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Extra Ford Mustangs coming to Australia

Galloping: Ford’s runaway success Mustang has blown out the wait for a pony car, but extra production has been dedicated to Australia from the North American factory.

Ford helps quench Mustang thirst with 2000 more cars secured for end of 2016

Ford logo5 Apr 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

FORD has managed to corral another 2000 Mustangs for the Australian market, following an unexpected reception that exceeded the initial sales forecast by 1500 units.

The Blue Oval’s first factory right-hand drive Mustang in 50 years of pony car history has proven so popular that all 4000 2016 cars found homes before the first Australian-market car had even rolled off the United States production line, but reinforcements are on the way, says Ford.

That significant demand had originally pushed wait times out to late 2017, but as a “priority market” Ford’s US production is helping to ease the pressure, and with the extra stock now allocated for Down Under, Australian Mustang fans will be taking delivery of their cars earlier.

Speaking to GoAuto, Ford Australia communications and public affairs director Wes Sherwood did not put a figure on just how much the wait time had been cut for Mustang customers, but said the delay had previously extended to the back end of 2017.

But Mr Sherwood explained that the extra production would not cut wait lead times for all customers, as their exact order specifications would have to match the manufacturing constraints in the US.

“It’s certainly going to reduce the waiting time for people,” he said. “I can’t say it’s going to be across the board because we’ll have to match up their desires. It’s still out to next year, but we don’t expect it to be out as far as the second half of next year.” While Ford was expecting a warm reception for the Mustang, Mr Sherwood said it was impossible to predict the exact numbers and an important part of the strategy was to maintain sales – sportscars typically spike at the launch before dramatically dropping off to more pedestrian numbers.

“We have to watch out how much of that scan be sustained,” he said.

According to Mr Sherwood, the EcoBoost is the variant that will keep the Mustang balloon inflated as the most affordable version with few compromises over the V8, which has been the favourite among enthusiasts.

As an extra sweetener for customers at the back of the line, all Mustangs built after June this year will be treated to the next generation of Ford’s Sync touchscreen information interface and some fresh new colours for no extra cost.

It will be the debut for Ford’s Sync3 system in Australia, bringing “increased functionality and improved responsiveness” as well as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Ford Applink 3.0.

While the launch colours of Deep Impact Blue, Competition Orange and Guard all take a bow for the early update, customers will have the fresh choice of Lightning Blue, Grabber Blue and White Platinum Tri-Coat. Ford reports Race Red as the most frequently requested colour in the current palette.

EcoBoost versions will also now arrive with a spare wheel, but V8s will stick with the mobility inflation kit with their larger Brembo brakes preventing the use of a steel wheel.

With the pressure of fluctuating exchange rates, the cost of a Mustang has crept up by up to $2500 compared with the originally announced launch price, but for the MY2017 car, prices have been frozen at $45,990 before on-road costs for the manual EcoBoost coupe or $57,490 for the V8 GT equivalent.

In the large-sedan segment, Ford’s Falcon continues to falter with sales down 32.6 per cent to the end of March this year, but despite the drop off, overall registrations of Blue Oval models are up 13.7 per cent compared with the same point in 2015, thanks in part to the Mustang.

While the Mustang is now outselling the Falcon (1118 versus 1067 YTD), its role is not as a volume seller, according to Ford Australia president and CEO Graeme Whickman.

“Mustang has a bigger role as a flagship for innovations such as EcoBoost engine technology that we offer on other vehicles such as Focus and the Ford Kuga SUV to give customers a great blend of fuel economy and efficiency,” he said.

Despite some trepidation surrounding a four-cylinder Mustang, the EcoBoost has found a strong footing in convertible form, with 40 per cent of all drop-tops ordered with the turbocharged 2.3-litre engine under the hood. Convertibles are only available with an automatic transmission.

Coupe customers have leant predominantly toward the full-fat GT with its 306kW/530Nm 5.0-litre V8.

“The 2000 extra Mustangs heading for Australian shores demonstrates the excitement around the vehicle, and it validates Ford Australia’s commitment to invest in expanding our performance vehicle line-up to five models this year,” Mr Whickman said.

Apart from the Sync3 and colour update, it is business as usual for the Mustang range, with 233kW/423Nm EcoBoost versions kicking off the range in manual Fastback coupe, or automatic for an extra $2500. Rag-top EcoBoosts cost $54,990.

Performance flagship GT V8 prices start at $57,490 for the manual coupe, $59,990 for the auto and $66,490 for the convertible.

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