The Mercury Grand Marquis is an automobile that was sold by Mercury from 1975 to 2011. Introduced as the flagship sub-model of the Mercury Marquis, the Grand Marquis became a stand-alone model line for 1983, serving as the largest Mercury sedan. Subsequently, the model line would serve as the sedan counterpart of the Mercury Colony Park station wagon; it would later serve as the basis of the revived Mercury Marauder.

Mercury Grand Marquis
A 2003 to 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis
ManufacturerMercury (Ford)
Also calledFord Grand Marquis (Mexico and Venezuela)
Model years1975–2011
Body and chassis
PlatformFord Panther platform
RelatedFord LTD Crown Victoria
Lincoln Town Car
PredecessorMercury Marquis

From 1979 until 2011, the Grand Marquis shared the rear-wheel drive Panther platform with the Ford LTD Crown Victoria (Ford Crown Victoria after 1992), and from 1980, the Lincoln Town Car. For over three decades, the two model lines were functionally identical, with two of the three generations of the model line sharing a common roofline. Offered nearly exclusively as a four-door sedan, a two-door sedan was offered from 1975 to 1987.

The best-selling Mercury line (after the Cougar), 2.7 million examples of the Grand Marquis were sold;[1] at 36 years, the Grand Marquis was the longest-running Mercury nameplate (the Cougar, 34 years). During its production, Ford manufactured the Grand Marquis at two facilities alongside the Mercury Marquis, Mercury Marauder, Ford (LTD) Crown Victoria sedans, and (later) the Lincoln Town Car: the St. Louis Assembly Plant in Hazelwood, Missouri (1979-1985) and the St. Thomas Assembly Plant in Southwold, Ontario, Canada (1986-2011). Though Ford announced the retirement of the Mercury brand during 2010, a limited run of 2011 model year vehicles was produced. On January 4, 2011, the final Grand Marquis was produced at St. Thomas Assembly, becoming the final Mercury branded vehicle ever produced.[2]

1975–1978 edit

1977 Mercury Grand Marquis four-door thin-pillar hardtop
Model years1975–1978
AssemblyHazelwood, Missouri (St. Louis Assembly Plant)
Pico Rivera, California (Los Angeles Assembly)
Hapeville, Georgia (Atlanta Assembly)
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size car
Body style2-door hardtop (1975-1978)
2-door sedan (1979-1982)
4-door pillared hardtop (1975-1978)
4-door sedan (1979-1982)
5-door station wagon (1979-1982)
LayoutFR layout (body on frame)
PlatformFull-size Ford (1975–1978)
Ford Panther platform (1979–1982)
RelatedMercury Colony Park
Ford LTD
Ford Country Squire
Lincoln Continental
PredecessorMercury Marquis
SuccessorMercury Grand Marquis (1983–1991)

For 1967, Mercury introduced the Mercury Marquis two-door hardtop as a divisional counterpart of the Ford LTD; in contrast to other Mercury two-door hardtops, the Marquis was fitted with a standard vinyl roof and upright rear side windows similar to the Cougar.[3]

For 1969, the division revised its full-size range. The Monterey was retained as the standard-trim model, with the Marquis replacing the previous Montclair and Park Lane (a Marquis Brougham became the top Mercury in place of the Park Lane Brougham). The Marauder made its return as a fastback Marquis (replacing the S-55), lasting through 1970. Mercury cut its freestanding station wagon lines, with the Colony Park remaining as a Marquis-based station wagon.

The Grand Marquis name made its first appearance in 1974 as part of an interior trim package for the Marquis Brougham.[4][5] In addition to a wood-trim steering wheel, the interior was fitted with leather-and-velour split-bench seats.[5]

For 1975, all full-size Mercury sedans adopted the Marquis nameplate, as the division retired the Monterey (in use since 1950). To expand the model range upward, the Grand Marquis became the highest-trim Marquis (slotted above the Brougham).[6] Bridging the price and content gap between the Marquis Brougham and the Lincoln Continental, the Mercury Grand Marquis gave the division a vehicle to compete against premium medium-brand sedans, including the Buick Electra 225, Oldsmobile Ninety Eight, and the Chrysler New Yorker Brougham. The Grand Marquis as offered in either a four-door "pillared hardtop" sedan or a two-door hardtop sedan body style; as with the Marquis and Colony Park (and the Lincoln Continental), hidden headlights were standard. The model line was initially fitted with a standard 460 cubic-inch V8. For 1976, in the interest of fuel economy, a 400 cubic-inch V8 became standard through 1977, with a 351 cubic-inch V8 becoming standard for 1978 (except in California where the 400 V8 was standard). Through 1978, the 460 V8 remained available as an option; all three engines were paired with a 3-speed automatic transmission. Shared with the Lincoln Continental, 4-wheel disc brakes were offered as an option.

First generation (1979–1991) edit

First generation
1983 Mercury Grand Marquis LS coupe
Also calledFord Conquistador (Venezuela, 1984–1989)
Ford Grand Marquis (Mexico, 1982-1984)
Model years1979–1991
987,818 produced
AssemblyCanada: St. Thomas, Ontario (St. Thomas Assembly)
United States: Hazelwood, Missouri (St. Louis Assembly Plant)
Venezuela: Barcelona, Anzoátegui (División Industrial Automotriz)
Mexico: Cuautitlán Assembly
Body and chassis
Body style2-door coupe
4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
RelatedMercury Colony Park
Ford LTD Crown Victoria
Ford Country Squire
Lincoln Town Car
Lincoln Continental
Engine302 cu in (4.9 L) 5.0 Windsor V8 (1983–1991)
351 cu in (5.8 L) Windsor V8 (1986–1991)
Transmission4-speed AOD automatic
Wheelbase114.3 in (2,903 mm)[7]
Length213.5 in (5,423 mm)
Width77.5 in (1,968 mm)
Height55.4 in (1,407 mm)

For 1979, Mercury downsized its full-size model line for the first time, with the Grand Marquis making its return as the premium model of the Mercury Marquis model range. Seventeen inches shorter and nearly 1000 pounds lighter (dependent on powertrain) than its 1978 predecessor. While its exterior footprint closely matched the Cougar (Montego) intermediate sedan, the 1979 Grand Marquis saw gains in interior and luggage space.[8]

Alongside the extensive downsizing of the model line, the Ford LTD Crown Victoria was introduced for 1980, serving as the first direct divisional counterpart of the Grand Marquis. With the exception of front and rear fascias, both vehicles shared nearly identical exterior designs.

