DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. will begin the wind-down of Mercury production in late September.
Ford wants to shutter the 71-year-old brand and dealer network by Dec. 31.
According to three dealers informed of the automaker's plans, Ford will end production of 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.
Ford spokesman Robert Parker said in an e-mail that Ford will end production of Mercury in the fourth quarter, but added, “we've not shared specific dates.”
Mercury dealers submitted their final factory orders last month. Those vehicles will arrive at dealerships in about 30 days. If dealers want additional stock after that, they must acquire vehicles from other dealers, according to several dealer sources.
Mercury had a 38-day supply of vehicles on July 1. Ford's head of U.S. sales, Ken Czubay, has said he expects Mercury dealers to sell out of the lineup well before Dec. 31.
Ford announced on June 2 it would kill Mercury by year-end and concentrate on two brands -- Ford and Lincoln.
There are 1,712 dealerships selling the Mercury brand in the United States, but no stand-alone Mercury stores.
Ford has offered dealers with Mercury franchises a cash settlement. But the dealers won't be compensated until they sell all remaining Mercury inventory and close their franchise.
The compensation ranges from the low thousands of dollars up to about $1 million depending on the dealership.