Without much fanfare or publicity, Ford has quietly shutdown their Mercury car division. The Merc has been around since it was first introduced in 1939 as an upscale version of the than current Ford production vehicles. During the 50’s Mercury took a commanding lead in design and style which separated the vehicle from the others in the crowd. 1950-ish Mercury coupe became the standard that other car companies were trying to emulate.
The Mercury took center state in the movie Rebel Without A Cause starring James Dean and Natale Wood. Dean drove a 1949 Mercury 2 dr coupe which established the car as being cool.
In one recent article it states that:
Mercury leaves behind a history peppered with compelling and even innovative cars that at once conveyed a clear message: based on Fords, but better. Depending on the year and the car, better could have meant any combination of bigger, more stylish, more powerful or more luxurious. Pairing Mercury with the Lincoln franchise after World War II underscored the theme of what is today called entry-level luxury.
One of the most acclaimed Mercury designs, the first Cougar was based on Ford’s Mustang but offered a striking look of its own — a roomier, more luxurious interior and, its fans say, a smoother driving feel. But it was a success the company let go fallow.
Mercury became just a clone of other Ford production vehicles and lost its distinction of being upscale over the years. I guess Ford needed to trim down their inventory of vehicles they offered, since the Mercury no longer offered anything different to their inventory.