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Stock finally on-stream for Ford Mustang
Sales expected to increase for Ford’s Mustang sportscar as waiting list shrinks
23 Jun 2017
By TUNG NGUYEN
FORD Australia is finally able to better supply the almost insatiable demand for its fan-favourite Mustang sportscar, with sales expected to rise as more stock becomes available to Australia and waiting lists shorten to about three months.
At the national media launch of the automatic-equipped Transit, Ford Australia president and CEO Graeme Whickman said the wait time from ordering a new Mustang to receiving it has reduced significantly.
“We’ve had a huge order bank, I mean the wait list for a while was in excess of a year, and we’ve been able to free up some supply and these last couple of months we’ve actually had more units arriving,” he said.
“So we’ve just been able to fulfil some of those orders and we reckon that we’ ll get a little bit more and I reckon that the wait time might go from like 12 months to three or four months.” Mr Whickman also said with more stock coming on-stream for the local market, sales are naturally expected to continue to rise for the now nearly-18 month old pony car – a stark contrast to the trend of other sportscars which see a spike in sales early before a slow decline in demand.
“It presents an opportunity because people aren’t having to wait so long, and (they) come out and actually put their money down on a vehicle and that’s why you’re starting to see sales starting to lift,” he said.
“I reckon the next year or so, we’re going to see decent sales of Mustang because there is so much pent up demand.” Sales are also expected to continue on an upward trajectory well into next year as an updated and facelifted version of the Mustang lands in Aussie showrooms with more safety tech and reworked 5.0-litre V8 and 2.3-litre EcoBoost engines.
Not all customers are happy to hang around though, as Mr Whickman revealed that Ford loses a small number of impatient customers due to the long wait times of its Mustang.
“We have a small percentage of people who cancel their order because of wait time, that’s a fact of life,” he said. “We generally see between three and five per cent.” However, Mr Whickman said Ford Australia has been trying to overcome this problem by delivering to customers cars which are already in the order bank.
“So what we’ve been trying to do is, because it’s a really precise vehicle, somebody who has ordered it a year ago, it might be a red, fastback, GT, black alloys, you know with certain configurations,” he said.
“We look in the order bank and we say is anybody close to that permutation and can we say to them, here’s something that is 99 per cent close, would you like it? “And in some instances, it can be a bit hard to do that, because it is very difficult to manage that manually, but that’s kind of what we’ve been doing.” For the first five months of the year, Ford has shifted 3772 units of the Mustang, a sharp 78.2 per cent increase over the same period last year largely due to the increased availability, and is leading the sub-$80,000 sportscar category well ahead of its closest rivals – the BMW 2 Series coupe and convertible (839), Hyundai Veloster (884) and Toyota 86 (821).
Mr Whickman however, said that sales data is only one metric which the Blue Oval brand uses to measure success.
“I’ve said in the past that we’re not going to be measured in terms of our success just purely on sales, I’ve been very consistent about that for a number of years now,” he said.
“Sales are very important to us, it’s not like they’re not important, but they’ re not the sole determiner in terms of success.
“Customer experience and customer satisfaction have been really important to us, we’ve made some great gains there.” While Mustang sales are up and contribute about 11.9 per cent to Ford’s overall 31,852 sales total to the end of May, year-to-date sales are 0.7 per cent off the pace of the same period last year, a fact which Mr Whickman acknowledged but said sales were travelling about par with expectations.
“If I look at sales … we’re 200 units behind where we were last year, year-to-date,” he said. “It’s 200 units. Our retail sales, not that we break that out, are up.
“I’m comfortable where we are, it’s part of the plan. We knew we were going to be at this spot at this point in time, we’re actually a little bit ahead of what we had as a plan.
“So sales we’re not worried about, I’m happy with where we are at the moment, it’s a handful of units and the retail composition is strong behind that.”
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