In the solar system, Mercury is at the head of the line, casting a figurative shadow (albeit a small shadow) over the rest of the planets. If only the Mercury car company enjoyed the same status.
Positioned as a premium brand between mainstream Ford and upscale Lincoln, Mercury has suffered in recent years from overpowering competition and a weak product line. That's not to suggest that current vehicles such as the Mercury Milan or Mercury Sable are bad cars, but in some cases the vehicles are viewed as little more than slightly altered Fords with higher price tags. Still, relatively minor changes can be enough to lure shoppers away from the Fusion to the Milan, from the Taurus to the Sable, from the Escape to the Mercury Mariner or Mariner Hybrid, or from the Explorer to the Mercury Mountaineer. However, with the removal of the Ford Crown Victoria from the retail market, the antiquated Mercury Grand Marquis is left to share the limelight only with the much pricier Lincoln Town Car.