The name "Mercury" was a reference to the mythological Roman god. The first Mercury model was named the Eight; it was a successful model, but production ended when World War II began. In 1945, the Mercury division was combined with Lincoln, and the brand was formally positioned as an entry level Lincoln.
After the merger, Mercury began launching its own distinct product line which included the Park Lane in 1959 and the Comet, considered to be among the first domestic compact cars, in 1960. Additional models in the 1960s included the Marauder and Cougar. The Cougar originated as a popular variation of the Ford Mustang, evolved into a more luxurious version of the Ford Thunderbird, and stayed in the Mercury family until 2002.
- Founded : 1938, by Edsel Ford
- Defunct : January 4, 2011
- Headquarters : Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.
- Website : http://www.mercuryvehicles.com/
Mercury brands are typically positioned alongside Lincolns in showrooms, but its mid-line positioning and high degree of crossover with the Ford product line have created brand confusion. The Sable and Mountaineer remain, and the Grand Marquis (an upgraded version of the Ford Crown Victoria,) has been modernized as well. The Mercury Milan is an entry-level sedan related to the Ford Fusion, and the Mariner shares its heritage--and a hybrid option--with the Ford Escape. Soft sales mean that changes are likely on the way for Mercury--either in the form of a phase-out of the brand or, more likely, in a reduction of the product lineup.