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Future Crown Vic and Grand Marquis



  • Got the tie in bigunit67. Coincidentally, I was in the US Navy during the Vietnam War, and remember those old battle-wagons being re-commissioned and then de-commissioned again. And you're right, there's virtually no chance of them coming back again, though some try to make a case for the impressive shelling barrage they can lay down during a conventional conflict.

    And again you're right, Ford probably won't continue the Panther trio. The difference though is that Ford, even after re-pricing these cars closer to actual transaction prices, is still making money on them. And Ford still pretty much owns the police cruiser and livery markets unto themselves, and shares ownership of the geriatric and near-geriatric crowd with Buick. Currently there is nothing out there that those markets would strongly prefer over the current stalwarts. Granted, the 60-80 year old generation is dieing away, but there are still enough of us old fogies left with enough disposable income to buy another round of these old behemoths.

    Ford is currently looking at an Australian rwd platform as a replacement for it's large rwd cars, and I agree that's a much better long term solution, after all, there's not much more messaging that can be done on the Panther platform. But there is currently nothing in the Ford stable that can fill the void that would be left if Ford kills those cars. Sure, given no other choice, the market place will find it's own replacements. But will they be Ford products? And after the defections, will Ford be able to win back those defectors? Maybe, maybe not. But even if they do, they'll have to fight for what was heretofore theirs, and that could be quite expensive. I subscribe to the theory that you keep what's yours, while trying to take a little of the enemy's turf. You don't hand the enemy your turf on a silver platter and then hope to win it back later. My suggestion to Ford is, invest enough in a significant facelift to buy yourself enough time (3-4 yrs.) to get that new Aussie platform developed into world-class replacements for these cars. Something that'll be competitive for the next 15-20 years.

    Ford doesn't have very deep pockets, so they've gotta make some smart moves, but they've also gotta take some chances. I think investing $250-$350 mil, maybe even $500 million in the CV/GM/TC trio could produce a change similar in magnitude as that of the '07 Expedition/Navigator, or the '08 Escape/Mariner. That would be enough of a change to drive most of their current market back into their showrooms for another dose. It'd be enough of a change to drive sales without the $10k rebate programs. Like I said before, people want their new car to look like a new car, and all of the name-changing (eg: MK-TC) aint gonna do it. Remember the Windstar/Freestar debacle? By giving us a substantially spiffed up new chariot, police departments, limo companies, semi-old fogies (like me), as well as the old fogies would all be happy to stay in the fold while Ford gets it's act together.

    Oh, by the way, gas mileage numbers aren't all that bad on these cars, given what they compete with; besides, they're not being hit with gas-guzzler surcharges as many cars are. And as far as the new Taurus/Sable being superior to CV/GM, you're right, but tell that to all the major law enforcement agencies that test the hell out of virtually every concievable police cruiser, and still virtually all of them keep tapping the Crown Vic as the cruiser of choice, despite a few glaring soft spots. And while you're at it, try telling BMW, M/Bnz, Lexus, etc., that front wheel drive is the better drive system choice for a large luxury car. Heck, even Cadillac has seen the error of their ways and is making the switch back to rwd. Consumer demand has always been the stronger driver of product developement, despite CAFE. The answer for CAFE standards is hybrids (better yet diesel/electric hybrids) in short-term, hydrogen fuel cell technology in the mid-term, and vastly improved mass-transit infrastructure and consumer transit appetites in the long-term.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    peetiedog, I agree with you except for the facelift. The geriatric or near-geriatric crowd tends to be conservative and likes continuity. However, we are not stupid, and we can count money spent on fuel. Ford would be better off laying off cosmetic bandages and investing the money into updating the power plant with a modern, fuel-efficient diesel engine. Livery market would love it (they spend a ton of money on gasoline), and people like me would get in line as well. We don't need a drag-racing engine (Marauder was a bizarre idea for this market segment), but a reliable, efficient plant that would last 300K miles without major issues could give Ford a leg up.
  • Hello hywhobo (I like the handle). Ford has all but made a concrete commitment to building the replacements for the CV/GM/TC trio on a new stretched RWD Australian platform. The new Town Car for example, is supposed to be larger and positioned above the coming MKS. At that time, you gotta think they're gonna at least try to make those cars world class. Even Ford has had to have learned, that you can't try to fool all the people all the time, and expect to get away with. Besides, I hear that Alan Mullaly, Ford's new CEO is a pretty smart cookie.

