Merkur is one of the shortest-running automotive nameplates in history. Lasting only from 1985 to 1989, the brand was one of the biggest failures in Ford’s history. The idea was to bring German-engineered cars to America. The models that Merkur sold weren’t bad, but they were overpriced (via Brands That Didn’t Make It).
American car shoppers weren’t going to trust a relatively unknown car brand. The Merkur XR4Ti was the most popular model and the one you are most likely to see nowadays. The appetite for imports died in the 1990s as domestic automakers started to offer higher-quality products.