During the early 1980s, all three Ford divisions underwent a substantial revision of their full-size and mid-size model ranges. For 1983, the Mercury lineup moved the Marquis to the mid-size segment (replacing the previous mid-size Cougar), introducing an all-new Cougar coupe (replacing the previous Cougar XR7), and discontinuing the Zephyr (replaced by the smaller front-wheel drive 1984 Topaz). The Grand Marquis now served as the full-size Mercury; for the first time since 1951, Mercury produced a single full-size sedan nameplate (alongside the Colony Park station wagon).

The "downsized" Grand Marquis introduced in 1979 would remain in production throughout the 1980s, as competitors such as the Buick Electra, Oldsmobile 98, and Chrysler New Yorker (and Fifth Avenue) were downsized further and adopted front-wheel drive. The final vehicle in its segment remaining with rear-wheel drive and a V8 engine, the 1991 Grand Marquis was also the only vehicle in the segment also offered as both a sedan and a station wagon (as the Colony Park).

Chassis specification edit

The first-generation Grand Marquis was built on the rear-wheel drive Ford Panther platform. While Ford and Mercury sedans had shared common chassis underpinnings since 1961, the Panther chassis marked the first time the two model lines shared a common wheelbase (114.3 inches, downsized from 124 inches).

Although reduced in size, the Grand Marquis would retain the basic suspension design of its predecessor, with a live rear axle suspension and double wishbone independent front suspension, with coil springs at all four wheels. In 1985, gas-charged shock absorbers were standardized for the model line, with load-leveling rear air suspension introduced as an option.[9] The Grand Marquis was fitted with front vented disc brakes and rear drum brakes.[10]

For 1986, 15-inch wheels made their return as standard equipment (after having been an option since 1979).[9]

Powertrain edit

As the Grand Marquis became a distinct model line for 1983, its powertrain underwent several revisions. The standard 4.2L V8 was discontinued, with a 130 hp fuel-injected 4.9L V8 (rounded up to 5.0L by Ford) becoming the sole engine offering. Shared with the Lincoln Town Car and LTD Crown Victoria, in 1986, the 5.0L V8 adopted multi-port fuel injection with a cast-aluminum upper intake manifold, increasing output to 150 hp.[9][11] As an option, a 180 hp 5.8L V8 made its return for the Grand Marquis[citation needed]; shared with Ford police/fleet cars, the 5.8L V8 was the final carbureted engine sold in North America by Ford at the time of its 1991 discontinuation.

Both the 5.0L and 5.8L V8 engines were paired with the four-speed AOD overdrive automatic transmission.

Engine name Years available Configuration Horsepower Torque Transmission
Ford 5.0L Windsor V8 1983–1991 302 cu in (4.9 L) OHV V8
  • 130 hp (97 kW; 132 PS) (1983)[12]
  • 140 hp (104 kW; 142 PS) (1984-1985, US)[13]
  • 155 hp (116 kW; 157 PS) (1984-1985, Canada)[14]
  • 150 hp (112 kW; 152 PS) (1986-1991)[11]
  • 240 lb⋅ft (330 N⋅m) (1983)[12]
  • 250 lb⋅ft (340 N⋅m) (1984-1985, US)[13]
  • 265 lb⋅ft (359 N⋅m) (1984-1985, Canada)[14]
  • 270 lb⋅ft (370 N⋅m) (1986-1991)[11]
Ford AOD 4-speed overdrive automatic
Ford Windsor V8[15] 1986–1991 5.8 L (351 cu in) OHV V8 180 hp (134 kW; 182 PS) 285 lb⋅ft (386 N⋅m)

Body edit

The first-generation Grand Marquis was offered by Mercury solely as a sedan, in two-door and four-door configurations. For 1983 only, the Grand Marquis was offered as a station wagon (effectively a Colony Park without woodgrain trim); from 1984 onward, all full-size Mercury wagons were Colony Parks. While styled nearly identical to the LTD Crown Victoria, the first-generation Grand Marquis was three inches longer than its Ford counterpart; alongside the doors and front and rear windows, only the bumpers are externally shared between the two model lines.

After the 1987 model year, the two-door Grand Marquis was discontinued; only 4,904 were produced.[16]

Exterior edit

In contrast to the stainless-steel band surrounding the B-pillars of the LTD Crown Victoria, the Grand Marquis was offered with multiple vinyl roof configurations, sharing the B-pillar "coach lamps" of the Lincoln Town Car.[17] Alongside the standard half-length vinyl roof, a full-length roof was offered; the LS offered an additional option of a "formal roof", configured with a "frenched" rear window. The Grand Marquis was styled with a different rear fascia, using full-width taillamps (separated by the license plate).

During its production, the first-generation Grand Marquis underwent minor changes. For 1982, simulated vents were removed from the front fenders. For 1983, as the Grand Marquis became a distinct model line, the grille and taillamps were redesigned.[9] For 1985, to lower production costs, the external "Electronic Fuel Injection" and "Automatic Overdrive" emblems were deleted (both had become standard features); for 1986, a CHMSL (center brake light) was introduced.[9]

For 1988, the Grand Marquis underwent a mid-cycle revision, with restyled front and rear fascias, better integrating the bumpers into the bodywork. To save weight, steel bumpers were replaced by aluminum.[9]

Interior edit

From 1979 to 1991, the Grand Marquis sedan was offered solely as a six-passenger sedan with a front bench seat. While largely similar to its Ford counterpart, the dashboard of the Grand Marquis was trimmed with brushed stainless steel; in place of the horizontal speedometer, the Grand Marquis was fitted with two square pods for the fuel gauge, warning lights, and speedometer.

In 1985, the dashboard underwent several revisions. Alongside the adoption of a single-DIN radio unit (phased in across all Ford vehicles), the 8-track cassette player and CB radio options were discontinued; control of the horn shifted from the turn signal stalk to the steering wheel.[9]

As part of the 1988 revision, the interior was updated with all-new seats (distinguished by taller head restraints), an updated dashboard (with more wood trim and revised gauges). The Grand Marquis LS received options including a JBL Audio 6-speaker AM/FM/Cassette stereo system (with a power antenna) and a heated windshield called "Instaclear".

For 1990, the interior underwent a second major revision. To comply with passive-restraint regulations, the Grand Marquis was given a driver-side airbag; the rear outboard seats received 3-point seatbelts.[18] Coinciding with the addition of the airbag, a new steering column consolidated the turn signal and windshield wiper controls onto a single stalk; tilt steering became standard.[9][18] The dashboard was completely redesigned, adopted the horizontal speedometer used by Ford (using a silver background); for the first time, a temperature gauge was included alongside the fuel gauge.[18]

Trim edit

From 1979 to 1982, the Grand Marquis returned as a sub-model of the Mercury Marquis model line. Marketed as the flagship Mercury nameplate, the Grand Marquis competed against the Buick Electra, Oldsmobile 98, and Chrysler New Yorker (and New Yorker Fifth Avenue). For 1983, the Grand Marquis was expanded to an unnamed standard trim and the top-trim LS. The former effectively replaced the Marquis Brougham (the Brougham nameplate was adopted by the mid-size Marquis) and the latter was a trim designation adopted across the Mercury model line during the 1980s.

