|A 1977 Mercury Cougar XR-7|
The brand was created in 1938 to fit above the Ford brand but below Lincoln. This followed what GM and Chrysler had already done and the Ford company felt the need to do likewise. 65,000 car were sold in 1939 which was a successful start. It became part of the Lincoln-Mercury division that was created in 1945.
By the late 70's Mercury was well established. Sales were over the half million point, approximately three times larger than the Lincoln marque. Below we see US sales by model and further down a brief description of each model.
|Total US Sales||509,999||579,498||508,132||418,749||344,671|
Cougar: The name was introduced in 1967 as a pony car. By the third generation which was released in 1974, it had morphed into 2-door cruiser to meet changing tastes. Then the next model from 1977 saw it merge with the Montego model with 4-door and wagon body style models added. That certainly seemed to kick sales along.
Zephyr/Comet: The Comet came out in the early 60's as a medium sized car related to the Ford Falcon and Fairlane models. It was initially just known a the Comet but was soon given the Mercury logo. It grew in size but in 1971, the fifth generation car shrunk back in size and was Mercury's version of the Ford Maverick. Then in 1978 it was replaced by the Zephyr, which was based on the Ford Fairmont.
Marquis: This was the large car of the range, introduced in 1967. The second version ran from 1969 to 1978. The 1979 model was much shorter in length but with interior space better utilised, it was actually more roomier.
Lynx: While it is listed as an early 80's model, I have data saying it was selling at the end of the 70's. Whatever, it was a European Ford Escort which was a good car but why it ended up as a Mercury Model I have no idea. To me it was not in keeping with the brand.
Monarch: It started selling in 1974 as a compact 2 and 4-door model and lasted until 1980 for just a single generation. It was supposed to replace the Comet, but became a new model in response to the 1973 oil crisis.
Bobcat: Initially sold in Canada in 1974, it arrived in the US by 1975. It was a rebadged Ford Pinto and was the subcompact car in the range which was replaced by the Lynx in due course. Again, I don't understand the rationale behind this but it had a modest but loyal following.
Montego: It arrived in 1968 as a medium sized range of models and the second edition (72-76) just got into this sales chart. It was then absorbed into the Cougar range as mentioned above.
Capri: I didn't add this model into the main body of the chart above. They were the same coupe styled car in Europe and sold in Mercury dealerships. This arrangement started in 1970 and ended in 1978.