Last post on Jun 07, 2008 at 4:54 PM
You are in the Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis
What is this discussion about?
Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, Sedan
#97 of 152 Re: Buy 'em while you still can [ionosphere1]
Dec 19, 2007 (9:36 pm)
Okay youngster. You're not a geezer (neither am I, I'm a near-geezer), you just like geezer & near-geezer cars, and there's nothing wrong with that. The Grand Marquis is a great car, and one of the best car values for the money. Spacious, safe, large trunk, comfortable, reliable, low maintenance, luxurious, inexpensive (to buy and operate), and durable. It's not unreasonable to expect these cars to last 20 years or more, and get well over a quarter million miles of operating life without the need for a major overhaul or rebuild. Just keep up the minor maintenances and frequent oil services (every 5000 miles), and you'll find your Grand Marquis to be a lot like a Timex watch, it'll 'take a lickin and keep on tickin'. It's not going to draw envious stares from the fellas or passionate looks from the babes, and it definately won't make your blood boil with excitement when you think about driving it; but it will be a reliable, hard working companion you can depend on, and it won't drive you to the poor house. If that's what you're looking for, you're not just going to like it, you're going to love it.
I'm with you, I too hope Ford doesn't abandon this type of car. But it doesn't look good for the Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis/Town Car. Ford has decided to let them soldier on unchanged at least through 2009, but beyond that is not real clear. It seems most likely that they will be discontinued after that. There is a high probability that Ford will return to the large U. S. rwd market later with a version of their Australian rwd platform, which will probably (hopefully) be a world-class competitor. That's good and well, but it appears that Ford may abandon that market for 2 or 3 years while they prepare their replacements. That, I think is where they would be making a big mistake. A significant face-lift, a mild re-engineering, and a nice powertrain massaging for the 2009 model would allow this trio to soldier on for another 3 or 4 years. Ford could get a nice up-tic in sales and defend their dominance of this market segment for a relatively small price, while buying the time needed to prepare the world-class competitive replacements they will ultimately need for long term viability. Hopefully someone at Ford is listening to people like us and doesn't abandon this type of car.
So unfortunately, you may have to plan on keeping your '08 Grand Marquis LS for a pretty long time. I know you're gonna love it, so that's not gonna be a bad thing. I wish you lots of luck with your new geezer's car: sorry, I mean youngster's car.
#98 of 152 Re: Buy 'em while you still can [peetiedog]
Dec 20, 2007 (8:04 am)
I'm not looking for excitement in my car, but comfort and reliability. I don't know why Ford doesn't just do some minor improvements like putting in a rear sensor and update the dashboard, but if they did those things, maybe they wouldn't be offering the $5,500 rebate on them. I'm hoping the rebate increases after 1/2/2008. Since I won't have the car for 8-12 weeks, which will be in mid January-mid February, that will be after the current 1/2/2008 end of current rebate period. The dealer told me that if the rebate decreases before I get my car, I will get the $5,500 rebate, but if the rebate increases, that I will get the new amount. He told me that when I questioned about the fineprint on the website about "must take from dealer stock by 1/2/2008", which implied to me that the car had to be in my posession by that date, not just an order for one. What the dealer says makes sense, because if Ford were to tell customers that not only do you have to wait 8-12 weeks for your car, but you don't get the rebate either, that would be a good way to go out of business.
Dec 20, 2007 (8:08 am)
Also, the dealer required me give a $3,000 non-refundable deposit, because he said the color I picked, Norsea Blue, that he would not be able to sell it if I changed my mind. Wonder if that's really true? Why would this color make the car unsellable?
#100 of 152 Maybe because
Dec 20, 2007 (8:11 am)
Norsea Blue is awfully close to Nausea Blue???...
#101 of 152 Re: Buy 'em while you still can [peetiedog]
Dec 20, 2007 (8:55 am)
I have a soft spot in my heart for Crown Vics, Grand Marquis, and Town Cars, too. My parents always drove them and they are a lot of car for the money. I get one as a rental from time to time.
My question is have any of the lovers of these cars driven a new Taurus or Sable? I can't speak to the durability but I think you would find the Taurus/Sable to have a more comfortable and quieter ride, more rear seat room, better driving dynamics, better visability, stronger performance and better fuel economy, while taking up about a foot less garage space.