As part of the 1988 model update, the standard-trim Grand Marquis became the GS (in line with the Topaz and Sable). The badging of the model line underwent a revision, as the script lettering used since its 1975 introduction was replaced by block-style lettering (in the style of the Sable, Topaz, and Tracer); the Lincoln-style hood ornament was replaced by a version with the Mercury "flying M" badge", which were added to the trunk lid and wheels.

Production edit

Production figures[16]
Year 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 Total production
Units 95,718 131,396 147,139 98,929 120,503 111,611 130,248 72,945 79,329 987,818

Second generation (1992–1997) edit

Second generation (EN53)[19]
1994 Grand Marquis LS
Also calledFord Grand Marquis (Mexico)
ProductionJanuary 14, 1991–October 1997
Model years1992–1997
AssemblyCanada: St. Thomas, Ontario (St. Thomas Assembly)
Body and chassis
Body style4-door sedan
RelatedFord Crown Victoria
Ford Police Interceptor
Lincoln Town Car
Engine4.6 L Modular V8
Transmission4-speed AOD automatic
4-speed AOD-E automatic
4-speed 4R70W automatic
Wheelbase114.4 in (2,906 mm)
Length212.4 in (5,395 mm) (1992–94)
211.8 in (5,380 mm) (1995–97)
Width77.8 in (1,976 mm) (1992–94)
78.0 in (1,981 mm) (1995–97)
Height56.8 in (1,443 mm)
Rear view 1997 MGM
1993 Grand Marquis LS (Netherlands)

Unveiled on November 28, 1990, for the 1992 model year, both Ford and Mercury Panther-platform cars underwent their most extensive changes since their introduction for 1979. While the chassis was retained, the body was all-new from the ground up. After thirteen years on the market, the full-size sedans from Mercury and Ford were struggling against far more modern competition. Additionally, as an unintentional consequence of years of badge engineering, the Grand Marquis and its LTD Crown Victoria counterpart were left as virtual identical twins. In a significant break from precedent, the Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria (no longer an LTD model) were allowed completely different bodies; the only visually shared body parts were the front doors and the windshield. Development began in early 1987, with a design approval in 1988, January 14, 1991, start of production, and March 21, 1991, introduction.[20][21]

In line with the rest of Ford Motor Company vehicles sold in North America, aerodynamics and fuel economy played a large role in the design of the new Grand Marquis. Unlike the Crown Victoria, which followed the design themes of the Ford Taurus, the Grand Marquis would combine contemporary design with traditional styling features seen in full-size sedans such as full-width taillights, a formal roofline, and a chrome waterfall grille. In various forms, the chrome waterfall grille became a signature styling feature across the Mercury product line from the late 1990s onward.

As part of the redesign, Ford sought a new type of buyer for its full-size Mercury sedan; instead of the older buyers who traditionally bought them, the 1992 Grand Marquis was marketed to younger buyers in need of a larger car than a Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable.[22] As such, the opera lamps and padded vinyl top were discontinued (the latter becoming a dealer-installed option), and the imitation wire wheel covers were replaced by aluminum alloy wheels. Revisions to the suspension and steering were made to improve both ride and handling.[22] To improve stopping, four-wheel disc brakes replaced the rear drum brakes, with optional ABS; traction control was available as an option.

As with the 1988-1991 models, the Grand Marquis was available in base-trim GS and deluxe-trim LS models. LS models are distinguished by front cornering lamps. From 1992 onward, the Grand Marquis was produced solely as a four-door sedan, as the Colony Park station wagon was discontinued. Ford's Keyless Entry System became optional on lower-trim packages, and standard on upper trim packages.

Year-to-year changes edit

1992 Grand Marquis LS
1997 Grand Marquis LS
  • 1992: Second-generation Grand Marquis introduced at the North American International Auto Show on January 11, 1991, after the November 28, 1990 unveiling. It launched on March 21, 1991, as an early 1992 model.[22] All models come with driver's-side airbag standard with an optional passenger-side airbag. Partway through the model year, the AOD transmission was replaced by the AOD-E, which brought with it a different bellhousing pattern.
  • 1993: Dual airbags become standard equipment on all models. Radios are redesigned with a new control layout.
  • 1994: Increased side door impact protection. A/C refrigerant changed from R-12 to R-134a.
  • 1995: Mid-cycle redesign. Exterior trim features increased use of body-color trim and less chrome. On the front, a larger, rounder grille is better integrated to the body, while all lights on the front are changed to clear lenses. The license plate is now centered in between the taillamps. On the trunk lid, the Mercury and Grand Marquis lettering is italicized and reduced in size. Inside, much of the interior receives an update, with new seats, door panels, and the entire dashboard is redesigned with attention paid to ergonomics. Switching locations with the climate controls, a Double-DIN radio featured large buttons and knobs; on models without automatic climate controls, rotary knobs replaced sliding controls. The power seat controls, if specified, were now located on the door panels along with enlarged buttons for the power windows and door locks. The outdated horizontal speedometer was replaced by the instrument cluster used in the Crown Victoria (adding a voltmeter and oil-pressure gauge); a digital instrument panel with the trip computer was still an option.
  • 1996: No major changes. Inside, the Ford "brick" airbag wheel in use since 1990 was replaced with a new design shared with many Ford and Lincoln-Mercury cars, integrating the horn into a smaller steering wheel hub.
  • 1997: Last year for the second-generation Grand Marquis. The Mercury emblems are removed from the C-pillars. Following the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Caprice and Buick Roadmaster by General Motors, 1997 Grand Marquis sales would rise over 20% in comparison to 1996.

Powertrain edit

1995–97 Mercury Grand Marquis (with dealer-installed vinyl roof)

While the Panther platform was carried over from 1991, an all-new engine would be used for the 1992 Grand Marquis. The replacement for the OHV 5.0 L and 5.8 L Windsor V8s, the 4.6 L SOHC Modular V8 engine was the first (and as of 2014, the only) overhead-cam V8 to appear in an American-market full-size sedan. Producing 190 hp, it was more powerful and more fuel-efficient than either of its predecessors. An optional handling package, including a heavy-duty suspension, 3.27 rear-axle (instead of 2.73), and a dual-exhaust system that raised engine output to 210 hp was an option. It was largely the counterpart to the Ford Crown Victoria Touring Sedan.

