Ford Motor might decide to scrap its Mercury brand rather than spend money trying to revive it, the Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site on Monday.
Last week Jerome York, a former auto executive and advisor to billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, said giving up Mercury would be a smart move for the struggling automaker, which is trying to boost its Ford and Lincoln brands.
Kerkorian's investment company Tracinda owns 4.7 percent of Ford and said Friday that it might raise its stake to more than 5.5 percent.
After regularly selling half a million vehicles a year during the mid-1980s, Mercury sold only 168,000 cars and sport utility vehicles last year, the Times said.
Mercury's U.S. sales are down 23 percent this year -- the biggest drop for any brand except Chrysler and Hummer, the paper reported.