When the 2015 model of the classic American muscle car hits the streets, it won’t only be on Route 66. Instead, Ford’s latest iteration of its iconic car will be introduced simultaneously in six global cities, spanning four continents. The worldwide move aims to both acknowledge the car’s 50-year history and expand its appeal to a broader market in the future.
In keeping with its tradition, the redesign retains most of the visual features that consumers have come to associate with the Mustang: blunt-nosed and stylish, with a substantial grille and a profile low to the ground. Despite some buzz that Ford would completely redesign the look (and apparently some debate about doing so inside the company), ultimately it chose to keep things visually similar.
In contrast, another recent version of a storied muscle car, the Chevy Camaro, broke with its historical look to adopt a more angular profile. This change seems popular. In the head-to-head-to-head competition among the Mustang, the Camaro, and Dodge’s Charger, the Camaro seems to be pulling out ahead. Not only is the Camaro tops in sales among pony cars, but it also attracts a greater percentage of female drivers and a younger demographic than either of the other two options.
Ford’s response is to introduce the newest Mustang as a global car, not just an American one. Along with its simultaneous grand release events in far-flung places as Shanghai, Barcelona, and Sydney, Ford has undertaken a social media blitz, mostly targeting Mustang fan clubs and car groups worldwide. Even if it predicts that international sales will be responsible for only about 10 percent of revenues, Ford hopes the Mustang will serve as a sort of “ambassador,” opening parking spaces and garages to other Ford models.
Mike Ramsay, “Ford to Take Mustang Sports Car Global,” The New York Times, December 4, 2013; “With 2015 Mustang, Ford Puts American Icon on Global Path,” Advertising Age, December 5, 2013