Around 50 years ago, a Ford model not only established a new category – pony cars – but also made history. Half a century later, they’re still writing the history – with the iconic Mustang embarking for the first time on a global journey.
The second largest US automaker has taken to new lengths its “One Ford” strategy, deciding that most of its nameplates should be offered globally. That includes the iconic Mustang, which is now leaving US shores even with the steering-wheel set on the other side (for places such as the UK, Australia or Hong Kong). One of the 120 foreign markets is also the world’s largest auto market – China. And here Ford can see the complications that arise from selling all around the planet the same car – and we don’t mean here the need to print labels and the owner’s manual in multiple languages. It’s a simpler – and utterly complicated – problem. China – just like many other countries – has serious levies and taxes when it comes to imported cars. For example, models that have engines above four liters will essentially double after the duties are paid (under three liters you get a 66% surge). Yep, try to imagine Ford marketing a 435-hp, 5.0-liter V8 Mustang GT.
Luckily, they also thought about that from the beginning, so the shipments of Michigan-built Mustangs to China are primarily carrying the new smaller, four-cylinder engine – the 2.3-liter Ecoboost I4. It’s still tuned to deliver outstanding performance (310 horsepower and 320 lb.-foot of torque), but it will also ease access into countries with high import duties. It won’t come cheap though – 399,800 RMB – which roughly translates to $65,000, whereas in the US customers can have the car starting at $25,300.