The future of Mercury, one of Ford's subsidiary brands, is once again the subject of open speculation and this time its Mercury's own dealers that are asking Ford the tough questions. Members of the Lincoln Mercury National Dealer Council have asked Ford to reveal their plans for Mercury in order to determine if the brand has any future.

Ford and the Lincoln Mercury National Dealer Council are meeting in September to discuss the issue but so far the news doesn't look good for Mercury. Other than a hybrid Milan and a refresh of the petrol Milan this year, there are no new products in the pipeline for Mercury, and the lack of product planning has analyst Jim Hossack predicting that Ford is not planning to kill Mercury, but rather "let it die".

Mercury's sales have dropped more than 30% over the last two years and billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian's chief adviser has previously stated that Ford should drop Mercury and streamline the Blue Oval.

Ford, in the meantime, is being its usual taciturn self on the matter, refusing to give any indication of its plans for Mercury - a spokesman said earlier that Ford has "been investing, and continue[s] to invest, in new Mercury product."