Since the introduction of the Mustang back in April 17th 1964 til now 8.5 million units have been produced of the Ford light weight sports car, One million of which where sold before the end of the first 2 years.
With the 50 anniversary of the Mustang approaching the car shows both decreased market share in it’s home country while on global especially European aspect the sales are on fire.
But changes are coming, which means the Mustang of old is nearly ready to make room for the Mustang of new.
Raj Nair, Ford’s vice president of global product development, was mum when asked about the future on Wednesday, as Ford and the United Auto Workers celebrated the Mustang’s 49th birthday and the 1 millionth Mustang built at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant.
“The thing about refresh rates is they are a key factor in your market share,” Nair said, when asked what Ford needed to accomplish with the refreshed Mustang.
But Nair also said Ford isn’t going to be too radical to boost sales or make hasty alterations to meet the needs of the soon-to-be European Mustang consumer.
“We’ve got a very strong idea of what a Mustang is,” he said. “That’s what Mustang will always be.”
Sales of the Mustang aren’t what they used to be. Chevrolet’s Camaro muscle car has topped the Mustang in annual sales in the U.S. for three consecutive years. The difference is about only 1,400 cars but overall Mustang sales are less than half of what they were in the 1990s.
“There’s a lot of other choices for those wanting to express themselves, which is the basis of what the Mustang is about,” said Jack Nerad, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “The Mustang is a ‘Hey, look at me’ car, and if there’s a new car like the Camaro that’s even more ‘Hey, look at me,’ then that’s the one I’m going to buy.”
Demand, however, has accelerated to what Ford has called “a critical mass” for markets outside the U.S., particularly in Europe, slated to sell Mustangs for the first time since the 1970s.
Nair on Wednesday insisted that opening up Mustang sales to such a large market — Ford already sells the pony car in 30 other markets — won’t change the time-tested car.
“It’s an American icon, but it’s not solely an American passion,” Nair said. “There’s always regulatory requirements, but relative to the car, a Mustang is a Mustang.”
The Detroit News