In 1930, Edsel Ford saw the need for a line of vehicles to hit the price point between Ford and Lincoln. The line would come to be called Mercury, a name meant to symbolize the speed and elegance of the Roman messenger to the gods. Mercury’s first model, the Mercury Eight, performed above the standard V-8 in Ford models of the day. At 95 horsepower, the Eight would be known as the ‘Super-Ford.’ By August of 1950 Mercury had sold its millionth vehicle.
As Ford continues to fight for market potency the Mercury brand has seen some revitalization. Mercury had lost her performance image, an image which Ford attempted to regain with the Marauder. The brand is however, more accurately defined by mid-grade sedans and SUVs. The company will certainly need more than a redesigned Sable or a 300-hp sedan to keep ahead of the imports and justify its place in the entry-level luxury market.
Sites worth visiting
The Mercury site is a blend of the typical retail flair and a look behind the scenes at Lincoln’s little brother. The history of the brand is nicely written, albeit a bit biased with regard to the success of major releases such as the Marauder. All in all, though, the site is much more informative than a lot of the other retail focused manufacturer sites out there.
Mercury on Wikipedia
The Mercury page at Wikipedia has a quick treatment of the history of the brand, including some great shots of classic models. The best part of the page is the look at Mercury’s development as a part of Ford. The page goes into objective detail about the struggles of the brand through the 70’s and 80’s and Ford’s attempt to define the Mercury style as separate from the Ford line. As usual, you can also find a model list from Mercury’s great beginnings.
Around the Blogosphere
Mercury at Autoblog
Autoblog has yet to post a page that isn’t completely packed with the latest and greatest news, and their Mercury site is no different. These guys do all of the digging for spy shots, news stories, and corporate changes so that you don’t have to. Mercury had better have major changes coming, and Autoblog will be there to keep you posted.
Mercury at Consumer Reports
Mercury blogs are hard to come by, mostly because the brand doesn’t do much that is newsworthy or exciting. Still, when something of note happens, Consumer Reports will have it. They focus, of course, on things like reliability and durability, things that should be at the top of Mercury’s own wish list.
International Mercury Owners Association
For any Mercury enthusiast, this is a great place to start. IMOA is a modest community of more than 2,000 Mercury fans. They have their own forums with a respectable number of posts for the size of the community.
Ford and Mercury Restorer’s Club of America
Much of today’s interest in the Mercury brand comes from the classic models so many take pleasure in restoring. This club is devoted to those patient few. While there are no forums, membership in the group does offer other benefits, like a monthly newsletter and full events calendar.
This is perhaps the most robust Mercury forum on the web, at just 2,000 members. The posters are friendly and quite helpful, despite the small community size. They have model specific forums, including some legacy and discontinued models. You probably won’t find any better than this.
Last Mercury Dealership Closes
The last stand-alone Mercury dealership has finally closed in Canonsburg, PA. The dealership, which also sells used vehicles to combat slumping Mercury sales, had just one salesperson. The closing wasn’t enforced by Ford, but rather a decision on the part of the family-owned dealership. They will continue to sell used vehicles.
VOGA Mariner is Fashion Forward
Mercury is making bold moves to create a striking new brand image. Their latest is the Mariner, branded with the VOGA badge. The car is painted metallic green with black cashmere interior and VOGA badging throughout. Edmunds has the full story.
Select Few Offered $500 Rebate
While most rebates are offered to any consumer in the auto market, Mercury has been sending targeted email offers to what seems to be random consumers. The offer is for a non-transferable, $500 rebate on any vehicle, excluding the Mariner Hybrid, of course.