#102 of 152 Re: Buy 'em while you still can [ionosphere1]
Dec 20, 2007 (10:36 pm)
Well Ionosphere1, first let me congratulate you on your purchasing of a new 2008 Grand Marquis. Excitement in a new car is always a good thing, but I assure you, your new Grand Marquis will give you more comfort and reliability than any other car within $10,000 of your car's price. These cars are basically bullet proof. Your salesman's correct in that when you order the car, Ford allows you both 'Price Protection' and 'Incentive &/or Rate Protection'. There are a couple steps he has to perform to accomplish it for you, but it's basicly pretty easy for him to do, so you need not worry. The worse thing that could happen is that things stay as they are; if there was a price increase, you'd get the price in effect on the date of your order, and if a bigger incentive is offered, you'd get the better of the two. Normally the wait time on an ordered unit is about 6 weeks +/- a week or two, but around this time of year there's always a holiday shut down for about 2 weeks. There was also an additional delay caused by Ford moving all Town Car production to the St. Thomas plant where the Grand Marquis' are made, which could easily account for another couple weeks. But the wait will be well worth it. Check with your salesman from time-to-time for updates, he should be able to give you production & shipping updates on your car's e.t.a. The "must take delivery from dealer's stock by 01/02/2008" is there to prevent dealers and customers from trying to get their deals grand fathered back into expired programs.
As far as doing some minor improvements, I think it should go beyond just adding back-up sensors and an updated dashboard. For 2009 model they should make some substantial improvements, like a significant facelift (front of the A-pillar & rear of the C-pillar), maybe even new door skins, definately update the interior and dashboard (maybe add a Nav System & improved seating), and definitely some re-engineering (improved suspension, increased horsepower & torque, etc), and then add some more goodies (like memory seats, heated & cooled seats, Sirius radio and dual-zone climate control). Move the big Merc Cruiser a little more up-town. Make the car more of a Buick competitor. It doesn't have to be a total re-design, but give it some changes one can easily detect. Even old geezers and us near geezers like toys and luxury, and shouldn't have to defect to Chrysler, Buick, or Toyota (Avalon) to get it. Make the car look like a new car and give it a nice bump uptown, and a lot of people will trade their old big Merc's in for a new one. These are the kind of changes Ford could do for just a few thousand dollars per car. They could even pack in a little extra profit margin (into what are already profitable cars) and reduce incentives by a couple thousand dollars, which would make it more than economically feasible and attractive for them. These steps would give them a great stop gap car that can soldier on for another 3 or 4 years, until they can come up with a suitable world-class competitor. I'm sure sales would bump at least 25 - 50%, once again IF the car were done right. There are a lot of people out there who have 3 to 7 year old, low mileage, above average Grand Marquis', who are not willing to trade-in perfectly good cars in for another one that's no different than their current one. But give them a car that looks like a NEW car, and WHAM!, you got their attention and their open checkbooks. A person will bump from a $31/$32k car to a nicer, newer, $35/$36k new car, IF you give them a significant upgrade. Of course that means they would have to do an equivalent upgrade to the Town Car as well. But then I'm not sure Ford can handle that kind of success. Someone up in the Dearborne Ivory Tower is committed to the death of these venerable old buggies. Sorta like when they tried to kill the Mustang and replace it with the Probe, all the Mustang enthusiasts were up in arms; even Ford couldn't ignore how stupid that move was, no matter how blind they were. The worse part is that Ford can't seem to learn from their past mistakes, they just keep shooting themselves in the foot and choosing to roll down the 'Suicide Hill' to extinction. It seems the only reason they're still here is because they occasionally screw up and produce a winner. And that's too bad, because my whole family was and is a Ford family. Until recently, defection to another automaker was treason. And the worse part of that is, in my heart of hearts, I still want them to succeed. I hope somebody up there in the Dearborne Ivory Tower wakes up, and soon. Because if Ford dies, a little part of me dies with them.
Anyway. Good luck to you Ionosphere1, I wish you the best with your new Grand Marquis. Pass on the good news every chance you get, to all who will listen.
#103 of 152 Buy 'em while you still can
Dec 21, 2007 (7:31 am)
You seem to be quite knowledgeable. The salesman told me that when they receive an invoice for the car, that it would be about 2 weeks from then that they would get the car and he would call me when he gets the invoice.
There is an item on the printout they gave me that I didn't notice until I got home. Something called LMDA Assessment for $700. Looking online, it appears to be some non-negiotiable fee related to advertising? Do you know about this $700 fee they tacked on? If it does have to do with advertising, then it is a ripoff, as Ford DOES NOT ADVERTISE the Grand Marquis.
If Ford were to make big improvements for 2009, I would be jealous, as it won't help me.
Dec 21, 2007 (10:49 am)
There are a lot of people out there who have 3 to 7 year old, low mileage, above average Grand Marquis', who are not willing to trade-in perfectly good cars in for another one that's no different than their current one. But give them a car that looks like a NEW car, and WHAM!, you got their attention and their open checkbooks.
Your statement applies to Town Car owners as well. If Jaguar had a dealer here, I would have purchased an XJ8 in 2004. Now, I'm considering an XJ8L, but still the nearest Jag dealer is in the next state.
Saw a photo of a "new" proto type Town Car with suicide doors & I liked it a lot.