    It would be great if Ford would do exactly as you've said. New exciting styling, new platform, new powerplant/drive-train (possibly a clean-diesel/electric hybrid), better build quality & reliability, and a new marketing attitude. Then they would have a winning hand. Forget about chasing market share or pure numbers. Build 'Must Have' vehicles, the numbers will automaticly happen, but the best part is they will be PROFITABLE. Because of my past relationship with the Ford Motor Company product marketing, I spend a lot of time looking at and studying their new models. I believe they're on the right track. Quality is much better than just 10 yrs. ago, engineering is vastly improved, interiors are near European in quality (Ford has been taking a few pages out of Audi's book), and safety is top shelf. The tepidity and missteps of management, executive in-fighting and turf battles, along with stale products are what lies at the root of Ford's problems. Now that the insiders have been suppressed or pushed out, and under the new leadership of Alan Mullaly, Ford stands a good chance of putting the shine back on the blue oval. A lot of good product has been launched lately. Quality is high, warranty claims are way down (strong contributor to Ford's most recent quarter showing a profit), and subvention & incentive costs (on the new products) is very low (compared to products they replaced). So things are looking up.

    Still, Ford is hampered by a very small monetary war-chest. They have to be careful how and when they spend their meager resources. I do understand they can't re-do all their stale product all at once. I know new vehicles like the Flex, the MKS, a new F-Series P/U, a new Ranger, and the new TwinForce engine family and PowerShift dual clutch family of gearboxes all have to take precedence over many other worthy needs. So until Ford can get some of those new products on the ground and start to fill up their coffers, which can fund the new CV/GM/TC replacements, as well as other new product further down the pipeline. I'd be content with a major facelift and powertrain stroking. It's probably all we even stand a remote chance of getting. Besides, it's better than letting the CV/GM/TC just languish in the gutter; totally untouched and unloved. So when sales continue to drop, some bean counter will use that as justification for the axe. History will bear witness to that being another one of Ford's major missteps; and the point when FoMoCo handed GM and Chrysler the limo/livery, police, and large rwd market on a silver platter. Doesn't it make sense to plug that 3-5 year gap, between the current Panther platform and the future stretched-Aussie platform repacements, with something that might defend your dominant market position until worthy replacements are available? Especially since you can probably make a profit doing it. Maybe the problem with my rationale is that it makes sense. Ford's recent history has been to continually do things that don't make sense, like shooting themselves in the foot.
  • I'm not a geezer and I'm buying a new 2008 Grand Marquis LS, and I'm a first time buyer of this type of car. I think GM and Chrysler have made a mistake abandoning this type of car and I hope Ford doesn't do the same thing. I hope this car has the durability and low maintenance cost it is supposed to have, because I plan to keep this car a long time. If Ford stops making them and we can't get this type of car anymore, then I'm going to be keeping this a real long time......if I like it as much as I hope I do.
  • I bought my Grand Marquis LS new in 1999. I still have it and love the ride. I make 4 hour trips non-stop and after exiting the car I have no aches or pains. I can't last 1 hour in most of today's small cars without hurting.
  • 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. :)
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    Norsea Blue is awfully close to Nausea Blue???...:):):):):)
  • 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.
  • Well Ionosphere1, first let me congratulate you on your purchasing of a new 2008 Grand Marquis. :D 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. :cry: :sick:

    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. :shades:
  • 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.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    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.
  • 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 [non-permissible content removed] 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? :mad:
  • 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.
  • The strange thing is, is I am unsure exactly what the color will look like. It looks completely different on different websites. Even the Mercury website has it look different depending on the page, and even on the initial GM page if you rotate the car, it gets darker or lighter. The brochure looks different too, so I find it confusing. As dark blue is my first choice, I'm sure I'll like it, but I wish I knew what color to expect. Some webpages it looks sky blue, others purplish, and others grayish blue. There were no cars in that color on the lot.
    I'm in Seattle, so I don't know why the blue would be a hard sell.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    The photo I referred to is probably the modernized Continental seen prior to ARM leaving Boeing for Ford.

    It is coincidental that Ionosphere1 & I live in WA, he in the Peoples Republic of Puget Sound while I reside on the Columbia down river from Portland, 50 miles.

    That I know the dealer there from his racing days fifty years ago causes me to hesitate about bringing a needy XJ8 to his shop for repairs & Tacoma is really to far to flatbed a car. If only the local Lincoln dealer had a qualified Jag mechanic.

