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A Contrarian Take on Mercury’s Demise

It coulda been a contender.

by on Jan.05, 2011

The original Mercury logo, used from 1939 to 1940.

Editor’s Note: As reported, this week, Ford’s long-struggling Mercury brand officially ceased to exist as the New Year rolled in.  But whether it should have been sent to the automotive rust heap is a matter of debate.  While most folks were happy to see it go,’s resident historian – and contrarian —  Mike Davis weighs in with an opposing viewpoint.

According to the latest definitions, a contrarian argues a counter-intuitive position against the conventional wisdom.  (Note: the word contrarian does not even appear in my vintage 1967 American College Dictionary, much less the one I used as an undergraduate 15 years earlier.  Nor does Microsoft’s spell-check like it.)

Ford Motor Company, after starving its traditional “medium-price” Mercury nameplate for years, finally pulled the plug with production of the last Mercury Grand Marquis at the St. Thomas, Ontario, assembly plant earlier this week. Assembly of badge-engineered Mercury Milan, Mercury Mariner and Mercury Mountaineer ended last year.  Even earlier, the company killed off Mercury Cougar and a decade ago never invested in a Mercury version of Focus.


Ford Adding New Small Car to Mercury Line-up.

Model should share global C-car platform 2012 Focus.

by on Feb.15, 2010

Mercury will be getting a new small car, the company hinted to dealers, based on the same platform as the 2012 Focus, shown here.

Mercury dealers, long left feeling like part of the automotive lonely-hearts club, apparently got an unexpected valentine from Ford officials, over the weekend.  After leaving the brand struggling with an aging line-up, Mercury is apparently set to get a new small car offering based on the same platform as the next-generation Ford Focus.

A preview of the downsized Mercury is likely for upcoming New York Auto Show, senior officials, including Ford’s President of the Americas, Mark Fields, revealed during a meeting with dealers at the annual National Automobile Dealers Association convention, in Orlando.

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The new Mercury will be a part of the so-called “One Ford” strategy launched by Ford CEO Alan Mulally, shortly after joining the company three years ago.  A total of 10 different products are expected to come off the Global C-Car platform, including the replacement for the current Ford Focus, due to debut in the U.S. market as a 2012 model.  A new Mercury version would likely come at about the same time, according to sources.