Troy N.Y. - Mercury Grand Marquis 01
The Mercury Grand Marquis was a full-size rear-wheel drive luxury sedan that was sold by the Lincoln-Mercury division of the Ford Motor Company; the Grand Marquis was the flagship of the Mercury lineup. The nameplate had been in use since 1975 as the premium trim level of the Mercury Marquis; the Grand Marquis became a distinct model in 1983. The car was essentially Mercury's twin of the Ford Crown Victoria with which it shared the Panther platform along with the Lincoln Town Car. After the discontinuation of the Crown Victoria at the end of the 2007 model year, the Grand Marquis had largely taken its place as the entry-level Panther-platform model.
The Grand Marquis was manufactured at the St. Thomas Assembly Plant in Southwold, Ontario, Canada though it was also produced from 1983 to 1985 at Ford's St. Louis, Missouri facility. With the discontinuation of the Mercury brand, the Grand Marquis ended retail production in October 2010 while production for fleet sales continued until January 2011. The last Grand Marquis, which was also the last Mercury ever produced, rolled off the assembly line on January 4, 2011.
For 2006, Mercury gave the fourth-generation Grand Marquis a facelift. From the rear, the trunk panel between the taillights was changed from red to gray. From the front, the changes became more substantial. In an effort to look like the 1988–1991 models, the rounded grilles that had been used since 1992 were replaced with a rectangular one. Fog lights became a first-time option.
Interior changes included a new instrument cluster, which featured the addition of a tachometer and digital odometer/tripmeter. The mast antenna on the right rear fender was integrated back into the rear window and new wheel designs were made available. This was the first year for the 4R75E transmission.
In 2007, the "Palm Beach" trim package became an option for LS models; it consisted primarily of special upholstery and badging. On all models, flex-fuel capability (E85) was added. Other new options included a conventional spare tire and an auto dimming rear view mirror.
For 2008, the Handling and Performance Package as well as the 5-passenger front bucket-seat option were both discontinued; both were similar to the Crown Victoria's LX Premium Sport and Handling Package. These were the only post-1992 Grand Marquis variants produced for North America to be equipped with dual exhaust.
The Ford Crown Victoria moved exclusively to fleet sales beginning with the 2008 model year, leaving the Grand Marquis with no distinct competition (in terms of price). In Canada, the Grand Marquis (a Ford since 1999) was replaced in retail markets by the Fifth-generation Ford Taurus (formerly the Ford Five Hundred).
For 2009, the base GS trim level was dropped from the lineup; leaving 2 variants, LS Fleet and LS Retail. The LS Fleet was available for fleet purchase only in Canada and the United States, and the LS Retail was available on dealer special orders only in the United States. Also, Lincoln-Mercury dealers in the United States have a "No stock" rule in effect for the Grand Marquis, as incentives as high as $4000 were becoming a requirement to remove them from dealer lots, usually after several months. A change made to the Grand Marquis due to federal legislation was the standardization of side-impact airbags and the addition of recessed window switches. 2010 marked the 35th year of Grand Marquis production, overtaking the Cougar as the longest-produced Mercury. Due to a government mandate, the VIN designations were changed for 2010, replacing the seventh character with a letter instead of a number. The Grand Marquis LS now carried an M7F designation, whilst the export-only GS carried an M7E designation. As the Mercury brand was phased out, a short run of 2011 Grand Marquis models were produced, with retail production ending in September; the last fleet model was produced in January, becoming the last new Mercury-brand vehicle made by Ford.