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Ford’s Mustang Remains Combined Sports Car Leader For 10th Year

For the 10th year, Ford's Mustang, the sole car still produced by the automaker, has been the leading sports car seller.

Nearly 60 years ago, Ford’s leader Lee Iacocca pushed a new concept. It was a vehicle called the Mustang. Adept at marketing, he felt it would be very good for the automaker, who, at the time, was feeling the effects of a crowded marketplace. At that time, four major domestic carmakers were going strong, and a few more were in the throes of their final days.

History Of The Mustang

With competitors like General Motors and its five major divisions – each of which could be called a separate automaker if they had wanted to – Chrysler and its Jeep subsidiary, American Motors (then a branch of Kelvinator), Ford, which was gamely holding its own as it had its separate brand, as well, Lincoln-Mercury (today the Mercury brand has sunset into history). Though it had some leading models on the market – the full-sized Galaxie and variants, the compact Falcon and its variants, and pickups like the F-Series – the other automakers were neck-and-neck with the Dearborn giant. It needed something new to spark the Ford brand and increase its market share. It’s a good thing that Iacocca was part of the crew at the helm of the automaker when the competition started closing in as the new decade began.

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Iacocca thought the world needed a “sports car” that could be available to everyone. Beginning with the same basic outline that had worked for Ford with its successful Falcon – right down to the frame – Iacocca took it in a different direction. He decided to take the corporate straight six and use it as the powerplant (thus the long hood) and then use the same basic frame with some changes to the body – it became a four-place roadster with a convertible top and a short trunk area in its first iteration – the Mustang was born. Indeed, the Mustang essentially went from clay mockup to full-blown production in less than three years, something unheard of in the 1960s.

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The Mustang became a hit when it went on sale nearly 59 years ago. At its introduction, Iacocca attributed much of its initial success to a younger audience yearning for a different model, something sporty or seemingly sporty. The first Mustang met that mark. However, the initial offering was decidedly light on power – the six was a strong powerplant, but it wasn’t an eight. In any case, it did have good low-end torque (the same basic platform was underneath the body of the sleek Mercury Comet). Suffice it to say, it worked. Very quickly, the automaker came out with a hardtop version, and within a year or so, there were new, more powerful versions. Indeed, a V-8 version appeared, as did a GT. After a couple of years, the lines changed into the versions of the Mustang that people remembered.

Mustang Remains Ford’s Only Auto Model

In the last few years, as Ford has moved away from making cars – it is now essentially an SUV and truck manufacturer – the one car model offered has been the Mustang. It remains the only car model that Ford makes now.

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Over the last 10 years combined, Ford Mustang – celebrating its 59th birthday – is the world’s best-selling sports car, according to Ford analysis of registration data from S&P Global Mobility.

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“We’re proud of the entire Mustang family, what it represents to Ford, and especially our passionate Mustang owners and fans,” said Dave Bozeman, the vice president of enthusiast vehicles for Ford Blue and Ford Customer Service Division, “It’s our commitment to serving Mustang’s global community, from Atlanta to Adelaide and beyond, that has earned Mustang the honor of world’s best-selling sports car for 10 years combined.”

According to Ford’s internal data, the United States remains home to the strongest demand for Mustang, representing 78 percent of global sales. Other markets that saw growth in Mustang sales in 2022 include Germany, up 17.0 percent; Britain, up 14.4 percent; Switzerland, up 14.9 percent and the Middle East, up 7.4 percent.

Ford Is the country's top automaker again this year

The all-new, seventh-generation 2024 Ford Mustang adds another chapter to being an icon, delivering the looks, sound, and appeal of the world’s best-selling sports car over the last ten years combined. Whether convertible or coupe, V-8 or turbocharged 4-cylinder, manual or automatic, Mustang has options at multiple price points and performance levels.

Mustang has two new engines – a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four and the Mustang GT’s most powerful 5.0-liter Coyote V-8. Plus, an all-new Remote Rev feature that can rev the car’s engine remotely using the key fob, and an available new Electronic Drift Brake that can quickly turn a novice into a drifting pro, like Vaughn Gittin Jr.

Dark Horse Expands Product Lineup

Mustang Dark Horse expands the lineup as the first new performance name for the brand since Mustang Bullitt was introduced in 2001 and aims for a new benchmark for street and track performance that could only come in a Mustang with sinister looks and a specially modified 5.0-liter V-8 – the most powerful 5.0-liter V-8 ever, generating 500 horsepower.

The Mustang Mach-E SUV, the electric addition to the Mustang family, is now available in 39 countries The Mustang Mach-E SUV, the electric addition to the Mustang family, is now available in 39 countries with recent launches in Taiwan and Australia. Ford has produced its 150,000th Mustang Mach-E since starting production nearly two years ago, a significant milestone as the company scales EV production to a rate of 600,000 annually by late 2023 and more than 2 million annually by 2026.

Ford Motor Photo

Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, “You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent many misspent hours hanging out at gas stations (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper "You Auto Know," an enterprise I handled faithfully for 32 years. Only a few people know that I also handled computer documentation for most of my earnings while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.