Ford Officially Kills Off Mercury

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In a move that surprises no one, Ford announced this afternoon that its Mercury brand would be wound down over the coming months. Short on product and individual direction in recent years, the once-popular Mercury brand had become a shadow of its former self.

The end of the fourth quarter of 2010 will see the end of Mercury, as well, closing out 71 years of operation since its foundation as a division within Ford by Edsel Ford, the son of Henry Ford. Over the last few years, Mercury has fallen to just 0.8 percent of the U.S. market, compared to Ford's growing overall market share, up to 16 percent this year.

Mercury had once been an aspirational entry-luxury brand offering a stepping stone between Ford's mainstream products and Lincoln's more up-scale offerings. As the three brands progressed through the end of the last century and into the 21st, however, differentiation diminished and Mercury was reduced to little more than badge-engineered Ford products tarted up with some chrome and leather. Buyers overlapped almost completely between the two brands, as well.

In its heyday, however, the Mercury was the subject of not only showroom lust, but popular music, with the Mercury Blues (performed by Alan Jackson in the video below) perhaps the greatest homage to the brand ever created. Enjoy the musical sign-off to the Mercury brand, complete with a slideshow of some of the best of Mercury's cars, in the video below.

[Ford, YouTube]

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Comments (9)
  1. ☼ RIP ☼

  2. Mercury is gone. I believe Buick back to China.

  3. The only shocking thing about this was how long it took to do it

  4. I thought Mercury made boat engines?

  5. I wouldn't be surprised if Ford discovers it needs a sporty brand in the future and decides to resurrect the Mercury name. After all, it just unloaded all of its other brands. It's pretty much down to two (plus whatever stake in Mazda it has left).
    Think about it: they're going to try and apply the same brand to trucks, SUVs, people movers, youth cars, sporty cars, mid-level adult cars and the occasional GT40. It's not going to work as well as they'd like.
    I also think it didn't have to come to this. They could have pitched Mercury as Ford's green brand, much as Toyota has proposed doing with the Prius. Still, I hope it means a bit more cash for development of decent Lincolns.
    Well, time will tell.

  6. Nah Roy, they will probably bring back Edsel before the bring back Mercury

  7. I hope that doesn't mean no more Jill Wagner commercials.

  8. Lincoln will more stink more FWD cheaply models. The Godfather will big goodbye to Lincoln Town Car and currently Lincoln Navigator, The Godfather is big hello to Rolls Royce Phantom and Rolls Royce Ghost.

  9. I've been saying it would happen for years, even posted on here about it. Now the inevitable has happened. Maurader, Comet Caliente, Cyclone, Cougar: all once great names that got left in the dust as Merc became merely Fords with chromed plastic grilles. Too bad, but I won't mourn, those great names have long since passed. Mercury's story is almost exactly the same as Oldsmobile's: brands that lost their relevance due to badge engineering.
    BTW, The Steve Miller Blues Band did a killer rendition of "Mercury Blues" in 1968, and how can you forget Canned Heat?

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