Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Merkur, the German word for Mercury, was an automobile brand which was briefly marketed by Ford Motor Company in the United States and Canada during the mid-1980s. Sold through Lincoln-Mercury dealers, Merkurs were in fact German Fords and were thus a form of captive import. Advertising and PR materials strongly urged the proper German pronunciation, "mare-coor," but practically no one used it and the cars were generally called Merkers. Below the Merkur badge, was a script stating "FORD WERKE AG-Cologne, West Germany"
Only two models were sold under the Merkur badge—a performance-oriented coupe version of the Ford Sierra XR4i called the Merkur XR4Ti (1985–9), and the Ford Scorpio sedan (1988–9), which kept the Merkur Scorpio name. Neither model was particularly successful. Exchange rate fluctuations were one explanation; another was the generally odd styling and peculiar name. Also the Scorpio bore a strong resemblance to the similarly-sized and then-new Mercury Sable, which sold on the same showroom floors and was considerably cheaper.
Before Ford pulled the plug, there were rumours that it would began sourcing Brazilian-made Sierras, but nothing came of this.
Merkurs have not so far generated much interest in the collector market, although their relative rarity could change that in the future. There is, however, an active owner community, and parts can still generally be found.
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