Transportation

Another American Icon Gone -- Ford to Eliminate Mercury

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

First it was Plymouth. Then Oldsmobile and soon, Pontiac. Now another iconic car brand will disappear from the American roads -- Mercury is being eliminated.

Ford announced Wednesday that it will stop making cars with the Mercury emblem. Many say this move couldn't come soon enough -- sales of Mercurys have plummeted over the years, now accounting for less than 1% of all U.S. auto sales.

Mercury was started in 1939 by Edsel Ford to bridge the gap between mass-market Ford, and the luxury Lincoln nameplate. The brand was successful over the years, but now its signature car is the Grand Marquis, an outdated car it has been making since 1983 that is popular only with the elderly and police departments.

Ford wouldn't disclose costs related to eliminating Mercury, but said it expects to shift those resources to expanding its Lincoln luxury brand. And perhaps most importantly to beleaguered Detroit, no jobs are expected to be lost.

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Ford plans to cease Mercury production in the fourth quarter.