Ford Australia says it wants more supply of its hugely popular Mustang and “has the attention of Detroit” in its search for opportunities, but has made clear that the company can only make so many.
The company announced last week that its stock of all-new Ford Mustang coupe and convertibles for 2016 were spoken for — 4000 units in total, with most being 303kW/525Nm 5.0 V8 GT rather than the 233kW/432Nm EcoBoost four-cylinder turbo.
This means that unless it can find more supply — Ford says it is still “working on opportunities” there — buyers ordering now will have to wait until 2017 for their new pride and joy to arrive.
But the good news, for Ford Australia at least, is that the demand is not expected to boom and bust like many sports cars that peak early and peter out, with sustained sales success expected despite this week's announcement of price rises.
We spoke this week with Ford Australia president and CEO Graeme Whickman about how the company would deal with the almost unprecedented interest — both now and longer-term.
“We’ve already increased our demands,” he said. “We’re one of the biggest right-hand drive markets in the world — Britain’s up there — but we’re pretty dominant.
“We’ve got the attention of Detroit, but at the same time there’s only so many that can be built. We’re working our way through that. We’ll continue to take orders because we can supply over time, the challenge for now is managing customer expectations.”
We asked Whickman if Ford could keep demand bubbling along, given the propensity for sports car sales to fall as fast as they rise, as the novelty ends and die-hards are accommodated.
“The notion of delivering an affordable Pony Car sort of sets it apart a little bit, because we’re not trying to ask for $90K,” Whickman said. As we know, Mustang pricing initially started at $44,990 plus on-roads and topped out at $63,990.
“The vehicle will have a reasonably interesting demand curve… any vehicle peaks at the beginning but I’m not sure the decay will be a strong decay, because we’ll continue to offer a pretty impressive package for the money,” he said.
As we reported this week, Ford Australia has already bumped up 2017 Mustang prices, citing the exchange rate situation and the levels of demand as factors.
Whickman said this was the case in the US, where Mustang sales approach six-figures annually, and to some extent with sports cars in Australia such as the budget Toyota 86 (not a Mustang rival, he points out).
“I don’t think they're vacillating with 50 per cent swings and the like,” he said.
“We’ll watch, what we aren’t going to do is have too many. Success for me looks like we have one or two, because we’re not going to have the brand seen as awash in terms of volume.”
Read our full Ford Mustang pricing and specs story here.
Ford Mustang Pricing for 2015/16 (plus on-road costs):
EcoBoost Coupe Manual – $45,990 (up $1000)EcoBoost Coupe Auto – $48,490 (up $1000)EcoBoost Convertible Auto -$54,990 (up $1000)GT Coupe Manual – $57,490 (up $2500)GT Coupe Auto – $59,990 (up $2500)GT Convertible Auto – $66,490 (up $2500)