Happy Birthday to the Ford Mustang - the World's Bestselling Sports Coupe
The Ford Mustang was formally introduced to the world at the New York World’s Fair back on April 17th, 1964. That makes today the mighty Mustang’s 55th birthday and Ford is celebrating yet another anniversary for the classic pony car by announcing that it is once again the bestselling sports coupe in the world, literally outselling every other sporty, performance-minded two-door car offered by any automaker in the world.
Before getting the lengthy success of the Ford Mustang, I want to first address the terminology used to discuss the classic American performance car. In Ford’s press release, the company states that the Mustang is the bestselling sports coupe in the world while also being the bestselling sports car in the US market. To be clear, that means that the Ford sold more Mustangs than any other automaker sold performance-oriented, two-door cars around the world and here at home.
I have little doubt that some people will argue the use of “sports car” for the Mustang, as some people will insist that it is a “pony car” while some others (including everyone in the modern automotive industry) will call it a “modern muscle car”. Franky, I find the complaining about the terminology used to describe the segment to be absolutely moronic, but no matter what you call them, if you pick any performance-minded, two-door coupe in the world – the Mustang outsold it in 2018.
Fourth Straight Global Win
Ford Mustang sales were down in 2018, both in the US and in the global market, but that didn’t stop the classic American performance car from being the bestselling sporty coupe in the world. Ford moved 113,066 examples of the Mustang last year, 75,842 of which were sold in the United States, and no other sports coupe came close to that in the US or overseas.
What makes the global sales title so impressive for the Mustang is the fact that it has only been offered globally since the introduction of the current generation. Prior to the 2015 model year, the Mustang was predominantly sold in the US and Canada, along with low volume in a few other areas, but that all changed with the 2014 introduction of the S550 models. In fact, Ford introduced the 2015 Mustang in several locations around the world – creating a global launch for a global sports car.
The current Mustang is the first to be offered in right-hand-drive, making it more accessible to drivers in the markets where people “drive on the left”, but the Motor Company also pushed to get the pony car into more markets. Basically, Ford made the Mustang available to many more people around the world and, not surprisingly, people in other countries were quick to buy them up. In fact, some markets had a waiting list of more than a year to get the S550 Mustang, so it comes as no shock that Ford has led sports coupe sales since the global push started in 2015.
America’s Longest-Running Car
The Ford Mustang turns 55 years old today and while there are American cars which have technically existed for a longer period of time, no American car nameplate has been continuously offered longer than the Mustang. For example, GM fans will be quick to point out that the Corvette was introduced back in 1953, but there was no 1983 Corvette, so Chevy’s sports car has not been offered continuously since 1953.
The Mustang, on the other hand, has not missed a year since hitting the streets 55 years ago and regardless of changing trends in the automotive industry, the global success of Ford’s pony car ensures that it will be around for years to come.