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Ford Bringing Second Import from Ford of Europe

May 20, 1987

DETROIT (AP) _ Ford Motor Co. is adding a second German-built car to its imported Merkur line, which is aimed at drawing Audi, Mercedes and Volvo buyers to Lincoln- Mercury dealerships with European Ford products.

The five-passenger, four-door hatchback 1988 Merkur Scorpio sedan starts at $23,248 for the base model, costs $26,405 fully equipped. It goes on sale Thursday in the United States.

The rear-wheel-drive Scorpio joins the Merkur XR4Ti, a sports car that is slightly smaller than the Scorpio. Unlike the $17,832 XR4Ti, the Scorpio sold in the United States will have the same 2.9-liter V-6 engine found on European models.

Ford expects to sell 7,000-8,000 Scorpio models in 1987 and 12,000-15,000 in Scorpio’s first full year on the U.S. market, said Geoffrey Leggett, a Ford official.

The first Merkur, the XR4Ti, was introduced in the United States in late 1985. Ford said it sold more than 14,000 of the cars in the United States and about 300,000 in Europe in 1986.

U.S. sales have fallen off about 45 percent this year, however, in part because of supply problems, said Leggett.

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