Hot News: Mercury is Dead

If you didn’t already think Mercury was dead—the brand has been languishing for many years now—Ford has finally given it the official ax. The brand holds just 0.8 percent of U.S. market share, according to company spokespeople, and the Ford brand has grown its own market share already this year by over twice what Merc holds annually.

To the many previous claims by Ford that Mercury wasn’t going to be killed, the company maintains that the decision was not planned and discussions about Mercury’s demise only began this past week. We remain skeptical; one week seems like an awfully short time in which to decide to kill a 70-year-old brand, and the total lack of new product for Mercury in recent years suggests few people were planning its future.

Ford plans to begin offering special incentives this summer to clear out inventory and says it will end Mercury production in the fourth quarter of 2010. Compared to the quagmire GM has discovered can be created when closing a brand and abandoning franchises, Ford should have a relatively easy time of it. Of all 1712 Mercury dealers extant, not one is a standalone store. Ford and Lincoln dealers will of course continue to service Mercury vehicles and honor warranties on them.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

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