    I understand your feelings about the BMW & Audi. My son in law has a recent 3 or 5 Sedan, our daughter just bought an X5 & our son's Audi A8 is very comfortable and quick. Out of habit, I prefer our TC for road trips.

    66 Mustang GT Coupe, Ivy Green Metallic is my trophy car & garage queen having owned it for over 40 years. It hasn't been wet since '95. :)

    "For the Love of Cars" ;)
  • That exact color was offered in 2005 on the Town Car and the LS. I own a black '05 Lincoln Town Car Signature L, and when I was shopping for my car, I considered Norsea Blue. It was a nice color, but I chose black because it was a more formal color, and I wanted formal elegance. Norsea Blue is not purplish at all, and is no where close to sky blue, but it does have a grayish tint to it. It's like mixing 50% charcoal gray & 50% medium blue together. You could call it dark gun-metal blue, or dark steel blue if you had to choose another name for it. It's a very handsome color.

    Your Lincoln-Mercury sales person must not be trying to hard to serve you, because putting your mind at ease about the color is easy. All Lincoln-Mercury dealers should have a photo album sized binder called a '2008 Mercury Product Portfolio' in their stores. Inside there is an 'Exterior Paint Colors' chart with small paint chips on it for every color offered on the 2008 Mercury product line-up, Those chips are 97-98% true to what the actual color will be, so should give you a reasonably acurate representation of what to expect. You should demand that he show you this information. Every store has had these product portfolios in store for about 3 months or more now. Ask him to print you out an order update, and while you're at it see if he'll provide you with a copy of the 'Dealer Order Retail Announcement' (DORA), tell him if neccessary he can hide or cover-up his cost numbers. This will allow you to see how the vehicle was ordered, so you can confirm colors and equipment, etcetera. You want to confirm your color soon, so as not to be stuck with the choice of taking a car you don't like, or loosing your $3000 non-refunable deposit. All production is down now, until just after New Years day; which means your car probably hasn't been built, and maybe not even locked in yet, so you may still be able to change it if necessary. Once the car is built, it should only take a couple weeks for transit time.

    Norsea Blue is not a hard color to sell in the Seattle Region. It's just that some dealers may not have had good success with certain colors, and so they don't stock them. Usually the hottest colors in cars like that are Black, Silver, and Champagne/Gold, with Dark Blue/Lite Blue/White all kinda vying for the 4th spot, with Red usually dragging the rear. If I were you I'd ask for a statement in writing about the deposit being non-refundable, signed by a manager. If you have not already signed one, DON'T. Clarify with them that you will loose your entire $3000 if you do not take the car, even if they later sell or dealer trade the car away? Obviously if they sell the car at a profit, their profit will immediately become $3000 greater because of them retaining your deposit. If they dealer trade the car away, other than transport costs, they're in a 'no harm - no foul' position. If they suggest that this is in fact the case, let them know that you are going to confirm the legality of this act with the Washington DMW, the Washington Attorney General's office, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), then almost all the local TV & Radio new stations have some kind of 'Consumer Action Reporter' who'd probably love to sink their teeth into that one. Even if it is legal, $3000 seems like way too much of a penalty. Heck, from dealer's invoice to full MSRP, there's not $3000 of profit in the car. Try and negotiate some lesser, more reasonable amount, like $500 or maybe $1000 at the maximum. Sounds like this guy is gouging you. I'd bet that just having an attorney write a letter to the owner or general manager would solve that problem, and a simple legal letter probably wouldn't cost you more than a few hundred dollars.

    Whatever happens, good luck to you. The Grand Marquis is a great car, even if your salesman or dealership isn't so great.
  • 66 Mustang GT Coupe, Ivy Green Metallic is my trophy car & garage queen having owned it for over 40 years. It hasn't been wet since '95.

    NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL A TROPHY CAR! :D If you could only see me right now, I'm turning green with envy. I would look soooo cool in that car. :shades:
  • Hi:

    How did you get so knowledgable? Did you work in the industry? About the color, I didn't ask the saleman so I guess it's my fault. Before test driving it, I only looked on the Mercury website. It wasn't until later that I looked at lots of different sites and the brochure and noticed the color looked different. Any dark blue would be my first choice, so I'm not too concerned that I won't like it. Including this car, this will be my fourth vehicle in a row that I got in blue, so you can see that blue is my color. After giving deposit, I didn't get any "receipt" for it and saleman said they don't. Interestingly, they haven't cashed the check, because the $3,000 is still in my account and it's been about 6 weeks. Wonder why they didn't cash it? I'm not going to change my mind about the car and I'm going to give more than $3,000 for a down payment total. I wonder if they aren't cashing the check unless I tried to back out the deal?
  • I'm unclear about this. During the warranty period, does maintenance such as oil changes have to be done by the dealer to make sure they can't screw you in denying any warranty work? Like could I have my oil changes done by places like Jiffy Lube during the warranty period and not worry if my car gets problems during warranty? I'm assuming that the dealer charges a lot more for everything like oil changes.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    I cannot cite the suit or the source, but it is my impression that there was some kind of class action lawsuit in the last 10 years about that same other words, is the warranty void if routine maintenance is done by anyone other than the dealer, i.e. Jiffy Lube, Goodyear, Big 10 Tires, etc.

    I believe that the decision was for the little guy, that mean US, you and long as the receipt shows that the oil was changed, the right oil was used, and the filter was changed, and it was within the mileage/time requirements of the manufacturer, then it must be accepted by the dealer if warranty work must be done...

    In other words, they can't refuse to perform warranty work if your oil was changed somewhere else, or your tires were rotated somewhere else, etc.

    But only the dealer can perform warranty work and be held responsible for it...if you take your car down to Brake-O to have new wheel bearings installed because Ford had a recall, the work done by Brake-O is not considered under warranty, and if anything goes wrong, Ford would not be responsible to repair (for free) any work done improperly by Brake-O...
  • Yes ioonosphere1 I have worked in the industry for more than 35 years, on both the manufacturer's side and the dealership side.

    You won't be disappointed in your Norsea Blue Grand Marquis. You should have gotten a receipt for your deposit, anytime you give anyone money, you're entitled to an acknowledgment that they have received it, and what it was for. There's an old saying, "What separates the men from the boys and the ladies from the little girls, is CASH"; they asked for a deposit to cement your commitment to the deal, so I'm surprised that they haven't cashed it. The great thing about cash is, you can always give it back, but you can't always get it. I wouldn't worry about it though, because should they cash it, your cancelled check can always act as your receipt, and you can always add whatever additional down payment you wish.

    Marsha7 is correct in that there were legal actions regarding manufacturers tying warranty coverages to a mandate for dealership maintenances. But that was much more than 10 years ago. And her answer is correct. The manufacturers can require a minimum standard of maintenance services be performed for your manufacturers warranties to remain in effect, but they cannot require that those services be performed at the dealership. You can in fact perform those services yourself, as long as you are able to provide receipts that these services were performed, or that you purchased the acceptable SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) approved parts and fluids along with date logs showing when the appropriate services were performed. In the absence of such proof, approval of warranty repairs could be denied. Marsha7 is also correct in that manufacturers will only pay for their dealers to perform warranty repairs, with only very rare exceptions; and will only guarantee the quality of work performed by their dealers. All maintenance requirements, including types of oils, fluids and filters, can be found in the manufacturers maintenance manual that comes with your new car.

    Most manufacturers have come to realize that there's a lot of maintenance, wear, and repair work that their dealers are loosing, and have been doing a lot to help lower the cost of those basic services to the owners of their products. They realize that the dealerships have a much higher cost of doing business than the local Jiffy Lube, Super Tune and Big 10 Tire stores. They often sit on the most expensive real estate in town, and usually have factory trained (often unionized) technicians who are paid a lot more (often $25-$35 per hr. or more) + benefits, and they provide expensive specialized tools & computers that many places don't have. It's hard for dealers to offer specialists in all areas and still compete with the Jiffy Lube down the street, who may have recent high school auto shop grads working as lube techs making $8-$9 an hour. So they are encouraging and even subsidizing many of the basic services, to the point where the dealer's prices are very close to those offered by most of these after-market places. It's good for the dealer, the manufacturer, and the customer. The dealer wins because, the customer will often have other services & repairs done there, besides they get into the habit of coming to the dealer for all services and repairs. The manufacturer wins because, if the quality of repairs are better customer satisfaction with the brand rises, besides the more customers visit their dealer, the more they're exposed to the brand and the probability of repeat vehicle purchases increase. And finally the customer wins because, theoretically they're getting higher quality repairs that are hopefully fixed right the 1st time more often, besides other looming concerns that the customer may not know about can often be caught before the problem becomes a problem (like recalls, open technical service bulletins, and other growing service issues). Too often the Jiffy Lube guy doesn't care that your brake pads are only at 15% and may soon cause rotor damage, or the Big 10 Tire guy is not aware of an electrical component recall or a technical service bulletin out on your transmission.

