by Jim Corbran - posted 6:55 pm, June 2, 2010
It’s now official, Ford Motor Company will halt all Mercury production in the fourth quarter of this year. Along with that news came word that the Lincoln nameplate will be expanded, and will probably include Lincoln’s first “C-segment” vehicle, most likely a version of Ford’s new Focus which was originally supposed to be the new Mercury Tracer. As Ford mentioned in its news release, the past three years have seen a major improvement in the Ford product lineup — so much so that many former Mercury drivers were now buying Fords instead.
According to news reports, there are currently no stand-alone Mercury dealers, as they’re only sold alongside Lincoln, and often also Ford. It’s unlikely that current Lincoln-Mercury dealers will stay open selling only the Lincoln nameplate, so look for a further consolidation where some Ford dealers will pick up the Lincoln brand.
As I mentioned the other day, the Mercury brand was created in 1939 by Henry Ford’s son Edsel, as a premium brand for Ford drivers to move up to. Over the years the difference between the two has grown smaller and smaller until now, where it’s mostly cosmetic and often not even noticeable from a block away.