All models of the Grand Marquis were coupled to a 4-speed automatic transmission. For 1993, the hydraulically controlled AOD transmission was replaced by the electronically controlled AOD-E transmission.[18] In 1995, the AOD-E was replaced the heavier-duty 4R70W transmission;[18] it was shared with the Lincoln Mark VIII and Town Car.

Engine name Years available Configuration Horsepower Torque Transmission
Ford Modular V8 1992-1997 4.6 L (281 cu in) SOHC 16-valve V8
  • 190 hp (193 PS) (single-exhaust)
  • 210 hp (213 PS) (dual-exhaust; trailer-towing or handling package)
  • 260 lb⋅ft (350 N⋅m)
  • 270 lb⋅ft (370 N⋅m)
Ford AOD 4-speed overdrive automatic (1992)

Ford AOD-E 4-speed overdrive automatic (1993-1994)

Ford 4R70W 4-speed overdrive automatic


Production edit

While the redesigned 1992 Grand Marquis/Crown Victoria would prove more fuel-efficient than their predecessors, a loophole in CAFE regulations allowed Ford Motor Company to sell both full-size cars and improve the average economy of all of its cars. CAFE regulations require vehicles with fewer than 75% domestic parts content to be counted as part of an automaker's imported fleet rather than a domestic one. During the 1991 retooling for production of 1992 models at its St. Thomas, Ontario facility, Ford switched a number of its parts suppliers from Canada and the United States to suppliers outside North America, bringing the domestic parts content of the Grand Marquis and Crown Victoria below 75%.[23] As such, the Grand Marquis was now part of a fleet consisting primarily of the far more fuel-efficient Ford Festiva rather than other V8-engined cars such as the Cougar and Ford Mustang.

After 1996, General Motors ended production of its B-platform sedans, discontinuing the Buick Roadmaster and Chevrolet Caprice; without its closest direct competitors, Ford and Lincoln-Mercury were left with a highly profitable market niche essentially to themselves;[24] however, several competitors began to introduce competitive vehicles in the segment. Replacing the outdated Imperial and Fifth Avenue, the 1994 Chrysler New Yorker (bench seat) and LHS (bucket seats) were the first Chrysler sedans to match the interior dimensions of the Grand Marquis since the 1970s. For 1995, the Toyota Avalon was the first Japanese-brand sedan sold with six-passenger seating (although assembled in the United States); an extended-wheelbase version of the Camry, the Avalon was considered a full-size sedan on the basis of its interior space.

Production figures[25]
Year 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 Total production
Units 163,262 90,367 107,894 94,202 104,433 127,949 688,107

Third generation (1998–2002) edit

Third generation (EN114)[26]
Also calledFord Grand Marquis (Mexico, Venezuela)
Model years1998–2002
AssemblyCanada: St. Thomas, Ontario (St. Thomas Assembly)
Body and chassis
Body style4-door sedan
RelatedFord Crown Victoria
Ford Police Interceptor
Lincoln Town Car
Engine4.6 L Modular V8
Transmission4-speed 4R70W automatic
Wheelbase114.7 in (2,913 mm)
Length211.9 in (5,382 mm)
Width78.2 in (1,986 mm)
Height56.8 in (1,443 mm)

The third-generation Grand Marquis went on sale in late 1997 for the 1998 model year with an evolutionary update to the exterior and interior. While the 1992 Crown Victoria was better received in the marketplace than the new-for-1991 Chevrolet Caprice, its exterior design (inspired by the Ford Taurus) was not as popularly accepted as the Grand Marquis. The love-or-hate styling factor was bolstered by the fact that the Grand Marquis outsold the Crown Victoria in 1994 and 1997, despite the latter's police and fleet sales advantage. Ford took note and kept the Grand Marquis' design language in place for 1998 while bringing much of it to the Crown Victoria to pivot away from 1992 to 1997 "Aero" look.

To streamline production, Ford and Mercury returned to a shared rear roofline between the two model lines, using the formal rear styling of the Grand Marquis; the configuration would remain in use through the end of production in 2011.

With General Motors' full-size B-body vehicles discontinued in 1996 to focus on more profitable SUVs and trucks, the third-generation Grand Marquis mostly competed against its Ford Crown Victoria counterpart and remained successful, selling over 100,000 units per year.

Chassis specification edit

The third-generation Grand Marquis retained the Panther chassis from its predecessors, lengthened in wheelbase to 114.7 inches. To upgrade handling stability, the three-link rear axle (in use on large Fords since 1965) was replaced by a four-link rear axle with a Watt's linkage, though a solid rear axle was retained.[18] To improve braking, the four-wheel disc brakes were given dual-piston calipers for the front rotors, requiring the use of 16-inch wheels.[18] ABS was initially standard for 1998, then became optional in 2001, and once again became standard in 2002.[18] The traction control (which remained an option) was revised to work at any speed (rather than only low speeds).

Powertrain edit

The third-generation Grand Marquis retained the same powertrain as the 1995-1997 Grand Marquis, with a 4.6L Modular V8 and a 4-speed 4R70W automatic transmission. In a minor revision, several under-hood components were relocated, with the power steering reservoir now attached to the engine and the coolant overflow reservoir now relocated onto the radiator (both were located on a fender).[18] In another change, the engine was converted to coil-on-plug ignition along with fail-safe cooling using a dual-speed electric fan.[18]

For 1998, the standard-equipment V8 (with single exhaust) was increased in output to 200 hp (from 190). The handling suspension package continued in production, paired with the dual-exhaust version of the 4.6L V8, producing 215 hp. For 2001, the engine received newly designed cylinder heads and a new intake manifold called "Performance Improved" (P.I.), which increased horsepower to 220 and 235 hp, respectively.[27]

A 2.73 rear-axle ratio was paired with single-exhaust engines; as part of the handling package, a numerically higher rear-axle ratio was used. For 2000 and early 2001, a 3.55 rear axle was used; other versions used a 3.27 rear axle.

