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 that Mercury and Lincoln are being repositioned, with Abe's brand taking over as the volume-seller of the pair.

We'd buy the seemingly banal explanation a bit more if there were actually some product in the Mercury pipeline besides the Milan Hybrid, but there's no mention of anything else pending. With suppliers right now securing contracts for those programs that have Job One dates in 2010 and 2012, they might serve as a canary in the coal mine for us. Mercury can't build vehicles without any parts, and if they're not putting in orders now, it will likely be sometime in 2012 that we'll hear some real news about Mercury's future from Ford. Hey, what else are we supposed to think when the last spy shots of a Mercury were back in 2006, hiding the Montego to Sable transition? Thanks for the tip, DC.

[Source: Inside Line, Photo: Blogcrypt.com]

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