20 July 2019

Mercury USA Sales : 1970's (2nd Half)

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.

Model 1979 1978 1977 1976 1975
Cougar 121,184 194,938 182,986 127,913 51,673
Zephyr (Comet) 99,335 120,781 42,234 27,265 43,570
Marquis 94,654 136,719 140,610 105,149 71,540
Capri 90,850 18,035

Monarch 59,302 78,824 106,821 122,057 94,082
Bobcat 44,674 30,201 35,481 36,365 37,605
4,079 22,458 29,904 54,586

see Cougar 46,201
Total US Sales 509,999 583,577 530,590 448,653 399,257

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.

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.

Capri: It was a coupe styled car imported from Europe and sold in Mercury dealerships. This arrangement started in 1970 and ended in 1978. We see the last of the sales in the chart above. The yellow colour signifies that it was an import. 

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. 

Summary: Mercury was doing well enough for Ford at this time.

To see the 80's in this series, simply click here.

A 1977 Mercury Marquis. Seriously long

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