Mustang Ready For the Pony Car War
It's the 1960s all over again - Ford scores a hit with the redesigned Mustang and the next thing you know the competitors are launching an all out Pony Car war. Looming in the Mustang's shadow are a revived versions of the competition's classic muscle cars. Is Ford worried?
"We embrace the Pony wars," said James Owens, Mustang marketing manager. "Mustang is the authentic American muscle car. In fact, Mustang is the only one of the original pony cars from the 1960s to live on into the 21st century with no interruption in production."
That production streak looks destined to continue with sales up more than 30 percent in September of 2006 over the same period in 2005. And Mark Fields, executive vice president and president, the Americas, announced in September that one new Mustang variation would be introduced every year.
Both consumers and auto writers embraced the major Mustang redesign in 2004. "Whether you choose a V6 or V8, a coupe or convertible, this is one of the best values on the market for consumers seeking traditional rear-wheel-drive performance," wrote the editors of Edmunds.com.
"Mustang has two kinds of buyers," Owens said. "People under 40 and people over 40. That sounds like a joke but its true. Our target customer "Drew" is a younger person who likes the Mustang because its basically cool. But our consumption customer is the baby boomer. These are people who no longer need the mini van or SUV and who fondly remember the Mustang of their youth."
To give an idea of the popularity of the Mustang to boomers, in February of this year, 70 percent of Mustang buyers did not bring a car for trade in. "Empty Nesters" who now find themselves with incremental disposable income just want to tool around town in The American Pony Car.
Young or old, buyers have four basic Mustang variations to choose from: Coupe or Convertible, available in Deluxe or Premium Arrays, in both GT and V6. For true nostalgia, there's the V-6 Pony Package which includes a unique Pony grille, fog lights, stripes, 17-inch wheels and rear spoiler.
All 2007 Ford Mustangs come with an auxiliary input jack for MP3 players, while Sirius satellite radio is a new option. Late in the model year, a DVD-based navigation system will also be available. Seventeen-inch wheels are now a stand-alone option on V6 models.
A new Comfort Package with heated seats, six-way power adjustments for the front-passenger seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror is available on V6 Premium and all GT models. There are also a couple of new trim packages for the GT. Offered in all 50 states, the original west coast wild thing The 68 GT Cal Special comes back to life in 2007 This package harkens back to the original with black leather trimmed seats with contrasting Dove or Parchment inserts; revised front and rear fascias; side scoops; 18-inch Polished Aluminum wheels; "GT/CS" door stripes and polished exhaust tips.
The GT Appearance Package offers just the exhaust tips, a hood scoop and an engine cover with the pony emblem. Additionally, Grabber Orange has been added as an exterior paint choice.
Whether or not the Mustang's rivals these rivals will put a dent in Mustang's popularity is anyone's guess. For now, Mustang is determined to remain the top pony in the corral.
Dearborn, October 25, 2006
Source: Ford Mustang news from the Ford Motor Company
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