Some history

Discussion in '1987 Merkur XR4Ti' started by turbo power, Aug 10, 2002.

  1. I thought about buying one of these and researched the history a while back. I dont remember dates but ill tell you the story.

    Ford wanted to import its european sierra to america in the early 80's to do battle with the bmw's that were selling so well to the yuppies thanks to the high ecomomy caused by president reagan's economic plan. But they also did not want it to run the risk of it competing against established ford nameplates such as the mustang, so then ford europe president bob lutz proposed that another ford branch should be created, and this german manufactured car company was to be called merkur. He came to this name because mercury translated into german is merkur. Merkur was to an early attempt at somthing that ford had attempted many times and not experienced any real success with up until the focus, selling the same car in europe and america. Merkur was to also spawn a whole family of bmw competitors. That in my oppinion they were eventually trying to get rid of fords identical twin the mercury brand with a name plate that people would think to be more sporty. So they did what you do when you move into a new market, start with a small well built car the xr4ti, the t was given because of the turbo charger. This was a well built car was more than able to hold its own against the its competiors with class leading handling and a strong engine. But the most of the problems with this car eventually came to a marketing problem.

    First off as a general rule of marketing a product should have a name that is easy to remember and pronounce and merkur was not easy to remember and even harder to pronounce. In a rather embarassing moment for ford the name merkur was mispronounced in several of their comercials for some time before it was finaly fixed. Another problem was the dealers ford distributed the car to. They wanted merkur to appear an upmarket brand so they had lincoln mercury dealers sell it. This became a problem because as they soon found out sales men working for that were used to sellig giant lincolns did not know how to sell a small german car with great success. This led to it not being a sales success to justify all the These problems eventualy led to the end of a fine car and a company with real potential.

    The bottom line on this car is that if you are considering buying one do it. It only failed becuase of marketing problems with no problems under the hood or in the chassis.<!-- Signature -->
  2. Re: Some history

    there were not specific problems under the hood (the engine is rather common, just not in the US). the problem was that when things went wrong, parts were scarce- especially after Merkur left the US.


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