2008 Mercury Sable – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mercury's born-again Sable sedan is dead again – or, more accurately, it will be come so on Thursday. According to The Detroit News, Ford's gussied-up Taurus (itself a gussied-up Five Hundred) will expire later this week, leaving Mercury with just four models: the Milan, Mariner, Mountaineer, and Grand Marquis.

And while the Taurus is getting a brand-spanking new replacement model for 2010, a Sable stablemate is apparently not in the cards, in large measure because Ford reportedly chose to spend more money on developing and marketing its Taurus replacement.

Ford's middle-tier brand is expected to lose both the Mountaineer and Grand Marquis within the next couple of model years, and the only new product mooted for the waterfall-grille brand is a new small car that has yet-to-be confirmed.

Eerily, the Blue Oval recently tested the small car waters for its Lincoln luxury brand with its Concept C showcar that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The presence of the tidy Euro-look hatchback once again set tongues wagging that Ford may be pondering whether or not to axe the Mercury marque altogether. For its part, Blue Oval officials dismiss such plans, but there is no denying that Mercury's stable is getting smaller, and at the moment, little product appears to be in the replacement pipeline.

According to the DetNews, Ford sold just 1,158 Sables in April, a drop of nearly 40% year-over-year versus 2008.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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