Variants edit

Handling & Performance Package edit

Carried over from the second generation, the Handling & Performance Package was initially available on both GS and LS trims. The package included sport-tuned front shocks and springs; larger front and rear sway bars; a heavy duty rear suspension with air springs; shorter rear gearing for better off the line acceleration; a higher stall 11.25-inch torque converter (2000-mid 2001 only); dual exhaust; auxiliary oil-to-air coolers for the power steering and transmission; sport tuned steering; and lacy-spoke 16 inch wheels. In 2002, the package was restricted to LS models only.[28]

Grand Marquis LSE edit

At the 2001 Chicago Auto Show, Mercury introduced a new trim package for the Grand Marquis named LSE. Using the basis of both the LS trim as well as the Handling & Performance Package, the LSE added five-passenger seating with front bucket seats, a floor mounted shifter, and a center console. The center console featured a large storage bin with a cigar lighter, dual cup holders, and a padded armrest. Amenities found on the LS such as a leather wrapped steering wheel with temperature and audio controls, electronic climate controls (EATC), and dual 8 way power seats were all standard on the LSE. In addition to these features, the LSE included all mechanical upgrades found on the Handling & Performance Package and also used the same lacy-spoke 16 inch wheels on P225/60TR16 tires.[29]

According to Mercury, the LSE offered a compelling balance of performance and comfort. It was introduced to the lineup to further boost consumer interest in the model and went on sale beginning midyear 2001. For the 2001 model year, the base price of the LSE was US$28,295.

All LSE's are Grand Marquis LS models according to their VIN and are badged as such. LSE's did not have a separate VIN designation. The LSE name was only found on the front carpet mats that were included from the factory.

Body design and interior edit

While bearing a strong resemblance to the previous generation, the 1998 Grand Marquis shared only the roof stamping and doors from its 1997 predecessor. Designers revised the front and rear bumpers, squaring off their design. The exterior trim was largely simplified, deleting the chrome trim above the headlamps. The rear fascia is similar to the Crown Victoria but instead uses a red lens panel between the taillights. The grille was restyled slightly as a larger version of the 1995-1997 design.

The interior was mostly carried over from the 1995 update, with a two-spoke steering wheel replacing the previous four-spoke design. Seats were freshened with slightly revised designs, and the chrome trim was deleted from the column-mounted gear shifter as well as the turn signal lever. The interior backlighting was switched from light blue to green, and the gauge cluster needles, which were previously orange, were now red. In 2000, several federally-mandated features were added to the interior: an emergency release handle was added inside of the trunk, as were LATCH anchors and a "Belt Minder" (chime that sounds when an occupant is not belted in). New seat belt designs became standard in 2001 as part of the addition of Mercury's Personal Safety System which also included dual stage airbags and seat position sensors. Additionally, for 2001, redundant steering wheel controls for both the climate control and radio became available as optional equipment on LS models. Lastly, a wood-grain steering wheel, similar to that found on the Town Car, became available as an option in 2001.[18]

Engine name Configuration Years available Output Transmission
Horsepower Torque
Ford Modular V8 4.6 L (281 cu in) SOHC 16-valve V8 1998-2000 200 hp (203 PS) (single exhaust)

215 hp (218 PS) (dual exhaust; handling package)

265 lb⋅ft (359 N⋅m)285 lb⋅ft (386 N⋅m) Ford 4R70W 4-speed overdrive automatic
2001-2002 220 hp (223 PS) (single exhaust)

235 hp (238 PS) (dual-exhaust; handling package/LSE)

265 lb⋅ft (359 N⋅m)275 lb⋅ft (373 N⋅m)
1998-2002 221 hp (224 PS) (dual exhaust; GCC export) 304 lb⋅ft (412 N⋅m)
Production figures[25]
Year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 Total production
Units 134,155 142,372 132,870 100,774 96,034 606,206

Fourth generation (2003–2011) edit

Fourth generation
2005 Mercury Grand Marquis (30th Anniversary Edition)
Also calledFord Grand Marquis (Mexico)
ProductionMarch 26, 2002 - January 4, 2011
Model years2003–2011
AssemblyCanada: St. Thomas, Ontario (St. Thomas Assembly)
Body and chassis
Body style4-door sedan
RelatedMercury Marauder
Ford Crown Victoria
Ford Police Interceptor
Lincoln Town Car
Engine4.6 L Modular V8
Transmission4-speed 4R70W automatic (2003–2004)
4-speed 4R70E automatic (2005)
4-speed 4R75E automatic (2006–2011)
Wheelbase2003–2008: 114.7 in (2,913 mm)
2009–2011: 114.6 in (2,911 mm) 120.7 in (3,066 mm) (GSL)
Length211.9 in (5,382 mm) (1998–2005)
212.0 in (5,385 mm) (2006–2011) 220.0 in (5,588 mm) (GSL)
Width78.2 in (1,986 mm) (1998–2008)
78.3 in (1,989 mm) (2009–2011)
Height56.8 in (1,443 mm) (1998–2008)
56.3 in (1,430 mm) (2009–2011)
Curb weight4,118–4,137 pounds (1,868–1,877 kg)
2005 Mercury Grand Marquis
2003-2005 Mercury Grand Marquis
2006-2007 Mercury Grand Marquis LS
2006 Mercury Grand Marquis LS
2006-2011 Mercury Grand Marquis instrument panel
2011 Mercury Grand Marquis. This vehicle was converted to run on propane.

For 2003, the Grand Marquis received mechanical, exterior, as well as interior styling updates along with the Ford Crown Victoria, and Lincoln Town Car. Furthermore, the Ford Panther chassis was extensively redesigned since its 1979 introduction. In addition, the Grand Marquis largely replaced the Ford Crown Victoria in the retail market since the Crown Victoria was only available for fleet sales beginning in 2008. This was reflected in the fourth generation Grand Marquis' styling shifting over to the more generic look of the third-generation Crown Victoria, combining elements of both vehicles into one model that would serve both customer bases. During the 2000s, Mercury would introduce two additional full-size sedans: the revived Mercury Marauder and the Mercury Montego (rebranded the 2008-2009 Mercury Sable); with the fourth-generation Grand Marquis serving as the basis for the newly revived Marauder.

Exterior edit

The heavily rounded bumpers seen on the Grand Marquis since 1992 gave way to a squared-off lower look. Larger headlamps and side markers replaced the thin slit designs seen since 1992. The rear fascia was simplified and now featured contemporary badging. Up front, a new grille introduced the Grand Marquis to the signature Mercury waterfall-style grille trim. Grand Marquis LS Limited Editions were also now equipped with a hood ornament, seen for the first time since 1991; the option also marked the return of factory-produced two-tone paint. In a minor change, the windshield wipers were now frame-less.

