Ford Mustang: World’s Best-Selling Sports Car In early 2015; Production Begins On Right-Hand-Drive Model

  • Mustang is the world’s best-selling sports car in the first half of 2015, according to IHS Automotive global registration data
  • Global Mustang momentum continues to build as production of the right-hand-drive model officially kicks off at Flat Rock Assembly Plant
  • 2015 marks first year Mustang is available to customers around the world in more than 100 markets and the first time a right-hand-drive model will be widely available

DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 8, 2015 – Customers around the world have made Ford Mustang the best-selling sports car on the globe during the first half of the year, according to global IHS Automotive registration data.

During the first six months of 2015, customers globally registered 76,124 vehicles – a 56 percent increase versus the same period last year.

“Initial global response to the Mustang has been strong, and we are only in second gear,” said Stephen Odell, executive vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “We continue accelerating production and global reach with right-hand-drive models now coming out of the plant.”

Production of the right-hand-drive Mustang model is officially underway at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Mich., continuing the car’s first-ever global launch.

This is the first year Mustang is available to customers in more than 100 markets around the world – including those where motorists drive on the left side of the road.

The addition of a right-hand-drive Mustang to Ford’s global vehicle lineup allows export to more than 25 of those markets around the globe, including the UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, as well as Cyprus, Malta and a smattering of Caribbean islands.

Global sales leader
Sales in the U.S. and Asia began last winter, and Mustangs made their way to European markets this summer.

In the U.S., Mustang sales were up 70 percent in August, overtaking the Chevy Camaro for best-selling sports car in the U.S., based on Ford reported sales data.

New buyers are driving U.S. sales growth, especially in regions such as Southern California – the largest sports car market in the country, according to IHS – where Mustang retail sales have more than doubled this year.

While Mustang is a new entry into the China market, it is already one of the nation’s top-selling sports cars, with hottest sales in Beijing, Guangdong and Shanghai.

Models are just starting to hit dealerships in Europe, with customers eagerly awaiting delivery of the first right-hand-drive models in markets such as the UK. Almost 2,000 Ford Mustang orders have been taken in the UK since January. First customer deliveries are expected in November, with extra supply secured to meet the greater-than-expected demand.

Customer anticipation for Mustang in Europe was obvious last year when Ford opened pre-ordering for 500 Mustangs during the 2014 UEFA Champions League finals; customers filled the pre-order list in mere minutes.

Another right-hand-drive market eagerly awaiting units is Australia, where nearly 3,000 orders already have been received. Four hundred orders have been received in New Zealand, another right-hand-drive market where customer deliveries begin this fall.

And which colors are most popular among all-new Mustang customers? Initial sales show that in Europe, Magnetic Grey and Race Red are the most popular exterior paint color choices. Race Red is also the top choice for customers in China, followed by Black. Meanwhile, Black takes the top spot in both the U.S. and the Middle East.

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Footnote: 1. IHS Automotive global registration data includes all registrations in the IHS global sport segment, January-June 2015.

Ford Shelby GT350 Gets Racing-Inspired Customizable Shift Light Indicator To Help Drivers Optimize Track Time

  • Performance Shift Light Indicator provides the benefits of a shift light while allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the track at all times
  • Heads-up shift light was developed by reimagining existing hardware and is standard on all-new Shelby GT350 and Shelby® GT350R

DEARBORN, Mich., July 23, 2015 – When driving the high-revving, 526-horsepower Shelby GT350® Mustang, drivers would do best to keep eyes on the road.

So that’s where Ford put the Performance Shift Light Indicator.

For decades, race drivers have used shift lights that signal the perfect engine speed for the shift point for maximum acceleration and lower lap times during the intensity of on-track driving.

Shift lights allow drivers to concentrate on the road in front of them rather than watching a tachometer. However, most shift lights either obscure the forward field of view or are located low in the instrument cluster where the driver must look down to see it.

The Performance Shift Light Indicator is a heads-up display located in front of the driver. It can be controlled through the driver information center in the gauge cluster, and customers can set shift points, light intensity, select from three different modes, or turn the feature off entirely.

In Tach mode, the amber LEDs light up sequentially from left to right as engine revs build to provide an easily viewable tachometer. Track mode is quite different – when engine revs build, LEDs light up from the outside ends to the center until the shift point is reached, then the whole LED bar flashes.

The third option is Drag mode. Much like Track mode, the customer sets the shift point, but in this configuration the entire LED light bar stays dark, then flashes repeatedly when the engine reaches the preset rpm threshold. “Given the conditions of a drag race, we found drivers wanted maximum simplicity in a performance shift light,” said Mike Makled, electrical engineer for Shelby programs.