#105 of 152 Re: Buy 'em while you still can [ionosphere1]
Dec 21, 2007 (3:30 pm)
Well ionophere1, Norsea Blue wouldn't be my 1st color choice (maybe my 4th), but I kinda like it as well. Don't worry about what marsha7 said (Nausea Blue???). There's an old saying in the car business, "There's an ass for every seat", heck, people even bought the Yugo cars when they came out back in the early 80's. And actually, Norsea Blue is a fairly decent selling shade of blue in many cars. I don't know from what part of the country you hail, but often there are regional differences in tastes, so what your dealer is telling you may be true, at least to some degree in your area or in his mind. I just can't see why a color that handsome is unsellable, darker blue shades typically sell well throughout the country, especially on sedate and formal sedan such as the Town Car. As far as the $3000 non-refundable deposit; that one's hard to believe. Most states don't allow for auto deposits to be non-refundable, and the few that I can think of, requires there to be a separately negotiated instrument that addresses the ''non-refundable' deposit only and signed by both the customer and dealer, so that it's not obscurely buried in some other paperwork. But I'm not an attorney and can't advise you on that, other than to tell you, if you're concerned about it check it out. Start with your state's DMV office, the state Attorney General's office, or the Better Business Bureau. Someone should be able to advise you about the legality of that in your state.
As to the LMDA, what that means is Lincoln-Mercury Dealer Advertising association. Every brand of car has some sort of local or regional advertising association, and a dealer would be stupid not to be part of it. Once a part, the assessment is non-negotiable. They don't just run ads, sometimes they augment the manufacturer's national marketing programs with additional or different incentives designed especially for the needs of their local markets. It's sorta like "Buy a Ford Mustang convertible from any of your participating Miami (or Southern Florida) area Ford dealers, don't buy a Nissan or Chevy" type of adds. The 'dealer specific' adds are additional to that, and paid for by the dealer himself to say 'Buy your Mustang from Joe Blow Ford, not from John Doe Ford across town' type of ads. The 2 weeks to arrival from invoice date sounds about right for most American cars.
I hate to say it, but I hope you end up jealous about the 2009 or 2010 models. If they make the significant changes I'd like to see them make, I'm going to trade my low mileage, pristine 2005 Lincoln Town Car Signature L in on a new one. If they don't make any significant changes, I'm gonna keep mine. I still can't believe that Ford deleted the Moon Roof, THX Sound, and Navigation System from the options list. Now how stupid is that?
#106 of 152 Re: Peetidog [euphonium]
Dec 21, 2007 (6:28 pm)
Yes euphorium, my statement applies primarily to Town Car owner, as I am one of those. I have a beautiful 2005 Town Car Signature L that is absolutely pristine with only 21,000 miles on it. I have 4 other vehicles in my household, 2 German high-end cars (a BMW and an Audi), an '06 Navigator and a 12 year old F150 Lariat Super Cab pick-up. I'm very fond of my BMW and my blood starts boiling every time I think about driving my Audi, but I'm absolutely in LOVE with my Town Car. She's like a beautiful and soft woman who cuddles me every time I drive her. If Ford doesn't significantly update the Town Car, my old girl is gonna be around a very long time, because they don't make-em like her anymore.
The XJ8L is an extremely nice car. I've driven a number of XJs. The newer ones are much more reliable than the mid-late 90's vintage and older, and the 80's & early 90's vintage XJs could be a nightmare to own. Still no matter how good the car is now, I'd have a little trepidation about owning one if there was no dealer within at least 50-75 miles of me. But the Jag is one very sexy set of wheels, no doubt. Good Luck to you if you do get one. By the way, what state are you from, anyway.
You say you saw a photo of a "new" Town Car with suicide doors? That one must have slipped past me. Tell me where you saw it, I'd love to go look at it and do a little research on it. If you have a link to it, please attach it. A while ago I saw some photo's on what was purported to be the possible reincarnation of the Lincoln Continental, and that had suicide doors. But that was pre-Mulally at Ford, and since that time a lot of stuff was axed and Ford changed product direction. I'm aware of the probability of Ford bringing their re-engineered Australian RWD platform over to the U.S., and the possibility of it being the replacement for the Panther (CV/GM/TC) platform.
Keep in mind that Ford had to mortgage virtually every asset they own, just to get the meager resources they do have. Don't expect them to get too bold in their product approach. At least not until some of their new products coming on line hit pay dirt for them. The new Fusion/Milan/MKZ, the 500-Taurus/Montego-Sable, the Mustang variants. and the Edge/MKX have all been working better than they expected. A lot of the face lifted vehicles like the '08 Focus, the Escape/Mariner, and the Expedition/Navigator are doing very well. The coming new stuff like the Flex/MK?, the MKS, the all new F150, and the coming Hybrid Fusion/Milan & possibly MKZ should add a lot to the bottom line. Together they'd fund a lot of aggressive product offerings. In the meantime, a significant facelift for the CV/GM/TC, about the magnitude of the new Focus/Mariner/Navigator, would recharge that market segment and buy Ford the time they need to develop world class replacements. Facelifts only cost a fraction of a complete re-do, and these cars are already very profitable for Ford, this could not only buy them the time they need, it would make them even more profitable and protect a market segment they already own.