Chassis & Powertrain edit

To improve chassis rigidity and safety, an all-new frame was introduced. It featured hydro formed frame rails, an aluminum #2 cross-member, and was now fully boxed. According to Mercury, the new frame was 20% more resistant to vertical bending. In an effort to improve handling, the entire suspension was revamped. Coil-over front shocks were adopted along with revised steering knuckles, revised upper control arms, and new aluminum lower control arms. In the rear, mono-tube shocks were introduced; they were also inverted and mounted on the outside of the frame rails for more precise handling. The new suspension required that Mercury change the wheel designs to those with a high-positive offset. The brakes were improved, as a quiet EBD brake booster with a mechanical panic assist system was added, which improved front-rear brake bias. To add, electronic variable assist rack and pinion power steering replaced the old recirculating ball system in an effort to increase steering precision and reduce production costs; the new steering unit was also speed-sensitive and 22.5 pounds lighter than the old setup. Moreover, the entire exhaust setup was re-designed, and the exhaust hangers were now mounted to the frame rails to reduce interior vibration.[30][31]

The 4.6L V8 engine was carried over along with the 4R70W four-speed automatic transmission. Due to the addition of an engine knock sensor and revised engine tuning, the Grand Marquis now produced 224 hp on single exhaust versions and 239 hp on dual exhaust versions. These horsepower and torque ratings would remain the same through to the end of production in 2011.[32] The oil pan was also enlarged by 20% to six quarts. Other changes included a re-designed intake manifold with an aluminum water crossover, and an electronic return less fuel system with a revised EGR setup; resulting in less carbon emissions. The updated engine was distinguished by a redesigned engine cover, featuring a silver "V8" emblem; the oil filler cap was moved to the passenger-side valve cover and the power steering fluid reservoir was moved off of the timing cover and onto the radiator shroud. Lastly, a new and improved variable-speed electronic radiator fan replaced the outgoing two-speed unit.

Interior edit

While not as extensive as changes to the exterior or chassis, Mercury made a number of changes to update the interior of the Grand Marquis in its 2003 redesign. Updated door panels and redesigned switch-gear improved interior ergonomics, while the dashboard from 1995 remained in place. The seats were re-designed with new upholstery and larger front headrests for improved safety. A new dual media (cassette/CD) radio was initially standard, but became optional midway through the 2003 model year. Moreover, wiper activated headlights were now standard. A shoulder belt was added for the rear middle passenger along with second-generation rear child seat anchors, and side airbags were introduced as an option; they became standard for 2009.[18]

Trim edit

As part of the redesign, Mercury had changed the Grand Marquis trim lineup for 2003. In place of the traditional two-model line, the Grand Marquis was expanded to four. In addition to the base-trim GS, there was now GS Convenience, LS Premium, and LS Ultimate.[33]

GS models included 6-passenger seating with an 8-way power driver seat, an AM/FM/CD/Cassette radio (deleted in favor of a cassette only unit in mid-2003, then a single CD player beginning in 2005), manual temperature controls, power mirrors, heated mirrors (2003 only), power locks and windows, cruise control, Mercury's SecuriLock passive anti-theft system (PATS), and Mercury's Personal Safety System. Free standing options available on the base GS were limited to heated mirrors (2004–08), an AM/FM/CD radio (mid-2003-04) chromed wheel covers (2004–07, standard for 08), rear air suspension (2007–08), and two tone paint.

Over the standard GS, the GS Convenience added all-speed traction control, power adjustable pedals, rear reading lamps, body-side paint stripes, and remote key less entry. Additionally, several free standing options were available on the GS Convenience such as: leather seating, a full size spare tire, chromed wheel covers (2004–06), heated mirrors (2004-06) and a trunk organizer. A GS Convenience Two-Tone Edition was offered from 2005 to 2006. Aside from two-tone paint, it included pinstripes, body-colored side moldings, unique scuff plates & C-pillar badging, chromed wheel covers, a hood ornament, as well as body colored door handles. Interior features of this package included leather trimmed seating with the Mercury logo stitched into the front seat-backs. Following the 2006 model year, the GS Convenience was dropped from the lineup. Many of its standard features and free-standing options were made available on the base GS through packages such as the GS Comfort Appearance Package (included leather trimmed seats and 16-inch aluminum wheels), as well as the GS Confidence Package (included traction control, heated mirrors, and fog lamps).[34]

LS Premium models added aluminum wheels, wide body-side moldings with bright inserts, an 8-way power passenger seat (this would later become optional), an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, electronic automatic temperature control (EATC), a leather wrapped steering wheel, an overhead console, and an instrument cluster with a digital message center (2006-2011). Free standing options available on the LS Premium included a six-disc CD changer radio with a subwoofer (an Audiophile unit on 2005 and newer models), chromed aluminum wheels, LSE package (later replaced by the Handling package), heated front seats, leather trimmed seats, side airbags, heated mirrors (made standard again for 2006), and PPG laminated side windows (2004–05). Following the 2006 model year, the LS Premium was renamed back to LS.

The range topping LS Ultimate added rear-air suspension with a rear stabilizer bar, "Ultimate" fender badging, standard leather seating, an AM/FM/CD/Cassette player (AM/FM/CD radio on later models), a fully digital gauge cluster (2003–05), and a steering wheel with redundant controls. In addition to the available options on the LS Premium, the Ultimate offered an optional wood-grain steering wheel. The LS Ultimate would disappear for 2008, but returned for 2009.

The LSE was not a separate trim and was instead a package for LS Premium models; it directly replaced the Handling and Performance Package seen on the third generation model. LSE's offered 5-passenger seating with leather, dual power bucket seats, a center console, and a floor shifter. Mechanically, the LSE had a larger front sway bar & rear sway bar, power steering & transmission coolers, uniquely tuned rear air springs, dual exhaust, a 3.27:1 rear axle ratio, and a 16x7 inch "snowflake" wheel design similar to those on the 2003-2005 Crown Victoria LX Handling and Performance Package (HPP); the difference being that the LSE's wheel pockets were painted grey versus HPP's machined wheel pockets. The 2003 LSE was short-lived for the U.S. market, as its production ended in December 2002. However, a limited number of LSE's continued to be produced for the Canadian market in both 2003 and 2004; it made a brief return to the U.S. market for 2005.[35]

From 2003 to 2005, a Limited Edition version of the LS model was sold. This included an appearance package with chromed mirrors, body-colored door handles, and a two-tone leather interior. Limited Edition models also came with side airbags standard. They included a Mercury badge hood ornament, making its return for the first time since 1991.

From 2006 to 2007, a Handling package was offered on the LS trim. It was a direct replacement for the outgoing LSE package and included all of its features with the exception of a new nine-spoke machined 16x7 inch wheel design shared with the 2006-07 Crown Victoria LX HPP, as well as six-passenger bench seating.[36]

For 2007-08 LS models, a Palm Beach trim option was available; it consisted primarily of special upholstery and badging.

