Mustang gallops to global sports-car best-seller

⦁ Ford Mustang top-selling sports car in 2016,
⦁ International markets fuelled sales growth
⦁ Mustang now sold in 140 countries – six to come

MUSTANG GALLOPING IN NORWAY: Where perhaps it should be badge Fiord Mustang? See other unlikely markets in the table further down the features. Image: Ford US / NewspressUSA
MUSTANG NOW GALLOPING IN NORWAY: Where perhaps it should be badge Fiord Mustang? See other unlikely markets in the table further down the features. Image: Ford US / NewspressUSA

DEARBORN, Michigan – The Mustang, Ford says, has been the best-selling sports car in the United States for 50 years but now is claiming to be the most popular sports car in the world.

The data is according to a Ford US analysis of IHS Markit new vehicle registration data in the sports-car segment.

The Mustang, the carmaker said, expanded its sales lead in 2016 as the world’s best-selling sports car with more than 150 000 sold. Overall global sales increased by six percent over 2015, “fuelled by international market growth up 101% with almost 45 000 vehicles sold outside the US.

CHINA KEY TO SOARING SALES

“The increase through 2016 was,” Ford US says, “driven largely by its global roll-out that saw big sales gains in Germany and China, as well as the car’s introduction to smaller nations such as New Caledonia, Gibraltar and Bonaire.

“Since launching in China in 2015 the Mustang has become the best-selling sports car in the world’s biggest auto market. Sales in 2016 were up 74% over 2015, according to HIS Markit.

FORD CLAIMS BEST-SELLER TITLE FOR MUSTANG: These are some of the new markets. Image: Ford US / NewspressUSA
FORD CLAIMS BEST-SELLER TITLE FOR MUSTANG: These are some of the new markets. Image: Ford US / NewspressUSA

Mark Schaller, Ford Mustang marketing manager, told The Corner in a media release: “The Mustang legacy continues to grow and in places it never before reached. We continue to make it available in new markets, and drivers in those markets continue to respond with resounding approval.”

For decades, the automaker told us, many global Mustang enthusiasts went to great lengths to get hold of one if the car was not normally available in their country.

“Recognizing this passion, Ford decided that in 2015 it would take the car to markets around the world – including South Africa.”

READ MORE Mustang features on Carman’s Corner

More than 395 000 sixth-generation Mustangs have been assembled at Ford’s Flat Rock plant since 2015. Of those, 98 000 have been exported. During 2015/16, Ford doubled the percentage of exports to 17.5% of production and the company expects export growth to continue to 30% for the 2017 Mustang.

The car is now available in 140 countries. Six will be added through 2018 starting with Brazil, the Palau Islands and Africa’s Ivory Coast, the others will be announced later.

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