    Needless to say, I'm a strong proponent of dealership servicing of your vehicle. The good thing with Ford is that they offer probably the industries best pre-paid maintenance plan available, ESP Premium Maintenance Plan. Plans are available out to 6 years or 100,000 miles. It still baffles me as to why most dealers never even offer it to their customers. They always offer the extended warranties, which can be a good thing as well (just make sure you get the manufacturer's branded warranty, a little more expensive but usually fewer holes in the coverage). But the pre-paid maintenance plans will cover money you're going to spend anyway, and usually your out of pocket expense may be as little as 50%-65% of what you'd spend on a pay as you go basis. The Ford ESP Premium Maintenance Plan besides covering all factory scheduled maintenance, will also cover most wear items (e.g.: Brake Pads & Linings, Wiper Blades, Shocks, Spark Plugs, Engine Belts & Hoses, etc.), additionally it will usually cover all taxes, hazardous waste disposal fees, it's good at any Ford or Lincoln/Mercury dealership and it's transferable. Virtually every finance source will gladly add it into the financing. Now that's the best way to keep your maintenance cost down. Typically you can negotiate pricing on your pre-paid maintenance plan just as you can on you car.

    Just remember, you are in the driver's seat. If you don't understand what's being told to you by your service advisor, have him or her re-explain it over and over until you do understand it. The only stupid question is the one that goes un-asked. I'd talk to the different service advisors and pick one who's personality is acceptable to you. Service advisors are like salesmen, except they don't sell cars or parts, they sell service and repairs. If you feel uncomfortable about what's being suggested to you, have them explain it to your satisfaction or get a 2nd opinion. Stick with your favorite advisor if you can, even if it means waiting a few extra minutes. They usually have a small commission or bonus component to their pay plan, and will often reward your loyalty by seeking out extra considerations for you when a gray area exists, expediting your repair order, or getting extra services for free (e.g.: loaner cars, discounts, etc.). Besides, they get to know you and your car's history. Often the manufacturer performs customer satisfaction surveys, and those surveys are critical to their ratings, bonuses, and raises. Let them know you will reward their active interest in you and your car with exemplary surveys and loyalty. If all else fails, there's always another Ford or Lincoln/Mercury dealer who would love your service dollars, even the factory pre-paid ones.

    Anyway, hope you had a merry Christmas and here's wishi
  • Peetiedog,

    Thanks for all the great information. My first choice would be to get everything done at the dealer and avoid any possible problems with warranty work, which hopefully won't be needed in the first place. If they offer some kind of pre-paid discount on stuff like oil changes, I might be interested. For an extended warranty, I think Consumer Reports says they are a bad deal. Actually, they say anything the dealer tries to sell you after the sale is a bad deal for the buyer, otherwise they would have talked about it before the sale as a selling point..
  • ionosphere1,

    You're welcome. If you can find a dealer you like and can build trust in, you'll probably be better off getting all your services and repairs done there. If you don't want to pay a large premium for your services at the dealer, you'll have to do one of two things: 1) Look for manufacturer/dealer discount coupons or price shop for the required services and then negotiate the pricing offered on a per case basis (hard work); or 2) Buy Ford's pre-paid maintenance plan 'ESP Premium Maintenance Plan', it represents your best value in maintenance & wear items coverage. Ford does not pay it's dealers retail prices on warranty or service claims, and they know that product satisfaction is higher when there's a 'gas & go' relationship, so they actually subsidize the plan's price so dealers can make a little money but still offer real customer value. In my experience the total you'd pay would probably equate to as little as 50-60% of what you'd pay over time at dealer retail prices, for the same services, and roughly 70-80% of independent budget shop prices.

    Vehicle costs are basically divided into 5 categories; Acquisition, Operating, Maintenance, Wear, and Repair. Acquisition, is the cost of purchasing, cash, payments, interest, etcetera. Operating, is the cost of gas, insurance, registration, etcetera. Maintenance, is the cost of oil changes, filters & flushes, rotations & adjustments, etcetera. Wear, is the cost of replacing things that just wear out, like tires, brakes, shocks, belts & hoses, etcetera. And Repair, is the cost of fixing defects, damage, things that should have worked but didn't, or broke, etcerera. Aquisition is a choice, Operating is a given, Maintenance & Wear are a necessary protective choice, and Repair is a possible reality. Ford's pre-paid maintenance & wear plan is a way of managing and capping a neccessary expense, to avoid future repair issues. Be smart, look into it. last time I checked, Consumers Reports wasn't paying anybody's maintenance or repair bills.

