Flat Rock plant just rolled out its one-millionth Ford Mustang

Article by Christian A., on April 18, 2013

Ford’s plant in Flat Rock, Michigan plant just rolled out its one-millionth Mustang. This is certainly good news for the famous muscle car as it celebrates its 50th year at the New York Auto Show next year. The Mustang has been in non-stop production since almost five decades ago but it hasn’t been produced from just one plant.

The River Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan, built the Mustang for exactly 40 years but in 2004, the Mustang was forced out to give way to the F-150’s production. This truck plant has now been named the Dearborn Truck assembly plant; however, it’s still located at Ford’s Rouge Center. When the Mustang was taken out of Rouge in 2004, it was moved to the nearby AutoAlliance International plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.

This plant started off as a Mazda-Ford joint venture. It was founded in 1987 and it rolled out its two-millionth car, a Mazda 626, in the summer of 1999. Recently, Mazda sold its stake in the factory and its departure meant that only the Mustang was being produced at the 3 million square-foot plant. Ford made a pledge to create 1400 jobs and set up a second shift at Flat Rock later this year, when it aims to expand the production of the Fusion mid-size sedan at the plant.

Presently, this car is being built at Ford’s facility in Hermosillo, Mexico. The one-millionth Mustang built at the Flat Rock Assembly plant is a ruby-red 2014 Mustang convertible. To mark this event, Ford group VP for product development Raj Nair and Flat Rock Assembly logistics manager Ed Salna went inside the car to drive it off the assembly line.

Salna, who is a 27-year veteran at Flat Rock, started working there months before AutoAlliance International started to build cars. Flat Rock has produced one million of the estimated 8.5 million Mustangs produced in the last 49 years.

The new Ford Mustang now features a more aggressive design as marked by a more dynamic grille and a powerful splitter. The design and placement of the functional heat extractors on the bonnet of the GT version were intended to help extract hot air out from the engine compartment, thereby helping cool its powerful mill.

According to Darrell Behmer, Mustang chief designer, the new Mustang comes with a more distinctive and emotional design that conveys its total performance. He added that the new Mustang features a design that pays tribute to its heritage while carrying a more dynamic and contemporary appearance.

To create a more premium look, the new Mustang features body-colored rocker panels as well as a rear end with a high-gloss black panel linking the rear lamps. These rear lamps still come with sequential turn signal typical of the Mustang, thereby lending the lights a smoked appearance. For the 2013 model year, the new Ford Mustang is fitted with high-intensity discharge headlamps – for both V6 and GT cars -- as standard. The headlights are now accentuated by two individual light-emitting diode (LED) bars while three-bar rear lights are formed by employing three LED ropes.

The latest iteration of the new Ford Mustang now offers new wheel designs, like the standard 17-inch wheels for V6 models as well as the 19-inch optional rims for the V6 Performance Package and the GT. In addition, these new wheel designs could also be availed in new finishes and touches.

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