Production at the Flat Rock line is to be idled for one week, and will resume on October 17, according to US industry site Automotive News. The Flat Rock plant produces Ford Mustangs in left- and right-hand drive for the world.
The Mustang was outsold by its arch rival, the Chevrolet Camaro, for the first time in two years last month — though it remains the annual leader with almost 90,000 sales (down 9.3 per cent). The US market is cooling off, and may not match 2015’s record.
This runs counter to Australia, where Mustang sales are off the charts. One-third of all sub-$80,000 sports car sold in 2016 are the Ford muscle car, totalling 4621 units — more than the Falcon, Kuga or Fiesta — with 80 per cent being coupes, and most V8s.
And while US Mustang inventory is now reportedly out to 89 days, the Australian waiting list for the Pony is still out well into 2017, despite an additional 2000 units being secured earlier this year to satisfy demand.
Ford Australia communications director Wes Sherwood told us today that demand was still at a high almost a year since the local launch, with an increasing customer shift to the four-cylinder EcoBoost turbo models now that the diehards have placed orders.
We asked if the US factory halt might allow more stock to come to Australia, but these supply chain processes are not quite so flexible. Ford Australia still has its hands up for more stock, though Sherwood said it had nothing to announce at present.
No doubt Ford Australia’s arch-rival Holden remains frustrated by its parent company General Motors’ refusal to make the Camaro in right-hand drive, effectively handing the Blue Oval an American muscle car monopoly.