According to a report by Bloomberg, Ford Motor Co. will begin taking steps to phase out the Mercury line, a staple on lots since 1939 when it was created by Edsel Ford. Since 2000, the once iconic brand has experienced a sales drop of 74 percent.
The report indicates that "people familiar with the plan" say directors will receive the proposal in July. Only two Mercury models rather than the existing four will be offered in 2011, and promotion will be at a minimum.
John Wolkonowiz, an auto analysts with IHS Global Insight quoted in the Bloomberg piece said, "Mercury is a forgotten brand. Many Americans probably already think it has been discontinued. Mercury was too similar to Ford from the very beginning."
In addition to the move to ax Mercury, Ford has steadily divested itself of its European luxury brands after their sales did not achieve the desired one-third of the company's profits. In March, Ford agreed to sell Volvo to Zhejiang Geely Holding Co. of China. Over the last three years, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin have also been sold.
There has been no official confirmation of the demise of Mercury, which would join Pontiac, Saturn, Oldsmobile, and Plymouth among brands to disappear in the 21st century.