RUSH: This is Karen in Henderson, Nevada, which (pause) is Las Vegas!
CALLER: Hello, Rush.
RUSH: How are you, Karen?
CALLER: I’m fine. It’s an honor to speak with you.
RUSH: Thank you!
CALLER: I was gonna mention, earlier in the show you were talking how Ford’s going to come to the Michigan plant?
CALLER: I just think it’s so great for America to have that opportunity to have more jobs. But also, at the same time, I’m kind of nervous about the electric car thing because, um, we were always Ford Mercury drivers, and when they went with all the electric cars during the Obama administration, there was a whole bunch of us that got X’d. Because actually there was a really large group that’s fans of the Mercury Ford, and they don’t make ’em anymore. They just stopped making ’em — and we still have ours. Ours is 14 years old.
RUSH: Okay, now, wait. I want to make sure I understand. There’s the Ford brand, there’s the Lincoln brand, and there used to be a Mercury brand. Are you talking about the brand or are you talking about a vehicle called the Ford Mercury?
CALLER: I’m talking about like the Mercury Cougar, the Mercury Grand Marquis, y’know?
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: And they don’t make those anymore. They stopped making them, and I think part of it was they were influenced by the Obama administration.
CALLER: I think they just wanted to get the electric, go-green stuff going, and they used Ford —
CALLER: — to get ’em in there. But they actually X’d a bunch of us when they did that.
RUSH: By “X’d,” you mean eliminated you as customers because you didn’t want to buy anything that didn’t say Mercury on it?
CALLER: Yeah. Because, like I said, we’ve been in the same car for 14 years.
RUSH: What did you like about the Mercury as opposed to the Lincoln version of the car or the Ford version of the car?
CALLER: What is that?
RUSH: Well, let me use General Motors as an example.
RUSH: This is, in fact, going way, way back here to the seventies and eighties, I think, is when General Motors got in trouble.
RUSH: There was the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird, and they were the same car. Exact same car, same engine. They just had a little different grills. The Pontiac had a little different look than the Camaro did, but they were generally the same. The Impala had a Buick version; they didn’t call it the Impala. It was the Buick whatever it was. And every General Motor car other than the… Even some of the Cadillacs looked like the Chevrolets and the Buicks.
RUSH: And they did it because it was much cheaper if you only have to make one body style for five brands, it’s much cheaper than designing five different body styles and manufacturing different brands and so forth. But the problem with it, I always, thought if you’re gonna buy — and GM had a tiered system. It was Chevrolet and then Buick and then Oldsmobile and Cadillac. If you bought an Oldsmobile that looked just like a Chevy, why buy it?
CALLER: Yes. (chuckles)
RUSH: And I think you can trace some of General Motors problems there. I thought… Doesn’t Ford do that? Doesn’t…? Isn’t whatever…? Like say, the Ford Falcon… Well, that’s old. That doesn’t exist.
RUSH: Pick your favorite Ford car. Isn’t there a Mercury version of it, or were they entirely different cars from the Fords?
CALLER: Well (sigh), we were gonna do a Lincoln, but even those are no longer being made. So I know our car’s on… We got about 230, 225 — somewhere around there — thousand miles. My husband said they’re known to go out around 200, but he’s a good car maintenance guy, so we keep fixing it.
RUSH: Yeah. I’ll tell you what this is. This is one of the greatest examples of brand power that I can give you.
RUSH: For some reason, the Mercury brand, you loved it.
RUSH: You trusted it. You believed in it.
CALLER: And the full-steel frame!
CALLER: I had somebody hit me once; I’m still here. (chuckles)
RUSH: Yeah. Right. Right. And you’ think in the Ford car, you might have been injured?
CALLER: Yes. Well, when I was coming home this morning after I dropped my husband at work, a person turned right from the inside lane; and, boom! He got hit from an oncoming car. The pieces were flying like an explosion everywhere.
CALLER: I’m like, “Oh, my God. When I buy a car new, I’m buying a huge one.”
RUSH: I can’t believe we’re talking about accidents on the EIB Network. This is a first. Well, I’m glad you’re safe.
RUSH: Does Mercury not make anything that you can buy now that you want to buy?
CALLER: I have no idea, because I just don’t know the whole car industry, with all the CAFE standards —
RUSH: Okay. So you have a Mercury now and you’re holding it.
CALLER: Yeah. Yes.
RUSH: If you can’t buy another Mercury, what are you gonna buy?
CALLER: That’s what we don’t know. Because all the car industry is like… When we go out of town we have to rent one, and I don’t know what to do ’cause —
CALLER: — they’re all like tin cans now.
RUSH: Well, that’s a different story. But, Karen, if I were to tell you that the steel and the body and the suspension in your Mercury is identical to what’s in a Ford, would you believe me or think I’m wrong?
CALLER: It’s you I would believe. I would believe you, absolutely. (laughs)
RUSH: ‘Cause my point is, you could probably buy a Ford or a Lincoln. If it looks enough like the Mercury you like, then you might be getting very close to the same car, even though they might not make it under the Mercury brand anymore. You should look into that.
CALLER: That’s what I’ll do then.
RUSH: Go to a Ford or Mercury dealership. Are Mercury sold at Ford dealerships?
CALLER: I’m not sure.
RUSH: Yeah, it’s been a long time since you bought one ’cause this is lasting you so long. Well, I appreciate the call. This is fascinating. She’s all excited that Ford is expanding but she can’t buy her favorite Mercury. Folks, I’m not kidding. This is a great illustration of the power of branding. Have you ever wondered why people back in the seventies wore two-tone, Army green leisure suits and thought they looked good? And yet they did! I saw ’em all over the place. You look at that and said, “Where in the world did you buy that? Why — when you got up today — did you want to put that on?” They thought it looked good.
You thought it looked a bowling alley; they thought it looked good. So taste is… There’s no accounting for it. It’s all personal. But the power of branding, particularly when it comes to automobiles, is overwhelming. You go back to the seventies and eighties with the General Motor situation I was describing? Literally, folks, the Camaro and Firebird were identical cars but you’d so have the Firebird buyers, the Pontiacs, “No way I’m I buying that Camaro!” ” It’s the same car.” “Nooooo, it is not. That is a Chevy and mine is a Pontiac.”
Brand power is fascinating, and the Mercury brand appeals to Karen here. So Karen, we’ll tell Trump ’cause he’s talking to the Ford people. If there are enough people here that are interested in the Mercury, Ford’s interested in selling them. You never know what’s gonna happen here. But I predict you’re gonna be able to find something that’s close to what you want, regardless what they do with the brand. I appreciate the call. I really do.