Mercury was launched in 1938 by Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford, as a mid-market challenger. It was designed to slot between Ford and Lincoln in Uncle Henry's line-up as a rival to General Motors' Buick. From 1945 to 2011, the company's produce comprised primarily of badge-engineered Ford. The name Mercury is derived from the messenger of the gods of Roman mythology, and during its early years, the Mercury brand was known for performance, which was briefly revived in 2003 with the Mercury Marauder.
The Mercury brand was phased out in 2011, as Ford Motor Company refocused its marketing and engineering efforts on the Ford and Lincoln brands. Production of Mercury vehicles ceased in the fourth quarter of 2010, with the final Mercury automobile, a Grand Marquis, rolling off the line in January 2011.