    Don't get me wrong, I hold Consumers Reports in very high regard. They are right in that if you have the financial dicipline and wherewithall, extended warranties on any item are usually a waste of money. They are usually heavily laden with profit for the seller. But that's only one perspective. Warranties are like insurance. You're betting the insurance company that something bad is going to happen, and they're betting you that it's not going to happen, and they're giving you odds. All insurance is like this. Every time nothing bad happen, you loose, and you forfeit your bet, your monthly or annual premium. Every time something bad does happen, you win, and the insurance company pays what they bet (the covered loss). Auto insurance, health insurance, life insurance, and so on all work on the same principal as mechanical breakdown insurance, often referred to as extended warranties. If someone took Consumers Reports position as the gospel truth, then no one should buy any insurance of any kind. But there's another perspective. If you cannot afford, or don't want to risk taking the loss, it's better to insure against it. Another way of putting it is, 'It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it'. Warranties are like any other insurance, there are good companies and not so good companies; and within each, there are good policies and bad. There's no one size fits all policy that I know of. It's like anything else. Do you homework, assess your risk tolerance, shop around, and then negotiate. My personal opinion is that the manufacturers warranties are the most expensive, but they are generally the best. They have the most to loose if they piss you off. Keep in mind that Ford's name is on the Ford extended warranties. So if they don't pay a legitimate claim presented to them, or hide behind loop-holes, someone may choose never to buy another Ford product again as a result, as well as bad mouthing them along the way. So rather than have that, most manufacturers charge a little more for their policies, but offer plans that have fewer holes in the coverages, so they won't have as many occasions to need to deny a claim. In fact, they often approve claims that should be denied, for customer satisfaction reasons.

    So if you feel uncomfortable about taking on the financial risk of not having the protection, buy an extended warranty. Just don't get cheap. Buy a manufacturers plan, make sure you understand the coverages and choices, pick the plan that best suits you need, negotiate to pay a reasonable profit margin to the dealer, and call it a day. Then hope it is a waste of money. I don't know anyone who wants something to go wrong so they can USE their insurance, especially not their life insurance. And remember opinions are like [non-permissible content removed]-holes, everybody's got one. Consumers Reports has theirs, and now you have mine as well. Always seek out more than one opinion. Besides, if you don't get a warranty because Consumers Reports say not to, and something goes wrong, try submitting the bill to them and see if they'll pay it for you.

    Lastly consider this. The best Ford extended warranty plans should retail for approximately of 4-5% of the car's MSRP (rule of thumb) for a 6 yr./75,000 mile plan, and 7-8% of the MSRP (rule of thumb) for a 7yr./100,000 mile plan. So a 6 yr./75k mi. Ford Premium Care extended warranty on a $30k MSRP Grand Marquis, should retail in the neighborhood of $1200 - $1500, but remember, NEGOTIATE. A pittance compared to the cost of a major repair, like an engine, a transmission, or major electrical malfunction. Keep in mind, almost everything on today's cars are computer controlled. If you're buying a $1000 washing machine, and they're trying to sell you a 3 or 4 year warranty extension for $150 or $200, that's 15-20% of the cost of the purchase. I can afford to take the risk of self insuring in that case.

    A lot of the other stuff is not always worth considering. Credit Life & Credit Disability insurance is usually not worth buying from a dealer. Contact somebody like Met Life or Prudential if you want to buy life or disability insurance. Pin stripes and fuzzy dice for the window mirror :P , amoungst a host of other things, are just a rip. So stay away, 'Just Say No!
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    a scientific opinion, but the ONE advantage, IMO, to buying credit life or disability from the dealer is if the buyer is virtually uninsurable due to pre-existing health issues, and the quasi group policies from the dealer almost guarantee being issued...

