Ford announced today that it will shut its Mercury brand and cease production by the fourth quarter of 2010. The move is meant to further streamline Ford’s portfolio; the company has sold off other nameplates, including Range Rover and Jaguar and most recently Volvo. Ford said it will refocus its attention on the premium Lincoln brand instead, mirroring efforts from Toyota with its Lexus line or Honda and Acura.
All current Mercury owners can have their vehicles serviced at existing Lincoln or Ford dealers, and all warranties will be honored, Ford says. If you’re looking for a bargain on a Mercury, the company says it will roll out incentives for new Mercury models throughout the summer.
Mercury’s sales were down 10.7% in May. Lincoln’s sales were down 9.5%, while Ford vehicles were up 27.9%.
As for Lincoln’s future, Ford said there would be seven new or refreshed models over the next four years, including the 2011 MKX but not the MKZ hybrid due out later this year. That leaves six new models, one of which will be based on the upcoming 2011 Ford Focus and will likely resemble the Lincoln C concept car.
Ford also revealed what it would add to future Lincolns to differentiate them more from Ford products, a factor that led to many complaints about Mercury simply being more expensive Fords.
Here is a list of the Lincoln plans, taken from Ford’s press release on the Mercury shutdown: