The Mercury brand has officially ended with the last vehicle – a Grand Marquis – rolling off the production line earlier this week at Ford Motor Co.'s assembly plant in St. Thomas, Ontario.
Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans said that the sedan will be shipped out as part of a fleet order. Mercury is being terminated to allow Ford to focus on its two core brands, Ford and Lincoln.
Because of snowstorms, there were delays in the delivery of parts shipments to the plant. As a result, production of the final Grand Marquis has been postponed to begin into the new year.
The Grand Marquis has been in production at St. Thomas for 25 years. This plant will continue to build the Ford Crown Victoria for taxi and police fleets until the plant's slated closure in September. Since Mercury debuted with the 1938 model year, over 21 million Mercury cars and light trucks in the U.S. have been sold.
Mercury was expected to be a step between Ford and Lincoln. With the debut of Mercury, GM was able to set up a ladder of consumption, starting with Chevrolet and followed by Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac.
Chrysler had been responsible for the marketing for Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto and Chrysler. Bob Casey, curator of transportation at The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Mich., said that Ford has turned its back on differentiating Ford and Mercury as it now believes that it isn’t worth the money to be “substantially different.” [via autonews - sub. required]