    The same with mortgage life insurance...while not the best move financially, if you cannot get cheaper insurance from an independent agent, buying mortgage life from the lender almost guarantees a policy being issued, so that if you die, your surviving spouse at least has a paid off home w/o a mortgage, making the post-death transition a little easier since they do not have to worry about becoming homeless 2 months after someone's death...
  • Marsha7,

    It depends on which state the LA&H policies are being sold in. I'm not familiar with the laws in all states, but I am familiar with the laws in about 20 states, as one of my recent job responsibilities for a major 'captive' finance company was in the marketing and training arena. The M&T area I worked most with was F&I, especially since I held state licenses for L&D as well as F&C, along with my NASD registration. In many of the states I'm familiar with, there are still escape clauses for the Insurance companies; and for those that don't allow for underwriting selection, the premiums are so heavily loaded, that all but the most uninsurable would probably reject the purchase offer. Especially if they new exactly what they were buying, and the claims process especially as pertaining to credit disability. I have been out of that loop for a little while, so things may have changed, but I don't think much, if any at all. And then things may be different in your state.

    I can't speak to the mortgage industry, other than to say that most product types tend to follow the same trend lines. My guess would be that most people who think they are uninsurable, might find that they in fact are insurable. There are companies out there who make a market in medium, high, and very high risk applicants, and their policies are rated to accommodate the risk. They may find that there is a policy available to them that offers level coverage for a similar or smaller premium, as opposed to declining coverage for that level or increasing premium. I grant you, that those who are truly uninsurable in the open market, may not have much choice. But most people who buy that stuff are not uninsurable, they are just uninformed, misled, or too lazy to shop around.

    Anyway, I don't really want to discuss life and disability insurance. I'd rather get back to discussing cars. I just wanted to help my amigo from the upper north-west to make some informed choices. Nuff said on the subject as far I'm concerned.

    Now what would you like to see Ford do with the CV/GM/TC trio going forward?
  • Why does it take 8-12 weeks to get the car? I wonder how many people, unwilling to wait so long, end up buying a different car instead? Is it due to this being an unpopular model?
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    It takes about six weeks to order and actually program the car for manufacture...two more weeks to start up the plant to make your car and your car only...then it takes another six weeks to locate a geezer who can only drive 50 miles per day before needing to stop for the night...assuming you live 1000 miles from the assembly plant, that adds another 4 weeks (5 weekdays x 4 weeks is 20 days; 20 days x 50 miles per geezer day is 1000 miles)...

    OK, I made all this up...:):):):):)
  • Under normal situations it takes between 5-7 weeks from order to arrival for a new vehicle. It used to take 6-9 weeks back in the late 90's to get a car, but Ford has been working to shorten that time frame. A lot of it depends on how quickly the dealer gets the order into the system, whether the dealer has available allocation or not, whether there are commodity holds or not, and sometimes there is higher demand than supply issues (e.g.: Escape/Mariner Hybrids), or production stops.

    In the case of the Grand Marquis and Crown Victoria, there are a couple reasons. Normally there are production stops around the Christmas/New Year holidays, as union contracts require much higher wages for Sundays and holiday work (e.g.: Christmas Eve & Christmas, New Year's Eve & New Year's day). So most factories close down for the 2 or 3 weeks around that time, since as many as 6 or 7 of those days would require premium pay anyway, and it allows them to bring in mechanical engineering teams to service and adjust the production machinery. So there goes a few weeks of your wait time anyway. Also, the Wixom (Michigan) plant that produced Town Car was shut down, and Town Car production was moved to St Thomas (Canada) plant where Crown Vic & Grand Marquis is produced. So CV & GM production had to be interrupted while Town Car tooling was put in place. That caused several weeks of delayed production. As I understand it, the plant's full production starts again this coming Monday. So barring some other problem (like the dealer's lack of allocation, which I doubt), you should probably see your car arriving at the dealership within 4-6 weeks or so.

    And for your edification, if someone wants and orders a Grand Marquis, they probably wouldn't end up buying a different car. It is nearly impossible to find a new RWD, large car, similar to the Grand Marquis; especially a very loaded car for well under $30k after incentives. For the few who cannot wait, the dealer can always dealer-trade to get a unit similar to what the person wants. On a car like this, in relatively well populated areas, there are usually many dozens of stock units to choose from within a 100 mile radius of a given store. Often a dealer will absorb the cost of transporting the vehicle, to get the sale today rather than in 2 months; besides, that customer that gets the itch, might go looking around elsewhere, and another dealer may end up scratching his itch, and he end up in a similar car sooner. So it amazes me that your dealer didn't at least make an attempt to locate you a Norsea Blue Grand Marquis, and remove you from the market.
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