Ford Identifies Opportunity for Mustang Amid Competitors’ V8 Engine Departures

In the automotive industry, Ford Motor perceives a promising opportunity for expanding Mustang sales, especially now that it stands as the sole American muscle car equipped with a traditional V8 engine, a characteristic cherished by generations of automotive enthusiasts enamored with high-performance vehicles.

This optimistic outlook arises in the wake of the cessation of production for the muscle cars of Mustang’s closest American rivals in December. General Motors ceased production of the Chevrolet Camaro, while Stellantis concluded the production of its Dodge Challenger V8, paving the way for a forthcoming all-electric muscle car slated for release later this year.

Subsequently, Stellantis plans to introduce gas-powered models featuring twin-turbo, inline-six engines expected to debut in 2025.

The departure of these competitors, alongside other players in the muscle car market, reflects shifting consumer preferences away from two-door vehicles, coupled with stricter fuel economy regulations and the emergence of all-electric vehicles capable of unparalleled acceleration.

Jeff Marentic, the general manager overseeing Ford Blue products, which encompasses the Mustang, affirms that the iconic pony car continues to represent a lucrative venture for the automaker, both domestically and internationally.

Ford Identifies Opportunity for Mustang Amid Competitors' V8 Engine Departures
International sales bolster Mustang production amid declining domestic demand for two-door sports cars.

With the impending 60th anniversary of the Mustang on April 17, Marentic expresses enthusiasm about the continued availability of the Mustang, despite the exit of competing models.

“We’re excited to continue offering the Mustang. While it’s unfortunate to witness competitors leaving the scene, it presents an advantage for us,” Marentic remarked.

“For those seeking an authentic American sports car experience, the Mustang remains accessible to them. We’re actively exploring the future trajectory of the Mustang and the extent to which we can expand its reach.”

Marentic refrained from divulging specific sales projections for the vehicle but highlighted the introduction of a new V8 model for the seventh-generation Mustang, named the Dark Horse—a name choice that subtly alludes to Ford’s aspirations for the V8-powered car.

Both the 2024 Dark Horse and the Mustang GT boast a robust 5.0-liter V8 engine, with the former capable of producing up to 500 horsepower and 418 foot pounds of torque. Ford has also disclosed plans for a 2025 Mustang GTD featuring a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 engine, anticipated to debut as early as later this year, boasting an impressive output of over 800 horsepower.

Ford’s ability to sustain sales of Mustang V8 models can be attributed in part to investments made to enhance the vehicles’ efficiency. Additionally, Ford was an early adopter of smaller, turbocharged four-cylinder engines, which currently constitute approximately 48% of Mustang sales in the United States.

Notably, Ford offers the all-electric Mustang Mach-E crossover, which shares design cues and badging reminiscent of the two-door coupe, albeit with minimal shared characteristics beyond the name.

“I can understand the green movement, but we’re so proud of our V8s,” Marentic expressed, noting that the model garners a significant portion of Mustang sales in Europe. “It helps define who Ford is outside of the United States.”

The seventh-generation Mustang, revealed by Ford in September, has recently commenced shipping beyond North American borders. According to Ford, it is slated to be available in 85 markets across every continent except Antarctica.

Ford Identifies Opportunity for Mustang Amid Competitors' V8 Engine Departures
The seventh-generation Mustang expands globally, with availability in 85 markets across every continent except Antarctica.

Sales outside the United States have played a crucial role in sustaining the production of the Mustang, which is exclusively manufactured at a facility in metropolitan Detroit, amidst waning domestic demand for two-door sports cars.

Domestically, Mustang sales have experienced a decline, dropping from a recent pinnacle of over 122,000 units in 2015 to fewer than 49,000 units last year.

On the international front, Ford reports an impressive tally of over 235,000 registered Mustangs since 2015, coinciding with the commencement of production of right-hand drive models tailored for markets such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan.

According to Ford, the primary markets for Mustang outside of the U.S. include Canada, Australia, and Europe.

“People relate extremely strongly to Mustang,” remarked Marentic. “The pull is amazing.”

Regarding future product plans for the Ford Mustang, including the reported cancellation of a hybrid variant for the seventh-generation model or the potential development of an all-electric iteration of the iconic two-door vehicle, Marentic opted not to get into specifics.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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