The writing's on the wall for Ford's pseudo luxury brand Mercury, which is now tipped to face extinction within the next couple of years. Flagging sales and no major new products in the pipeline mean Ford execs are likely to close the book on Mercury for good, and it could happen as early as 2012. Both industry experts and Mercury's own dealers are predicting the brand won't be around much longer. In fact, a recent survey of 125 dealers found that nearly four out of every five dealers were concerned that Ford is planning to dump Mercury.

Sales for Mercury last year totaled 180,848 units in the U.S., less than eight vehicles a month per franchise and the lowest total for the label since 1960. Remember, Chrysler killed the Plymouth brand because its sales dropped to 246,000 units per year and GM said goodbye to Oldsmobile when its annual tally dropped to 289,000 vehicles. So where does that leave Mercury? According to one expert, it leaves Mercury on life support. Of course, we've heard similar reports before, and yet Ford brass continue to pledge support for Mercury with their words. Too bad they refuse to do so with decent products.

[Source: Automotive News - Subs. Req'd]