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DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- Ford ( F) said it will shut down its Mercury brand in the fourth quarter of this year and devote its resources to Ford and Lincoln vehicles. The decision to close Mercury, founded in 1939, came after an annual spring product review, said Mark Fields, Ford president for the Americas, at a news conference. "We decided we would focus our efforts, our resources, to continue to grow the Ford brand and to accelerate Lincoln," said Fields.
The move comes as the fortunes of the Ford brand are soaring. Fields noted that Ford gained more than 2% in market share this year, while Mercury has a market share of just 0.8%. "The gain on Ford is more than twice the absolute share of Mercury," said Fields. "Mercury brand awareness remains low"