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Mobil­i­ty with Atti­tude (MWA) — The big Ford Mus­tang glob­al risk paid off

Ford’s deci­sion to take the Mus­tang glob­al has paid off, with the automaker’s icon­ic car the top-sell­ing sports coupe in the world in 2017 for the third year run­ning. Though it’s a big achieve­ment for Ford, the big­ger news may very well be buried in the sales break­down.

Turns out, more than a third of all Mus­tang sales in 2017 were in glob­al mar­kets out­side of the US, Ford says, quot­ing fig­ures from IHS Mark­it. 125,809 Mus­tang coupes and con­vert­ibles were sold last year, across 146 dif­fer­ent coun­tries. IHS Markit’s rank­ings for “sports coupes” include any­thing whether con­vert­ible or hard-top, as long as it has two doors.
For the year, 81,866 Mus­tangs were reg­is­tered in the US. The remain­der were out­side of the coun­try, a broad­er mar­ket that for a long time Ford didn’t cater to. Indeed, it was only with the arrival of the 2015 Mus­tang that the automak­er announced it would be ship­ping the car to Europe and Asia.
That of course required a lit­tle more effort than just mak­ing a vehi­cle that could meet Amer­i­can demands. As well as local reg­u­la­tions, econ­o­my demands, and oth­er fac­tors that gov­ern the vehi­cles in deal­er­ships, Ford also had to build its first right-hand dri­ve Mus­tang cars. That was for more than 25 new mar­kets, includ­ing the UK, Aus­tralia, and South Africa.
Some coun­tries where Mustang’s charms might not have been expect­ed to swing many sales, arguably, have turned into sur­prise hits. “Demand remains par­tic­u­lar­ly strong in Chi­na,” Ford point­ed out today, “where Mus­tang was the best-sell­ing sports coupe last year based on 7,125 reg­is­tra­tions.”
Although the most recent mod­el years have intro­duced a new line-up of Eco­Boost tur­bocharged engines, small­er in capac­i­ty and more eco­nom­i­cal, some parts of the pony car charm are still old-school. The most pop­u­lar con­fig­u­ra­tion world­wide, Ford says, remains the Mus­tang GT. That has a 5.0‑liter V8 engine.
Nonethe­less, there are changes ahead that might make a dent in that V8 pop­u­lar­i­ty. Ford is work­ing on a Mus­tang hybrid, which the automak­er promis­es will have sim­i­lar per­for­mance to a V8 but with a boost in low-end torque. Exact engine details are yet to be shared – Ford hasn’t said how many cylin­ders it will have, for instance, nor whether it will be capa­ble of elec­tric-only dri­ving for any sig­nif­i­cant length of time – but the goal is to have it on deal­er­ship fore­courts by 2020.

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