Following the introduction of a "No-Stock" marketing guideline by Lincoln-Mercury, the Grand Marquis trim line underwent a revision for 2009. Aside from long-wheelbase GCC export models, the GS was dropped, while the LS was split into two series: LS Fleet and LS Retail. The former was available exclusively for fleet purchase in the United States while the latter was available only by dealer special order to minimize unsold inventory of cars. Moreover, incentives as high as $4000 per vehicle were added to remove previous stock from dealer lots. As Ford had announced the discontinuation of the Mercury brand in June 2010, all 2011 examples were Mercury Grand Marquis LS Ultimate Editions.

2003 Mid-year De-contenting edit

Midway through the 2003 model year, Ford introduced a series of production changes for the Grand Marquis (and all Panther platform vehicles) in an effort to reduce production costs; it was estimated to save the company approximately $4,000,000 per year.[37] Vehicles built after December 2002 were no longer equipped with remote-release fuel doors (introduced in 1992), black B-pillars (switched to body-color paint), map pockets on the front seats, a digital clock for the dash (a feature integrated into the radio on other Ford vehicles), a standard dual-media radio (CD/cassette), automatic parking brake release, foam sound insulating strips inside the headliner, silver V8 emblem on the engine "beauty cover", under-hood bulb, or an air intake sound resonator. Furthermore, with the exception of LS Ultimate or vehicles with the Handling Package, the Grand Marquis was no longer equipped with a rear sway bar. In another change, the 5-passenger LSE package was dropped for the U.S. market. Several colors were dropped from the model line, including: Deep Wedgwood Blue, Matador Red Metallic, Gold Ash Metallic, Aspen Green Metallic, Silver Frost Metallic, and Chestnut Clearcoat Metallic.

For 2004, the model line saw no major changes. Laminated safety glass became introduced as a new option; GS-trim vehicles featured a new wheelcover design.

For the 2005 model year, the model line saw a few revisions. An all new steering wheel design was introduced (for the first time since 1998); for the last time, the Grand Marquis offered a fully digital instrument cluster as an option. For LS-trim vehicles, an Audiophile 6-disc in-dash CD changer was offered as an option (similar to the Montego and sourced from the Lincoln Town Car). The LSE package made a return; however, only 533 examples were produced.[38] Due to a supply chain issue, the radio antenna was removed from the rear windshield and placed on the rear fender (it would return to the rear window for 2006). Minor deletions included the loss of illuminated vanity mirrors for GS-trim vehicles and the deletion of "Grand Marquis" insignia on the center of the dash trim. In a functional change, drive-by-wire throttle control was introduced, moving the cruise control function to the engine computer (itself relocated above the driver-side inner fender). In a minor change, a sound resonator was returned to the air intake, which now featured a 70mm mass airflow sensor. While still a 4-speed unit, the electronics of the transmission were upgraded (renamed as the 4R70E). Lastly, updated crash severity sensors were introduced along with a front-passenger weight sensor, which allowed the restraint system to automatically enable or disable the front passenger airbag as needed.

2006 Update and Later Years edit

For 2006, the Grand Marquis was refreshed once again, receiving the final styling update of any Ford Panther-platform vehicle. An all-new front-fascia was fitted with a rectangular grille (styled similar to the 1988-91 Grand Marquis); for the first time, fog lamps were offered as an option. While styled similar to the 2003-05 predecessor, the rear fascia adopted a dark grey applique between the tail lamps.

Though the dashboard itself was carried over, the Grand Marquis (and its Crown Victoria counterpart) adopted an all-new instrument panel with a tachometer. On LS models, the new instrument panel consolidated many features previously used by the overhead console into a message center, allowing the driver to perform a system check, view/reset oil life, distance to empty, average/instant fuel economy, and trip time. The new design also featured a redundant digital speedometer and a built-in compass. The LSE package was replaced permanently by the optional Handling Package for the LS trim, which retained the previous chassis upgrades (but not the 5-passenger seating configuration); the Handling Package also featured a new alloy wheel design.[39] Sourced from the F-Series and E-Series, the Grand Marquis received a revised 4-speed 4R75E transmission.

For 2007, the 4.6L V8 received flex-fuel capability (E85), and the side airbags were revised to improve safety.

For 2008, the 239 hp Handling package was permanently discontinued. With the discontinuation of this package, the Grand Marquis was sold exclusively in the single exhaust 224 hp configuration for most markets (with the exception of GCC export models).

For 2009, to comply with federal safety standards, side airbags became standard equipment; recessed window switches were introduced. Additionally, the GS trim was dropped and the LS was split in two: LS Fleet and LS Retail.

For 2010, a minor revision was made to streamline production, as the Grand Marquis adopted the extended transmission tail-shaft housing from the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.

For its shortened 2011 model year, the Grand Marquis received redesigned front-seat headrests in compliance with updated federal safety standards.

Engine name Years available Configuration Horsepower Torque Transmission
Ford Modular V8 2003-2011 4.6 L (281 cu in) SOHC 2-valve V8
  • 224 hp (227 PS) (single-exhaust)
  • 239 hp (242 PS) (dual-exhaust; Handling Package, LSE, GCC export)
  • 272 lb⋅ft (369 N⋅m)
  • 287 lb⋅ft (389 N⋅m)
Ford 4R70W 4-speed overdrive automatic (2003-2004)

Ford 4R70E 4-speed overdrive automatic (2005)

Ford 4R75E 4-speed overdrive automatic (2006-2011)

Sales edit

Production figures[25]
Year 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010[40] 2011[41] Total Production
Units 92,140 87,583 66,133 54,688 50,664 29,766 24,783 28,543 248 434,548

Export markets edit

During its production, the Grand Marquis was sold throughout North America, although it was not always badged as a Mercury. Outside of North America, exports were concentrated on the Middle Eastern market, where its large size and V8 power were attributes still sought by buyers towards the end of production.

Canada edit

After 1999, Ford of Canada discontinued sales of the Ford Crown Victoria outside of commercial fleets and law enforcement, concentrating civilian sales in Canada on the Mercury Grand Marquis. Following the 2004 model year, the Mercury brand was phased out in Canada, though Ford of Canada would market the Grand Marquis through its Ford dealerships. Sales continued through the end of production in 2011, as it was replaced by the redesigned Ford Taurus introduced for 2010.

Mexico edit

Ford de Mexico would market the Mercury Grand Marquis under the Ford brand twice. In 1982, the Grand Marquis was introduced as the replacement for the Ford LTD Crown Victoria and wagons, but it was always sold in Mexico as a Ford model. The Grand Marquis wagon was produced and sold for the Mexican market as the Ford Grand Marquis Country Squire; it was sold through the 1984 model year. From 1982 to 1984 it was manufactured in Mexico, after which it was imported from St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada. Wearing both Ford and Mercury badging, the Grand Marquis adapted a Ford Blue Oval on the trunk lid after 1998.

