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Official: Ford to sell Mustang in Australia

Dark horse: Jim Farley confirms in Sydney today that the Mustang pony car is coming to Australia (below, the current Mustang).

Confirmation no surprise but countdown now underway for Ford’s redesigned pony car

Ford logo13 Aug 2013

By TERRY MARTIN

FORD Australia has officially confirmed that the highly anticipated next-generation Mustang pony car due for international release next year will come to Australia.

Although it remains under wraps ahead of an expected world debut at the New York motor show in April next year, the new Mustang was long ago confirmed as a global program that will include right-hand-drive markets.

The announcement of its Australian berth was made in Sydney today by Ford Motor Company’s executive vice-president of global marketing, sales and service, Jim Farley, who joined other Detroit top brass – including CEO Alan Mulally – at an event outlining the company’s model plans as it prepares to shut down its manufacturing operations here in 2016, putting around 1200 employees out of work and retiring the Falcon nameplate in the process.

No launch date for the Mustang has been set, but expect an arrival either late in 2015 or early 2016, just months before Ford’s Australian factories close. The Mustang announcement goes some way to appeasing Aussie fast-car enthusiasts of the Blue Oval brand, who will be dreading the demise of Falcon and offshoots from Ford Performance Vehicles – the performance arm which could be shut down as early as next year.

27 center imageLeft: Pictures of the current Mustang.

Various reports suggest Ford Australia will bolster the upgraded 2014 Falcon – the latest teaser images of which were shown at today’s ‘Go Further’ event – with a return of V8-powered models (including XR8 and GT) to the mainstream range, killing off FPV well before 2016 after having brought it in-house with a buyout of former partner Prodrive last year.

The 2014 Falcon will share key drivetrain components with the new-generation Mustang, and, as GoAuto has previously reported, Australian designers and engineers have played a key role in the pony car’s development, which is being run out of the US.

“The car has a unique connection with customers,” Mr Farley said. “It speaks to who we are – allowing you to enjoy the freedom of the journey like never before.

“(Ford’s global product program) ‘One Ford’ is opening the door for Australians and consumers around the world to our best-ever portfolio of vehicles and giving them new reasons to look again at Ford. The Ford Mustang is one of these vehicles.”

Ford’s recently appointed Asia Pacific and Africa design director Joel Piaskowski, who heads the Australian-based regional design studio, was previously exterior design director for The Americas and led the design program for the new Mustang.

His predecessor, Chris Svensson, who has effectively swapped roles with Mr Piaskowski and is now back in Detroit, told GoAuto at the Sydney motor show last October – when Ford Australia provided the first fleeting glimpse of the forthcoming ‘FH’ Falcon – that each of the company’s six design studios outside the US continued to have a hand in the next Mustang.

“All the studios have been involved in this car,” said Mr Svensson. “It’s one of those programs that we’re so excited about, and we all want to ensure that it is successful.

“It’s going to deliver a stunning, stunning car, and I think you’ll see influences in that car from all of our studios.

“Even though it’s based out of North America, and that’s where the design was executed, I think you’ll see when it’s revealed the influences of many of the other studios throughout the globe.

“The car was done specifically to build on the heritage of Mustang, and I’m sure that the Australian customers are going to absolutely adore it.”

Ford Australia’s E8 (Falcon/Territory RWD platform) vehicle line director Dave Wilkinson also told GoAuto at the Sydney show that “there’s a huge amount of functional alignment” between engineers in Australia and the US.

“Chassis engineers here are in constant contact with the chassis engineers in America and in Europe and around the world,” he said.

“Our expertise (in rear-wheel-drive vehicles) is embedded in the Ford DNA, in the Ford targets around the world.

“It’s very much an interconnected, functionally aligned Ford now – very different to what it was 15 years ago.”

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