|Ford Mustang - The early years|
In following up on the 48th
Anniversary of the
Mustang, we found this great article from The
Wall Street Journal’s Blog
, titled, “Mustang
Makeover: What Does Ford Have in Mind?
” Ford is looking to switch up the
look of the Ford Mustang form the retro trend and shift to a newer design to
appeal to Generation Y, which is entering its peak car buying years. Take a
look at what is being said about the new Mustang design and the reasoning
For the last decade,
auto makers have connected with baby boomers by recreating storied cars from
their youth like the VW Beetle, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger.
Now, Ford Motor Co. is
betting it is time to hit the brakes on the retro trend, and shift its focus to
a younger generation.
The Mustang, the Pony
car that launched affordable and compact sports cars, today strongly hews to
the look of the 1964 original. But Ford is working on radical makeover of its
signature youth-market car, people familiar with Ford’s plans said. The next
generation would retain the shark-nosed grille and round headlights, but would
look more like the new Ford Fusion than the current Mustang, these people said.
The change is part of
a bid to make the Mustang appeal to Generation Y, the roughly 80 million people
who were born between 1980 and 1999. This demographic group is entering its
peak car-buying years. Cars that their parents drive—and hark back to the days
of Woodstock, 20 years before they were born—don’t really interest them.
“You cannot sustain
sales without looking for new buyers. True, you are going to lose sales, but
you need to refresh the population of buyers,” said Alexander Edwards, an
analyst with Strategic Vision, a California research firm that helps auto
companies understand why customers choose the vehicles they buy.
|2014 Mustang Rendering from MustangsDaily.com|
“The main goal that
all automobile companies need to be successful at is, let’s prepare vehicles
that the next generation will want to be in, but have all the other features
that will still appeal to the older generation as well,” said Mr. Edwards.
For Ford, Gen Y may
prove a difficult target. For many in this group, cars and driving just aren’t
that cool in an era of iPads and Facebook. A 2011 study by the University of
Michigan found that just two-thirds of all 18-year-olds had driver’s licenses
in 2008, down from 80% in 1983.
Toyota Motor Corp.
created a whole subbrand, Scion, to appeal to the Millennial Generation. But
after some initial success, Scion sales are a third of the peak. Retro designs
in particular don’t fly, either. Last year, VW sold just 6,468 Beetles in the
U.S., compared with 81,134 in 2000. Last year, Chrysler Group LLC stopped
making its retro car, the PT Cruiser.
The Mustang, which has
had a strong retro look since 2005, is losing steam, too. Last year Ford sold
70,438, down 4.4% from 2010 and less than half the 166,530 it sold in 2006.
Chevrolet’s redesigned Camaro and Chrysler’s Challenger each outsold their
historical rival last month.
The new Mustang is due
as a 2014 model, and will look somewhat like an Aston Martin, the high-price
sports car often featured in James Bond movies. People who have seen the new
Mustang said it is almost a body double for the Evos concept car that Ford
showed at the Frankfurt auto show last fall.
A Ford spokesman said
he couldn’t comment on Ford’s product plans for the Mustang.
Changing the Mustang’s
look is a risky move for Ford because the car has such a big following, said
Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with researcher IHS Automotive Inc. “Ford has had
so much success with [the retro Mustang], there is significant risk of going
somewhat away from it,” she said. “You have to evolve the design, but it is a
risk to change it too fast or radically.”
Baby boomers are still
an important demographic. They drove booms in minivans, sport-utility vehicles
and luxury cars in addition to retro models. But with the oldest boomers now
retired, that generation is near the end of its run as hard-charging car
|2014 Mustang back-end rendering from MustangDailys.com|
The average Mustang
buyer today is 51 years old, Mr. Edwards said. They fall into the category of
“near-luxury” consumers in terms of spending habits and tend to include more
men than women. They like power and performance, he said.
Lee Stewart a
45-year-old accountant from Bristow, Va., just ordered a 2013 Mustang GT
convertible, and loves the current, 1960s look. The Evos concept car, he added,
is “a beautiful automobile, but it isn’t a Mustang.”
The original Mustang
launched a whole category of inexpensive, sporty cars with a uniquely American
look. The vehicle was a pet project of then Ford Vice President Lee Iacocca,
who kept it alive after Henry Ford II had rejected early concepts.
It hit the market as
baby boomers were in their teens and its rapid success triggered a host of
similarly, small, four-seater sports cars. General Motors Co. countered with
its Camaro, and Chrysler added the Dodge Charger and Challenger. In a nod to
the Mustang, they were known as “Pony cars.”
In the 1970s, Detroit
faced rising competition from small Japanese and fuel-economy regulations. The
Big Three shrank their pony cars and changed their looks dramatically, and they
all but faded from the roads by the late 1990s.
In 1998, Volkswagen AG
tapped into boomer nostalgia when it reincarnated the Beetle. In 2005, the
retro-style Mustang was launched and it was a hit.
But for Adam Perito,
32, a recruiter who is on the leading edge of Generation Y, the current Mustang
is great and he is looking to buy one, but “the new one looks pretty sweet.
Maybe I should wait until it comes out.”
We have a great selection of current model New
on our lot for you to test-drive. If you have any questions
about the Mustang or any other questions about service
, financing a vehicle
, or any
questions in general please feel free to Contact Us
. We would be more
than happy to answer any and all of your questions.
Brighton Ford is located
at 8240 Grand River Ave. just north of I-96 in Brighton. We are a family owned
and operated business that strives on customer satisfaction. Brighton Ford
proudly serves the Brighton Ford dealership needs, Howell Ford dealership
needs, Fowlerville Ford dealership needs, South Lyon Ford dealership needs,
Whitmore Lake Ford dealership needs, and Ann Arbor Ford dealership needs. For
more information on Brighton Ford visit BrightonFord.com or
give us a call at (800)-836-8206.