Last Mercury Rolls off the Line and Goes To Fleet Duty

It’s a sad ending to a once-noble brand as the last Mercury has rolled off the production line and it is being put to fleet duty. Apparently, there was no interest in preserving the last of the Grand Marquis for posterity.
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According to an online article at Automotive-Fleet.com, the Grand Marquis rolled off the production line Jan. 4 at the Ford Motor Co. assembly plant in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada where it had been produced for 25 years. The identity of the fleet customer was not revealed.

In late spring 2010, Ford had announced that Mercury would be shuttered so the focus could be placed on its Ford and Lincoln products. At the time, the plan was for Mercury production to wrap up by the end of 2010. According to Automotive-Fleet.com, somewhat appropriately, delayed parts shipments caused by snowstorms pushed production of the final vehicle into the start of 2011.

To demonstrate in how little regard the Mercury Grand Marquis was held, the most recent photo of it available on the Ford Media website is from 2008. Of course, it has undergone no substantive changes since 2003.

According to Automotive-Fleet.com, Mercury accounted for 0.8 percentage points of Ford's overall 16-percent U.S. market share. It was originally created in 1938 as a premium offering to Ford. The first model, the 1939 Mercury 8, went into production in 1938. The vehicle sold for $916 and boasted a 95 hp V-8. Sales for the first year total were 65,884 vehicles, according to Ford.

As recently as 1999, according to The Encyclopedia of American Cars (via Wikipedia), Ford was making 142,000 Grand Marquis a year. That number had plummeted to less than 25,000 by 2009, the latest year figures were available. In 2010, Mercury sold a total of 93,195 vehicles among its entire fleet of copycat Ford products.

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