Although the Ford Grand Marquis was considered a sales success in Mexico and developed a reputation for luxury and prestige as the most expensive domestic nameplate available for sale, as in the United States, sales began to decline as the model aged. For the 2005 model year, Ford de Mexico replaced the Grand Marquis with the Ford Five Hundred, sold through 2007.

Middle East (GCC) edit

GCC-spec 2003 Grand Marquis LS
A Rare LWB Version of the Grand Marquis; the GSL.
Mercury Grand Marquis GSL Side View

The Grand Marquis and its Ford Crown Victoria counterpart were marketed in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The GCC-Spec vehicles initially offered a lower price, reliability, and relative simplicity (compared to German and Japanese luxury sedans), but the GCC-spec Mercury Grand Marquis began to lose market share in the 2000s towards updated competitors (such as the Holden-produced Chevrolet Caprice and Dodge Charger).

Modification edit

Rear interior, showing 40/20/40 Lincoln Town Car front seats
Arabic-language "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear" warning

Produced alongside North American examples in St. Thomas, Ontario, GCC-Spec versions of the Mercury Grand Marquis included several mechanical and trim modifications.

All were fitted with the High Ambient Temperature and Speed Package, heavy-duty battery, and an auxiliary transmission fluid cooler. Prior to 2002, export vehicles included a catalytic converter delete option. All standard-wheelbase examples were fitted with true dual exhaust.

To upgrade handling, the Grand Marquis was available with an Export Handling Package as an option. The counterpart to the Handling and Performance Package sold in the United States, the Export Handling Package consisted of rear air suspension (with stiffer springs), a larger front stabilizer bar, and a heavy-duty rear stabilizer bar. In contrast to the U.S., the GCC-spec option retained the stock rear axle ratio. Standard on the LS trim level, the package was available for any standard-wheelbase GCC-spec Grand Marquis. Following 2003, the model was identified by a trunk lid spoiler (shared with the Mercury Marauder).

From 1998, the GCC-spec Mercury Grand Marquis was fitted with the 40/20/40 split front seats of the Lincoln Town Car (in place of a 50/50 split-bench). To accommodate for the Middle Eastern climate, cloth seats are standard equipment, with leather upholstery as an option. In addition, the language of warning labels are in Arabic.

Trim variation edit

C-pillar badging on a 2009 Grand Marquis GSL

Middle Eastern versions of the Grand Marquis are equipped with slightly different options and features than their North American counterparts. Prior to 2009, six different trim levels were available:

  • GS
  • GS Convenience
  • GSL (Long wheelbase version)
  • LS (LSE package limited to mid-2001 to mid-2003 and 2005 model year)
  • LS Premium
  • LS Ultimate

In 2009, the LS models were only available with a column shifter and 40/20/40 Lincoln Town Car seats, available in luxury cloth or leather trim. The GSL is a long-wheelbase model offering 152 millimetres (6.0 in) of extra legroom for rear passengers. It is equipped like an LS model, with standard features such as an 8-way power driver's seat (2-way manual passenger seat), side airbags, leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatically dimming rearview mirror, electronic climate control, power-adjustable pedals, premium sound system with CD and cassette, 17-inch wheels with 235/55WR17 Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires, heated door mirrors, fog lights and special "GSL" badging. The once-optional gauge cluster is standard, with controls located on the center of the dashboard, between the headunit and climate controls. In North America, this model was only available to fleet customers as a commercial (taxi) version of the Ford Crown Victoria.

For 2009, the Grand Marquis was only available in two different trim levels: GSL and LS, both of which were near-identical in terms of features and options. The LS was a Fleet model, which was heavily de-contented, losing once-standard features such as an overhead console with a compass and a power passenger seat. The Export Handling Package was dropped, eliminating features such as the Mercury Marauder spoiler and rear air suspension.

For 2010, the GS model reappeared in the lineup, and several features (such as the Mercury Marauder spoiler) became available as standalone options. The Export Handling Package was made standard along with a power passenger seat. In Kuwait, the LS model (M7F) was not available to the general public in 2010, as they are heavily sold to fleet buyers, such as the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health and state-owned Kuwait Oil Company, where they are given to employees as fringe benefits.

For 2011, the long-wheelbase GSL was replaced by the GS, and the LS model was made available again to the general public in Kuwait. The LS Ultimate Edition remains a Fleet model and differed slightly from the GS, equipped with leather seats, electronic automatic temperature control (EATC), and an automatically dimming rear-view mirror. Lumbar support was no longer available.

Discontinuation edit

In 2006, Ford's The Way Forward re-structuring plan detailed that the company would be closing 14 manufacturing plants in North America by 2012, which was estimated to save Ford nearly US$5,000,000,000 and would reduce their workforce by nearly 30,000 employees. The St. Thomas Assembly Plant, where the Grand Marquis and Crown Victoria were assembled, was switched to a single daily production shift in an effort to reduce operating costs, with the Lincoln Town Car joining the two in production at St. Thomas by 2008.[42]

Consequently, in 2008, Ford indicated that the St. Thomas Assembly Plant would be closing by 2010. However, the Canadian Auto Workers Union successfully negotiated an extension to at least 2011. The closure was made official in 2009, as Ford confirmed that St. Thomas Assembly would be closed at the end of 2011.[43]

Moreover, due to the severe effects of the 2008–2010 automotive industry crisis, on June 2, 2010, Ford formally announced that it would end production of all Mercury vehicles by the end of 2010; the brand was discontinued after 72 years. In September 2010, after a short production run, the final Grand Marquis models for retail sale were produced. Slated to end production in December 2010, the production of fleet models was extended due to a parts shortage at St. Thomas Assembly. The final Grand Marquis, a white LS Fleet model, was produced on January 4, 2011, at 7:46 am. It was the very last Mercury produced by Ford.[2] The St. Thomas Assembly plant in Ontario, Canada closed on September 15, 2011, bringing an end to the production of the Ford Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car.

In continuous production for 36 years, the Grand Marquis was the longest-produced and second best selling Mercury (behind the Cougar), with over 2.7 million produced.[1] Among Ford Motor Company models in North America, only the Ford Econoline, Ford Mustang, Ford Thunderbird, Ford F-Series, and Lincoln Continental nameplates have been produced longer. The Panther platform served as the basis for Grand Marquis design for 32 years. Nearly unmatched by other automakers for longevity, the external appearance of the Grand Marquis remained largely unchanged for the last 19 years of its production life (along with its engine, the 2011 model shared a number of body panels with its 1992 counterpart).

Production totals (1983-2011)
Year 1983-1991 1992–1997 1998–2002 2003–2011 Total production
Units 987,818 688,107 606,206 434,548 2,716,679

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