Ford is getting out of the Mercury business in a big, fat hurry, and that means no 2011 models, no more Jill Wagoner commercials and cash compensation for the 1,700+ dealers who sell Ford's long-abused step-brand. Automotive News quotes unnamed sources who say dealers will receive up to $200,000 to stop selling Mercury cars and crossovers, along with money for any new service parts they have lying around.
It's a question few are asking the day after Ford announced that Mercury – named after the "messenger of the gods" in Roman mythology – would wind down production after 70 years of business. Why? Mercury lost its way so long ago that being shuttered at some point was a foregone conclusion. The only question was when. And now we have the answer.
The writing's on the wall for Ford's pseudo luxury brand Mercury, which is now tipped to face extinction within the next couple of years. Flagging sales and no major new products in the pipeline mean Ford execs are likely to close the book on Mercury for good, and it could happen as early as 2012. Both industry experts and Mercury's own dealers are predicting the brand won't be around much longer. In fact, a recent survey of 125 dealers found that nearly four out of every five dealers were conce