Ford’s now-defunct Mercury car marque was known for its large, affordable, yet high-end cars, some of which were also powerful and thrilling to drive. Over its 82-year run, the Ford’s Mercury division delivered 34 amazing cars, SUVs, vans, and trucks to the US population, and it also developed up to 39 concept cars that never went into mass production. Mercurius, the Roman god of commerce and financial gain, inspired the name Mercury; this god was also referred to as the god of travelers, traders, and tricksters.
Edsel Ford, son of Ford Motor Company’s founder Henry Ford, created the Mercury brand in 1938. Mercury was created to re-establish Ford’s competitive edge against its major competitors, i.e. General Motors and Chrysler. At the time, GM and Chrysler had several car marques that served different price points. For example, at GM, the hierarchy started with Chevrolet at the lowest price point, and then Pontiac, then Oldsmobile, then Buick, and then finally Cadillac at the highest price point. The Ford Motor company only had the mainstream Ford brand and the luxurious Lincoln brand, so Edsel Ford created the Mercury marque to bridge the price gap between Ford and Lincoln. This, however, was against the advice of his father. With introducing the Mercury brand, a Lincoln-Mercury division was set up at the Ford Motor Company. Mercury formed half of this division right up to 2010 when Ford announced its discontinuation.
The first Mercury car, the Mercury Eight, was produced between 1939 and 1951. This large sedan was slightly larger than the Ford V8 of the day, yet smaller than the Lincoln Zephyr. It was equipped with a retuned version of Ford’s V8 engine, so it felt more powerful than the Ford V8. After the Eight, Mercury produced the M Series truck, the Monterey sedan, the Custom sedan, the Montclair sedan, the Colony Park station wagon, the Commuter station wagon, the Turnpike Cruiser sedan, the Voyager station wagon, and many more. 1950 was Mercury’s highest producing year; Mercury built 344,081 vehicles that year.
Unfortunately, Mercury vehicle sales gradually reduced from that point right up to 2010 when Mercury was shut down. The Ford Motor Company failed in establishing a clear difference between Ford and Mercury vehicles, and as a result, many car buyers opted for Ford vehicles instead of Mercury vehicles. This is why the Ford Motor Company stopped its Mercury brand operations. Now, the company is focusing on building its Ford and Lincoln brands.
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