By November 1959, executives at Ford, including President Robert McNamara were disgusted that the Edsel project which had been proposed since 1948 had swallowed up over $250 million dollars of the company’s finances and had decided to end the Edsel car line which only sold a little over 4,800 cars between September to November 1959. While the full size Edsel models were halted from production, Ford bodycrafters had some interesting small car designs they had been working on, some of which were upscale versions of the Falcon and another beautiful mostly new sheet metal design. It was the second design that seemed to satisfy executives at Ford that the small upscale Edsel Comet model could be redesigned and marketed as a Mercury model instead, so the model was given a new lease on life as the Mercury Comet for 1961, based off the 1960 Edsel prototypes.
As a Mercury model, the redesigned Edsel Comet sold relatively well, and like other Lincoln-Mercury division products were more profitable for Ford than the more economical Ford model products. The Edsel project had been aimed since 1948 with the hope of making the company more profitable where 50% of the company cars were economy priced compared to just 30% at General Motors. Instead, by the cars introduction in September of 1957, Robert McNamara was whispering plans to eliminate the Edsel brand during the car’s introduction, because of over $200 million in production costs already involved. From the day the Edsel was introduced, it seemed to be a doomed product.