Innovation through lateral thinking
Makled is a self-described at-home tinkerer. The 10-year veteran and third-generation Ford employee has been with Ford Performance since 2010. “I like taking things apart, modifying how they work and creating new things,” he says. “It’s a hobby.”

Dreaming up innovative performance features is one of the fun parts of his job, and inspiration struck one day on the road. Makled was driving his Ford Taurus SHO when he came to a quick stop in traffic and the car’s collision warning with brake support system flashed its red LED heads-up display. The system bounces upward projected light against the reflective inner surface of the windshield so the driver can see it as a warning of impending danger. This got him thinking.

“I thought, ‘Wait a minute, why don’t we use that technology for our shift light on the GT350?’” said Makled. “With a few tweaks, it could have a big effect on high-performance driving.”

Over the course of three months, Makled worked with a supplier to build a new prototype with special circuitry, amber LEDs, and software he installed into his own car. When satisfied with the progress, he invited management into the driver’s seat to see what he’d been working on – they loved it, calling it a “brilliant reimagining of existing technology.”

After getting the green light, Makled handed the project over to then-Ford Corporate Graduate Zac Nelson for development and release. Nelson worked with OpenXC to quickly build a working prototype for driver testing and feedback. Makled and Nelson worked closely with the heads-up display supplier on the production-level software and display modes for the new Shelby GT350 and Shelby® GT350R.

The feature has been lauded by Ford testing personnel. “All of our drivers love this feature,” boasts Makled. “They can’t believe how much it reduces the distraction of having to look away to a tach or a shift light in the cluster.”

The Performance Shift Light Indicator is standard on the Shelby GT350 and GT350R.

AMAZING NEW MULTI-PERSPECTIVE VIDEO LETS VIEWERS EXPERIENCE A HOT LAP IN THE NEW FORD MUSTANG AT SILVERSTONE RACE TRACK

  • A new interactive video enables viewers to experience the all‑new 5.0‑liter V8 Mustang fastback from multiple perspectives as it speeds around the legendary Silverstone race track in the U.K.
  • The immersive film allows the viewer to rotate the first-person vantage point from inside the Mustang using the mouse or curser. Viewers also can seamlessly switch to the helicopter view high above the track or the front bumper camera
  • The video filmed at Silverstone with professional driver Paul Swift includes interactive gauges and displays that show the Mustang’s position on the track, speed and RPM
  • All-new Ford Mustang is now on sale across Europe for the first time in 50 years, available as a fastback or a convertible

COLOGNE, Germany, July 15, 2015 – A new interactive video enables viewers to experience the all‑new Ford Mustang from multiple perspectives as it speeds around the legendary Silverstone race track in the U.K.

The video shot at Silverstone with a Mustang fastback powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine allows the viewer to rotate the vantage point from inside the Mustang using the mouse or curser. Just like in a video game, users also can seamlessly switch to helicopter and front bumper views, see the Mustang’s position on an active map, and check the speedometer and rev counter.

The interactive video can be experienced here: http://bit.ly/Mustang360Silverstone*

“This video is a lot of fun, it makes you feel like you’re behind the wheel of a Mustang,” said Tom Barnes, Mustang vehicle engineering manager, Barnes has spent countless hours on the track developing the new Mustang. “You have complete control of your view as if you’re actually driving on the track.”

Footage for the 80-second film was captured in a single day using six GoPro cameras inside the car, as well as drone and front bumper cameras. This was then meticulously edited to ensure a seamless panorama. Professional driver Paul Swift drove the Mustang on the 2.6-kilometer (1.6-mile) lap of the National Circuit at Silverstone, home to the F1 British Grand Prix.

“I have never seen a 360° film of this quality before – it really is like being in the car,” Swift said. “I’d love to tell you how it’s done but I’m sworn to secrecy!”

For the online version of the Mustang film, viewers start the action by clicking on the car’s iconic pony symbol, and start button. The camera is adjusted using the arrow keys, track pad, or mouse.  Clicking on a helicopter icon displays the aerial view, clicking the Mustang’s fascia displays the view from the grille. A more basic version of the film also is available to view below…

In the U.S., Mustang had its best first half sales start since 2007. U.S. Mustang sales are up 54 percent through June of this year and it represents almost 60 percent of the sports car segment growth.  The demand for the all-new Mustang continues making it the best–selling sports car in America.