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Door opens for more Ford Mustangs

Handbrake on: Ford Mustang customers patiently awaiting delivery in Australia might be the winners from a sales slump in the US.

Slowing Mustang sales in US prompts Ford Australia to request more deliveries

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Ford logo12 Oct 2016

FORD Australia hopes to take advantage of a drop in demand for Ford Mustang in the United States by putting up its hand for more stock in 2017 to satisfy Australian buyers who are still waiting up to nine months for delivery.

With Mustang sales falling 32 per cent in the US last month, Ford has mothballed the Flat Rock plant in Michigan for a week to keep excess stock in check.

But the bad news in the US is good news for Ford Australia which has volunteered to take up some of the production slack to speed Mustang deliveries to long-suffering Aussie buyers.

So far, Ford has delivered 4621 Mustangs in Australia this year, at the rate of about 700 a month.

While this is above the original allocation of 4000 units for all of 2016, the queue of would-be buyers has remained steady. Mustang GT buyers are waiting up to nine months for delivery, while four-cylinder EcoBoost buyers are queuing for four to five months.

Ford Australia product communications manager Damion Smy today confirmed that the company had asked for an increase in deliveries next year to help satisfy the local demand that currently sits at more than 6000 orders.

“We are definitely chasing that (increased supply), but don’t know yet if we have been successful,” he said.

Mr Smy said that while Ford Australia was pleased at the continuing demand for Mustang, it would like to make its customers happy by delivering cars as soon as possible.

Sportscars generally start with a massive sales spurt and then decline just as rapidly once demand has been sated, but the Mustang’s appeal in Australia has shown few signs of waning.

The “pony car” is the run-away leader in the sportscar category up to $80,000, holding a massive 33 per cent share of the market. Next best is the Toyota 86 which has garnered 1713 sales for a 12.2 per cent share.

The best-selling Mustang variant is the V8-powered GT, accounting for almost 84 per cent of orders in the first half of this year, with most of those in hardtop coupe guise.

The four-cylinder turbo 2.3-litre EcoBoost version has had just 16 per cent of the demand, but Ford says its popularity is gaining as word spreads about its merits.

The split between coupe and convertible has seen a big win to the coupe, with about 80 per cent of buyers opting for the tin top.

In the US when the Mustang was launched with a big splash well in advance of the Australian debut last December, the Mustang might have run out of steam about August.

In September, sales plummeted 32 per cent compared with the same month last year, with year-to-date sales now running 9.2 per cent down on last year.

The fall coincides with reports that the US motor market has plateaued and that showroom sales are weakening.

According to Automotive News, supplies of Mustangs blew out from 71 days in August to 89 days in September, prompting Ford to halt production at the Flat Rock factory south of Detroit until October 17.

To rub a little salt in the wound, Chevrolet’s Camaro overtook Mustang in sales for the first time since October 2014.

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