Mus­tang feels right at home

The Weekend Post - - News -

bracket grew up watch­ing Mus­tangs on TV shows and in movies, such as Steve McQueen’s 1968 hit, Bullitt.

Mus­tang buy­ers are also at an age when they’re com­ing into money or have put a dent on their mort­gage and have a bit of cash to treat them­selves.

The other con­tribut­ing fac­tor: the end of lo­cal pro­duc­tion of the Ford Falcon and its V8 de­riv­a­tives.

When the Mus­tang was con­firmed for Aus­tralia, Ford said it was not a re­place­ment for the Falcon. But it turns out that’s what has hap­pened.

Ford, de­spite spend­ing big over re­cent years try­ing to soften its im­age to fo­cus on women and tech­nol­ogy, the blokey Mus­tang is now the sec­ond big­gest sell­ing Ford lo­cally af­ter the very blokey Ranger ute.

Mus­tang sales are now higher than the Falcon’s were in its fi­nal years. The four-cyl- in­der coupe is about $50,000 drive-away, the V8 coupe man­ual $60,000 and the V8 auto con­vert­ible tops out at about $70,000.

When the Mus­tang launched here two years ago Ford fore­cast four-cylin­der ver­sions would even­tu­ally ac­count for more than half of sales but less than 10 per cent are four pot­ters.

So why did it take so long for the Mus­tang to get here?

De­spite the Mus­tang’s pop­u­lar­ity here, it only rep­re­sents about 5 per cent of global pro­duc­tion – but it costs just as much to en­gi­neer a right­hand-drive ver­sion as it does a left-hand-drive. It’s dif­fi­cult to re­coup de­vel­op­ment costs from such small vol­umes.

For decades the Mus­tang kept get­ting pushed down the list of priorities un­til some­one at Ford re­alised it was the com­pany’s only car with global recog­ni­tion.

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