The reins have been pulled on the Ford Mustang after an initial sprint in the sales charts.
Sales of the Ford Mustang muscle car have halved in three years and dropped by a third last year, proving that even icons can lose some of their lustre.
Industry analysts believe there are several reasons behind the decline: Ford has raised prices three times since the vehicle launched in 2015, the safety score was lifted from a low two stars to a poor three-star rating mid-way through the model’s lifecycle, but dealers believe there is a simpler explanation.
“Everyone who wants one has got one,” said a veteran Ford dealer, who asked not to be named.
“They’re a great car and some people have come back to buy a second one when the update came out, but sports cars and icon cars tend to have a short shelf life unless you do something like special editions.”
Ford imported a batch of 700 Bullitt Mustangs last year and is about to ramp up production of the locally-developed supercharged V8 Mustang R-Spec, of which 500 will be built (pictured below).
Limited editions are intended to breathe new life into the Mustang as it approaches the end of its model cycle. An all-new model is due within two to three years and is on-track for Australia.
While there was a waiting list for Mustang of up to 12 months in its first full year on sale in 2016, there is ready supply of Mustangs at Ford dealerships across Australia.
Ford initially thought it would sell only 1000 Mustangs a year in Australia but almost 10,000 were delivered in 2017 after orders placed in 2016 began to come through.
Ford wasn’t able to increase production overnight because there are 105 unique parts to build the right-hand-drive models, and each of those suppliers had to ramp up production.
However, historical data shows Ford’s 2019 sales result of 63,303 vehicles is its lowest result since 1968 – less than half its annual tally of 20 years ago. And the Ford Ranger ute now accounts for 64 per cent of the brand’s sales.
Ford Mustang sales in Australia:
2015: 121 (one month of sales only)
2016: 6208 (first full year of sales)
2017: 9165, up 47.6 per cent
2018: 6412, down 30 per cent
2019: 3948, down 38.4 per cent
Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.