Ford Motor Co.'s actions to wind-down Mercury production will begin in late September, according to several dealerships who were told of the plans. Ford aims to shut down the brand and dealer network by Dec. 31.
These sources also said that Ford will stop producing the rear-wheel drive Grand Marquis sedan on Sept. 30, the Mountaineer SUV on Oct. 1, the Milan mid-size sedan on Oct. 2, and the Mariner small SUV on Oct. 3.
In an e-mail, Ford spokesman Robert Parker confirmed that Ford will end production of Mercury in the fourth quarter, but he clarified that specific dates were not announced yet.
The final factory orders from Mercury dealerships were submitted last month. Rolled-out vehicles from those orders will arrive at dealerships in about 30 days. Dealers who want more stock will have to contact other dealerships, according further to the sources. On July 1, Mercury had a 38-day supply of vehicles.
Ken Czubay, Ford's head of US sales, predicts that Mercury dealers will be out of stock well before Dec. 31. In an announcement last June 2, Ford revealed that it will close Mercury by the end of the year and will focus on two brands -- Ford and Lincoln.
In the US, 1,712 dealerships sell the Mercury brand but there are no stand-alone Mercury stores. Ford offered a cash settlement to dealers with Mercury franchises. However, these dealers will only get compensation as soon as they sell all remaining Mercury inventory and close their franchise.