Drive Type: RWD/LHD
Trim: Decor Group
Snohomish, Washington, United States
Ford is already well into winding down its Mercury line, and the autoamker has announced that the very last of the soon-to-be dead brand's products built for retail sales was manufactured on Sunday, October 3. The final Mercury Mariner rolled off of the assembly line at the company's Kansas City facility, putting an end to a brand with over 70 years of history behind it.
Even after the Mariner heads off into the automotive sunset, Ford says that it will continue to manufacture a handful of Mercury models for fleet and government service for a while longer, though mum's the word on how long we can expect that practice to continue.
Interestingly enough, according to USA Today, most incentives on Mercury vehicles have all but dried up, even as the brand's August production increased by 120 percent compared to July's figures. Instead of cash on the hood, some areas are offering no-cost maintenance or similar programs. Even so, Mercury has continued to out-sell Lincoln right to the end - besting Ford's luxury arm's sales by nine percent in August.
It's taken four years of study, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has finally closed the books on its investigation into rollaway accusations surrounding 1.56-million Ford SUV models.
The probe, which centered on the 2002-2005 Ford Explorer, 2002-2005 Mercury Mountaineer and 2003-2005 Lincoln Aviator, ends without the federal agency calling for a recall. According to The Detroit News, the investigation was closed due to a "low number of complaints" - NHTSA documented 180 such complaints that resulted in 14 crashes and six minor injuries, but the number of incidents have been slowing. The suspected defect rate for the trucks' automatic transmissions was found to be 4.4 per 100,000 units, and the brake-shift interlock mechanism failure rate was judged to be even lower at 3.4 per 100k.
The signs have come down and retail production ended back in October of 2010. Now, the very last Mercury model has rolled off the assembly line. This last Mercury somewhat fittingly takes the form of a Grand Marquis reporting for fleet duty. It was built at the St. Thomas plant in Ontario, Canada, which is the same facility that continues to produce the Ford Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car for fleet and livery duty.
St. Thomas' days are numbered, however, as the factory is slated to close on August 31. When it goes, the Panther platform is likely to follow. So long, and thanks for all the fish memories.
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