Ford Motor Co is preparing to properly launch its soon to be updated Mustang coupe overseas for the first time, betting that the romance of the iconic American car will draw more consumers to its showrooms outside the United States.
The Mustang, which was redesigned for the 2015 model year, is a key vehicle that will both help Ford meet its mid-decade margin goals and attract new customers, Ford’s president of the Americas, Joe Hinrichs, said during the Los Angeles Auto Show.
“They will want to see it for the first time being sold in those markets,” he said in an interview. “That will have an influence not just on the Mustang itself but on the rest of the portfolio.”
Ford will unveil its next-generation 2015 Mustang on December 5 with simultaneous events in Michigan, Shanghai, Sydney, Barcelona, New York and Los Angeles. The model is slated to go on sale next summer.
Ford is relying on high-margin vehicles like the Mustang to offset its rising investment in less-profitable small cars that are key to tapping emerging markets. The Mustang is also expected to draw more customers to the Ford brand, spurring sales. The second-largest U.S. automaker is aiming for global margins of as much as 9 % by mid-decade, up from 6.2 % during the first nine months of 2013.
The company’s research in Asia, Africa and Europe showed that the Mustang was among consumers’ top five associations with the Ford brand in most markets even though the vehicle wasn’t sold there, Hinrichs said.