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ATLANTA — With Ford announcing its plans last week to close up Mercury in the fourth quarter, AutoTrader.com set out to find which brands are likely to grab the most would-be Mercury new-vehicle buyers.

Based on the site's cross-shopping data, it appears that the automaker best-positioned to gain the highest proportion of shoppers who were interested in new Mercury models would be Ford, whose Ford and Lincoln brands were heavily cross-shopped by Mercury shoppers.

In fact, 28.3 percent of Mercury shoppers on AutoTrader.com also checked out Ford brand vehicles, and 7.5 percent viewed Lincoln models.

That said, there also numerous suitor brands from other automakers that could make inroads with these shoppers.

For instance, Chevrolet was heavily cross-shopped by those also interested in Mercury (11.3 percent) as was Hyundai (8.2 percent), Honda (7.8 percent), Toyota (7.8 percent) and Nissan (7.3 percent).

"With the Ford-Lincoln combo, if the Mercury brand closes as planned, marketing and outreach to the new Mercury buyers who also looked at Fords and Lincolns could go a long way to keeping those buyers in the Ford family," stated Chip Perry, president and chief executive officer of AutoTrader.com. "But with many other popular brands represented in our cross-shopping list, a lot of these new-car buyers could be up for grabs from other brands that want to be creative and aggressive in marketing to and attracting these buyers."

The complete top-10 list of cross-shopped brands by new Mercury buyers is as follows:

1. Ford: 28.8 percent

2. Chevrolet: 11.3 percent

3. Hyundai: 8.2 percent

4. Honda: 7.8 percent

5. Toyota: 7.8 percent

6. Lincoln: 7.5 percent

7. Nissan: 7.3 percent

8. Mazda: 6.1 percent

9.  GMC: 5.9 percent

10. Kia: 5.2 percent