In 1935, Edsel Ford (son of Henry) founded a new division within Ford Motor Company, named 'Mercury' after the fleet-footed Roman messenger god. The death of Edsel Ford in 1943 meant that his original vision for the product line passed on as well. His father soon merged Mercury with Lincoln to form the Lincoln-Mercury division. By the end of the 1990s, the Grand Marquis was Mercury’s top-selling product line, but its largest customer segment was older consumers. Lincoln-Mercury had to attract younger buyers to stay profitable, so over the next decade, the company introduced a variety of vehicles that it hoped would appeal to younger buyers. It reintroduced the Cougar as a sports coupe, created the Marauder (a high-performance version of the Grand Marquis), offered full-size and mid-size sedans, and began production of minivans and SUVs. From 2003 to 2005, Lincoln-Mercury developed its 'M' brand with the Monterey, the Montego, the Milan, and the Mariner. Unfortunately, Ford decided to improve the luxury of its cars, which cut more deeply into Mercury’s already ambiguous identity. In 2010, after 20 years of market speculation, Ford officially announced the closure of Mercury. One last white 2011 Grand Marquis rolled off the line on January 4, 2011, and marked the end of the division that Edsel Ford had founded 71 years earlier.

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