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Ford is getting out of the Mercury business in a big, fat hurry, and that means no 2011 models, no more Jill Wagoner commercials and cash compensation for the 1,700+ dealers who sell Ford's long-abused step-brand. Automotive News quotes unnamed sources who say dealers will receive up to $200,000 to stop selling Mercury cars and crossovers, along with money for any new service parts they have lying around.


It's a question few are asking the day after Ford announced that Mercury – named after the "messenger of the gods" in Roman mythology – would wind down production after 70 years of business. Why? Mercury lost its way so long ago that being shuttered at some point was a foregone conclusion. The only question was when. And now we have the answer.


Mercury: 1939-2010 – Click above to see the Five Best and Worst Mercury Models of All Time after the jump


Lincoln Concept C – Click above for high-res image gallery


Ford's mouthpiece continues to deny there's any plan to smother Mercury with its own pillow, but a Ford supplier has whispered something different in the ear of Inside Line. According to IL and its source, the last Mercury to die will likely be the handsome and likable Milan sedan, which will receive a mid-cycle refresh that shall carry the model through to 2012. The Sable will likely expire in 2010 when the new Taurus rolls out without a Mercury counterpart. Ford rhetoric, however, still holds

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