Early reviews of the $34,000 Marauder were mostly positive, although a few took note that its 305-horsepower V-8 engine and automatic transmission combined with its weight of more than two tons gave it a zero-to-60 mph time of about 7.5 seconds, not much better than some V-6-powered family sedans.
The Marauder was also offered only in black until recently, a move that likely limited its popularity in warmer parts of the United States where black is an unpopular color for vehicles. Smoker said Mercury had just started offering dark blue Marauders and would offer three new colors this year.
Including last year's sales, Smoker said Mercury hoped to move about 12,000 Marauders through the end of the model year. While no engine upgrades are planned, Smoker said new options for the Marauder, including traction control and a moonroof, would help boost sales.
"The success I see is that it's very successful in bringing new customers into the showroom," Smoker said. "I couldn't be happier."
Art Spinella, an industry sales analyst with CNW Marketing Research, said there was demand for a full-size, rear-wheel-drive performance car, but that the Marauder was not the right answer.
"It captures the name of what the original product was, but it doesn't capture the essence," Spinella said. "This is just a half-hearted attempt at nostalgia. They would have been much better off doing it the right way."

 
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Re: Mercury Marauder Sales Fall Short of Goals (CJ Jack)

It could be that the Marauder is a half-hearted effort; it could also be that Mercury needs to put down in general. I personally think it's a little from column a, and a little from column b.
 

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Re: Mercury Marauder Sales Fall Short of Goals (CJ Jack)

After seeing one in the flesh last summer, I was impressed, but not overwhelmed. I suppose they did what they could with it, but there were some limiting factors:

  1. Price. $34k?! Try $24K or even $26K and then you're talking.
  2. Interior quality. You can have a *really nice* car for $34 grand. Why such a chintzy interior?
  3. Power. A slightly tired Impala SS will still eat its lunch
  4. Diff ratio. This would've been a whole other car with a shorter final drive (say 3.73 instead of 3.55)

Overall, it just isn't the car the Impala was...
 

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Re: Mercury Marauder Sales Fall Short of Goals (bgluckman)

Ford should stop kidding itself and get serious about this cars performance. Just as with the cobra of the last few years, the package doesnt deliver the goods enthusiasts demand in niche performance vehicles. The 2003 Cobra and Lightning show Ford can produce successful muscle cars when they want to. Of course, you can always buy a used crown vic cop car, paint it black and add a supercharger, better performing result at a fraction of the cost.
 

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Re: Mercury Marauder Sales Fall Short of Goals (HarryC)

No surprise at all.....
Mercury should off the bat have put in a 390hp (minimum) engine.....at $35k they could have done it (Supercharge it, whatever).
It's the awful performance numbers that killed Marauder sales, most people who were considering this car wanted it to be relatively quick.
I like the car, sat in at the dealer...the interior is fine if the car had power, I could deal.
Well look at it this way, if you want one....with $3k back from the factory, not to mention dealer discounting. You'll have a nice chunk of change left over to contribute to your Kenny Brown fund.
http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif




[Modified by Beltfed, 2:08 PM 1-29-2003]
 

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Re: Mercury Marauder Sales Fall Short of Goals (Beltfed)

Yep, they've got a line of 'em at a dealer near where I work. All of them have "reduced" written on the windshields. On another non-selling note. My friend who works at the local Mercury/ Lincoln dealer was surprised when he saw a Lincoln Blackwood finally leave the lot. He thought they finally sold the POS. It was just the dealer owner driving it for the day...
 

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Re: Mercury Marauder Sales Fall Short of Goals (mtrainVR6)

how many impala ss cars were sold? that number is very relavent.
i think this car has taken a bad rap about performance. it's still a BIG car, and it has been tested to run high 14s in the 1/4. and i think the brakes and handling are right in line with where they should be, considering who is buying them and what the customer wants the car to do. the interior is nice IMO. maybe it's just bad marketing, maybe it costs too much, but i still think it's a cool car. making other colors available is kind of like selling out, but hopefully the colors will still be very dark, like the impala.
 

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Re: Mercury Marauder Sales Fall Short of Goals (sar4497)

quote:[HR][/HR]how many impala ss cars were sold? that number is very relavent. [HR][/HR]​
Granted, but how are those cars maintaining their value? My gf's dad got one for ~$20k back in '96, and with 40k miles on it, he could easily get $18k out of it even today.
That's outrageously low depreciation for any car. The Marauder hasn't a chance of holding its value that well, especially now that the incentive game is on...
 

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Re: Mercury Marauder Sales Fall Short of Goals (TLP2)

quote:[HR][/HR]Hell he said it attracted younger buyers then I read 51
and then the average 69
[HR][/HR]​
Like I said once before...
In case you don't like your Marquis in Grandma-Style, you can now have it in Spiffy-Grandma-Style.

The low sales do not surprise me at all. Actually, what surprises me is that they're as HIGH as they are.
 

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Re: Mercury Marauder Sales Fall Short of Goals (CJ Jack)

Marauder started quite a debate when it first announced here in Lounge back in 2001. Most people seem to love it here because of its performance and stealth black looks. If Ford lowered the price and promote this car more, it would probably sold a bit more.
 

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Re: Mercury Marauder Sales Fall Short of Goals (Firequacker VW)

i've never seen one on the road yet.. its actually a decent looking car, might be too hip for those 69 year olds =]
 

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Re: Mercury Marauder Sales Fall Short of Goals (Firequacker VW)

i recall this car run low 15s. that's probably slower then a 1.8T jetta....so where is the "muscle" in the Marauder , if that's its primary selling point??
 

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Re: Mercury Marauder Sales Fall Short of Goals (rawk)

For the people "worried" about resale value...
IF you are out there, looking for a sports sedan, muscle sedan, hell whatever that you are looking for and are going to keep it for the rest of your life why worry about "resale value" if you are not going to get rid of it?
 
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