Ford created Mercury in 1939 as an effort to squeeze a brand in between its mass-market Ford and high-end Lincoln. "It has always been Ford-plus, with a bigger engine, more chrome, more trunk space," said IHS Global Insight analyst John Wolkonowicz recently. Mercury sales topped out at 580,000 in 1978 and reached 480,000 in 1993, but have been in decline since. Today, "it's a brand that is a favorite of the Depression generation, people who bought it when they were kids in the 30s and 40s," said Wolkonowicz. The pool of these buyers is not getting any bigger.