Merkur Logo (1985-1989)
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|Dearborn, Michigan, United States
|Ford Motor Company
Merkur was a short-lived automobile brand sold by the Lincoln-Mercury division of Ford Motor Company from 1985 to 1989. Using captive imports produced by the German division of Ford of Europe, Merkur was targeted at buyers of European luxury brands.
In the early 1980s, for various reasons, buyers of traditional American luxury brands such as Cadillac, Chrysler, and Lincoln began to shift their buying preferences towards European-produced cars from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo. As a response, Japanese automaker Honda launched Acura in 1985 with their contemporaries Nissan and Toyota, later developing Infiniti and Lexus, respectively. In its own response, Ford created the Merkur (German for Mercury) franchise for select Lincoln-Mercury dealers in the United States and Canada; approximately 800 Lincoln-Mercury dealers would take on Merkur franchises.