Remind me again why we can't get a RHD Camaro?
Ford Mustang returns to Australia as performance icon after almost 50 years.
Grieving Ford fans will soon have a reason to get over the loss of the locally-made Falcon. The iconic Ford Mustang muscle car will return to Australia after almost almost 50 years. It will replace the Falcon as Ford’s performance hero in 2016, the same year the Falcon is axed.
Ford’s global vice president of sales and marketing, Jim Farley, will fly to Australia to personally deliver the good news on August 13. Farley is the same Detroit executive who spent the past three years deflecting media questions about the future of Ford’s Australian manufacturing operations.
The normally secretive Ford is taking the unusual step of making the announcement early because it is trying to reassure Australians it will continue to sell cars here even though it will close its manufacturing operations after 90 years.
Australia will not get the Mustang currently on-sale in North America but an all-new model that’s been designed for global sales. It is due to be unveiled at next year’s New York motor show, the 50th anniversary of the Mustang. Some countries will get a four-cylinder version of the new Mustang but Ford Australia is understood to only be taking the V8 performance models.
The last time a Ford Mustang was imported to Australia as a right-hand-drive car was in the late 1960s. Ford Australia converted a small number of Mustangs locally between 2001 and 2003. They were rushed in to compete with the modern Holden Monaro, but priced close to $90,000 fewer than 400 were sold.
Ford won’t make the same mistake this time around; the new Mustang is expected to have a starting price close to $50,000. In North America the basic V6 Mustang costs less than $30,000. Ford Australia would not confirm the announcement but confidential sources have confirmed to Carsguide: “Mustang is a goer”.
The new generation Mustang has already been confirmed for the UK -- likely to be the largest market for right-hand-drive models, with Australia next in line. Because right-hand-drive versions of the Mustang are expected to account for less than 10 per cent of global sales Ford Detroit is keen to sell it in as many countries as possible to recover the extra engineering costs involved in making a right-hand-drive model.
The Mustang will spearhead Ford Australia’s revived line-up at a time when it will likely be receiving gloomy publicity over its factory closures. When announcing the closure of the Broadmeadows car assembly line and Geelong engine factory, Ford Australia boss Bob Graziano said the company would increase its model range by 30 per cent with more imported cars.
The arrival of the Ford Mustang may persuade organisers of the V8 Supercars racing series to modify the rules to allow two-door coupes to compete. Currently only sedan vehicles are eligible to race in Australia’s premiere motorsport championship. Racing legend **** Johnson raced a Mustang in the 1985 and 1986 Australian touring car championships when Ford temporarily dropped the Falcon V8.
The Ford Mustang is one of the world’s most iconic cars. When it was unveiled at the New York motor show in April 1964 Ford expected to sell 100,000 Mustangs in its first full year on sale. It went on to sell more than 1 million in just 18 months. It took Chevrolet 40 years to reach the same milestone with the Corvette.