Ford Mustang Kicks Off “Mustang Week” By Claiming Title of World’s Best-Selling Sports Car
It’s Global Mustang Week. It’s always this week, culminating in the iconic Mustang’s birthday on April 17. It was that date 57 years ago that the Mustang made its debut at the World’s Fair in New York – and an icon was born.
Without question the Ford Mustang is one of the most iconic cars in history. Only the Chevy Suburban has had more consecutive years in production. So Ford has a lot to be proud of with their original pony car.
Ford announced that the for the second straight year, the Mustang is the world’s best-selling sports car. You read that right – the world. Led by a surge in sales in high-performance Bullitt, Shelby GT350, Shelby GT350R and Shelby GT500 models, Mustang led all competitors with 80,577 global sales in 2020, according to the most recent vehicle registration data from IHS Markit. That sales total represents 15.1 percent of the sports coupe market, up from 14.8 percent a year earlier.
“Mustang enthusiasts love their performance cars, and they showed that yet again,” said Hau Thai-Tang, chief product platform and operations officer, Ford Motor Company. “In a challenging year for the entire auto industry because of the global pandemic, Mustang performed very well, increasing its share in the global sports car segment.”
Sales of the high-performance Bullitt and Shelby variants were up 52.7 percent in 2020 from a year earlier, according to Ford internal data. Ford looks to continue its success with limited-edition models with the new 2021 Mustang Mach 1 entering the lineup.
For the sixth straight year, the Mustang has won the title of best-selling sports coupe in the United States. I wrote how Dodge was posing a threat to this title, while the Chevy Camaro was fading away to oblivion. Despite the challenge from the Challenger, the Mustang held onto the title.
The United States remains the strongest global market for Mustang, representing about three-quarters of total sales. Texas (8,600 vehicles), California (6,200 vehicles) and Florida (5,864 vehicles) remain the top U.S. markets.
Mustang sales in Europe surged, showing the pony has major appeal globally. According to Ford internal data, 2020 sales in Hungary were up 68.8 percent over 2019; sales in the Netherlands (38.5 percent), Denmark (12.5 percent), the Czech Republic (5.6 percent) and Austria (4 percent) all increased.
Related story: Ford has best retail sales start since 2001.
Where Does The Mustang Mach-E Fit In The Discussion
The news cycle has generally churned around the Mustang Mach-E, which enjoys being part of Global Mustang Week. While some may proclaim it to not be a true Mustang, it still bares the Mustang emblem, and as we reported the Mach-E’s launch so far has been successful with the Mach-E delivering historic volume for the EV market.
Mach-E sales totaled 6,614 units in February and March. And according to Ford, Mustang Mach-E customers, nearly 70 percent of whom are trading in their keys of competitive brands, lean toward premium Mach-E models. The Mustang Mach-E 4X all-wheel-drive-equipped models are outselling rear-wheel-drive units, while vehicles with extended-range batteries are more popular and are capable of up to an EPA estimated 305 miles with rear-wheel-drive.
Mustang Mach 1 Now Available
Ford alluded to the success of the Mustang sales being attributed to performance-oriented Mustangs and special editions like the Bullitt, which is now discontinued. Replacing the Bullitt is a familiar nameplate the Mustang Mach 1.
This muscle car returns to the stable after a 17-year absence and slots well in the lineup which now no longer includes the aforementioned Bullitt of the very-popular GT350.
Related story: Mustang GT350 One Of The Best Mustangs Ford Ever Produced.
The future looks bright for the Mustang, which is the last remaining “car” Ford sells. That says a lot about what Mustang means to Ford. And while some may feel slighted or angered by that hollowed logo and name being used on an electric crossover, as I pointed out, it actually serves as an homage to the Mustang legacy.
Thankfully, for the foreseeable future, the Mustang lives on will see at least several more birthdays. Not many vehicles can say they’ve achieved what the Mustang has in all its iterations. It truly is an icon!
What do you think about the Mustang and what’s your Mustang memory? Leave me your memory or thoughts in the comments below.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.