Ford to Find Solutions to Make Mustang Appealing for Europe image

Ford’s product development team is struggling to find ways to make the Mustang appeal to customers outside North America.

This could be considered the toughest challenge for Ford’s product development team, as there is little time until the automaker will launch the next Mustang in 2014 in Europe and other markets around the world. Ford of Europe design chief Martin Smith considers this challenge a ‘knife edge to walk’ as the automaker has to succeed in making the model attractive to both American loyal customers and the new buyers.

“That is a really interesting challenge,” Smith said in an interview at the Geneva auto show. “What will emerge from that whole process is one of the best sports cars in the world and one that is still affordable. It won’t cost $1 million.”

The automaker aims at keeping its label as “a North American icon,” but at the same time moving Mustang to global engineering and design standards. Until now Ford sold several Mustangs in Europe through private importers, but the company will now use its dealer network, part of CEO Alan Mulally “one Ford” push.

Ford also revealed at the Geneva auto show its five-seat Tourneo Connect, which together with the seven-seat Grand Tourneo Connect, will be sold in the US, replacing the long-running E-series vans.