Ford Kills Mercury – An End of an Era

2008 Mercury Milan and Mountaineer
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Ford CEO Alan Mulally has convinced members of the Ford family to let him kill off one of the company’s oldest brands, the 71-year-old Mercury. Mulally will soon seek official approval from Ford’s board to pull the plug, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Mercury was created in 1939 by Edsel Ford, as a step between cheaper Ford models and pricey Lincolns, but it lost its identity over the years: By the ’80s, Mercury models were little more than Fords outfitted with different grilles and tail lights.

With sales in a sharp tailspin—only 92,299 were sold last year, down from 359,143 in 2000—Mulally decided to consign the brand, to the scrapheap. Mercury, which currently has only two models, the Milan and the Mariner, “is a brand that has lost its meaning in the American automotive marketplace,” says Edmunds.com‘s CEO, “and it isn’t worth trying to change that.”

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Posted by on May 29, 2010. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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5 Responses to Ford Kills Mercury – An End of an Era

  1. Holte Ender

    May 29, 2010 at 11:24 am

    You have to support what Ford is doing, they didn’t take any money from us, and have been steadily increasing their sales on certain models, keeping a brand around because it’s part of the furniture doesn’t work any more.

  2. Randal Graves

    May 29, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I don’t think a Lay-Z-Mercury would fit in my house.

  3. Krell

    May 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Mercury had lost it’s brand distinction a long time ago.

    Back in the 50’S and 60’S, a time when many would consider the BIG 3 domination of the US market, they actually had the car brands marketed to a social class.

    You started out with a Chevy
    Then you got a Buick or Oldsmobile when you moved up.
    Then when you had “made it” in your career, you got a Cadillac

    Completely oblivious to what cars were offered by the rest of the world. Sure you had the occasional VW or Fiat, maybe a Jag, but it was rare.

    Come to think of it, sort of mirrored our Foreign policy as well….

  4. Bee

    May 29, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    I beg to differ that the merc was just a ford with different taillights. Well into the 90’s (and possibly beyond, my last contact with a merc was in the 90’s) it was still a better vehicle that it’s straight Ford counterpart.

    Ford’s gonna hit a homerun with the new Fiesta coming out this year. 40 mpg, cute styling, bright colors and that whole “talk to your car” sync shit that people love (I don’t, it’s annoying…I talk to my vehicles, i don’t want them talking back though, that’s just wierd).

  5. The Lawyer

    May 29, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    That seems a wise move to me. I agree with Krell. The Mercury always looked like a dressed up Ford to me. It had to be more of a cultural phenomenon than a functional one. Ford makes a good car and truck. A Mercury was just a Ford with cheese.