Thats the thing though, if Ford needs to compete globally, they need more than two brands.
Ford competes with Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet
Mercury competes with Lexus, Infiniti, Acura
Lincoln competes with Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi
I dont see how Ford will be able to make Lincoln compete with everyone...
For one, the Lexus, Infiniti, Acura does compete with Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi. Two, Mercury was not competitive with any of these brands.
Mercury WAS a premium brand but the public at large saw exactly what people here are saying, they were re-badged Fords. Just like any other product line, if the company does not reinvest products grow stale and sales drop. The only question is whether Mercury had any premium brand quality left to save.
As part of "the way forward", many things were cut, mortgaged, or sold . Ford couldn't afford to revamp all product lines without going back to the simple re-badge idea everyone knew would fail. Sometimes you have to cut off a foot to save the leg.
Lincoln has a while before it directly competes with Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi. It's OK to use the same chassis, but body panels and interior need serious changes/upgrades. Engine intake/mount exhaust need more refinement. There is time to improve Lincoln, and bring it back to world class.