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In the past few years, Lincoln has bolstered its lineup with additional cars, including the MKS large sedan and the seven-passenger MKT, which steers the brand closer to being able to stand solo, Mr. Pratt said.

Jerry Robbin, president of the International Mercury Owners Association, said he had seen the move coming.

“On one hand, I would like them to continue manufacturing Mercury, but not at the expense of Ford,” he said.

In just the past decade, Chrysler has dropped its Plymouth brand and General Motors Corp. ceased to produce Oldsmobiles. Last year’s bankruptcy-related restructuring forced GM to drop or sell its Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and Hummer divisions.

Mr. Robbin, a longtime Mercury fan, said the brand has had trouble distinguishing itself from the Ford line, having strayed from its heydays of muscle cars and other head-turning vehicles. “Over the years, it’s had nothing but identity crisis,” he said.

Still, Mercury’s troubles didn’t make the matter much easier for him.

“It’s sad to see that my car will become an orphan [cub],” he said. “It’s kind of a sign of the times.”