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Lincoln-Mercury Drops Scorpio Import

October 19, 1989

DETROIT (AP) _ Lincoln-Mercury is dropping its low-volume German-made Scorpio four-door sedan after slow sales in 1989, the Ford Motor Co. division said Thursday.

Scorpio imports will stop immediately, leaving 4,600 at dealerships, in ports and in transit still to be sold, spokesman Chuck Snearly said.

The announcement came a year after Lincoln-Mercury stopped importing the two-door Merkur XR4Ti, made, like the Scorpio, at Ford of Germany in Cologne, West Germany.

Dealers began selling the XR4Ti in 1985 and the Scorpio in 1987, both under the Merkur name, in an attempt to compete with German car sales in the United States.

Merkur sales reached a high of 15,261 in 1988, up from 14,301 in 1987. That rate of about 50 cars a day lagged to about 27 a day this year, with a total 6,320 Merkurs sold through Sept. 30, the latest reporting date for imports.

Overall U.S. sales of European cars have dropped this year. ″The Scorpio has been impacted by this trend as well,″ said Ross Roberts, Lincoln-Mercury general manager.

Lincoln-Mercury dealers will continue to supply parts and service, Roberts said.

Ford will continue to sell the Scorpio and XR4Ti in Europe, where the XR4Ti is called the Sierra, Snearly said.

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