Mercury is a division of Ford. It has gone through changes over the years, and its parent company has not always given it the best treatment. But it has been involved in some interesting marketing attempts, and has been the home of several entertaining cars. Ford has treated it as a mere adjunct to the high-profit Lincoln models, but even that has changed over the years.
Mercury was a brand of its own in the fifties. Although they used Ford engines, the cars were different in appearance, and they were aimed at a separate market. Ford’s failed attempt to expand their market share with the Edsel scared management to the extent that they reduced the Mercury division to the sale of rebadged Fords. Mercury dealerships have sometimes been given imported Fords to sell, usually European models. Ford felt that the Mercury franchise was too small to suffer from the failure of these attempts, and they may have been correct. Some cars on this list are the Pantera, German Capri, Merkur, and Australian Capri. These cars were considered odd by Americans, and none of them sold well.
Repairing a Mercury is exactly like repairing a Ford. While some of the trim and sheet metal is different from the equivalent Ford model, Ford dealers are happy to sell them. Parts are, therefore, easy to obtain. With the exception of Mercury-specific parts, and those of the foreign-made cars, parts are also widely and cheaply available at aftermarket parts stores and salvage yards. VIN numbers are important when parts are needed for the newest cars, but that’s always the case.
Interestingly enough, there is a sales trend applying to the Mercury products of the last half-dozen years that even Ford did not anticipate. Market research shows that Mercury cars and SUVs appeal more strongly to women than their Ford counterparts. Ford has begun to exploit this more openly, and has given Mercury some of the most stylish interiors in the business. This has not affected the parts business much, as women seldom do their own repairs.