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Last Mercury Rolls Off The Line Without Fanfare

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On: Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 11:46PM | By: Chris Weiss


Last Mercury Rolls Off The Line Without Fanfare

Consider Mercury officially gone. The very last Mercury ever—a white 2011 Grand Marquis commissioned by a fleet customer—rolled off of the assembly plant in St. Thomas, Ontario  on the morning of January 4. The sad, lonely Mercury made its way out of the factory with little acknowledgement or fanfare.

When you're the last Lamborghini Murcielago, you get a parade and a huge send-off, but when you're the last in the line of a struggling brand like Mercury, you don't even get your picture snapped for the archives.

According to Edmunds, when asked for a picture of the last Mercury for their piece on the occassion, a spokesman said simply: ""Unfortunately, there is no photo of that specific unit —sorry."

That seems kind of cold for a brand that's been around for more than 70 years. I almost feel bad for that Grand Marquis.

But I guess you'd actually have to like the brand to feel to sorry for it. And not many people were liking Mercury of late. Established in 1939, by Henry Ford's son Edsel Ford, Mercury was originally positioned as Ford's middle-line brand for the aspiring class—i.e. not quite as plain as a Ford but not quite as expensive as a Lincoln. The brand experienced some strong years, peaking in 1978, but sales dropped off sharply in recent years. According to a Bloomberg report earlier this year, Mercury sales had dropped by 74 percent since 2000. While Mercury struggled, Ford was growing market share and earning a name for innovation and high quality cars. Eventually, Ford had no other choice but to wind the brand down and refocus on its two core brands of Ford and Lincoln

When Ford announced the news in June, it cited Ford's growing strength, Mercury's weakening position within the company and migration of customers from Mercury to Ford as reasons that it was eliminating the brand. Mercury simply was too low profile and close to the better funded, more recognized Ford brand.

Ford will reinvest money from Mercury into strengthening the image and sales of Lincoln, its luxury brand. Ford announced recently that it would dedicate the entire 2011 Mercury advertising budget to Lincoln.




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