Ford faces stiff challenge in developing the 2015 Mustang

Article by Anita Panait, on March 13, 2013

The product development team tasked to develop a global design language for Ford Motor Co. is now facing its toughest challenge yet – coming up with a Mustang that would do well outside of North America. Ford is targeting to roll out the next Mustang in 2014, not just in North America, but also in Europe and other parts of the world.

Martin Smith, design chief for Ford of Europe, remarked that Ford has "a knife edge to walk" in keeping the Mustang attractive to American loyalists while appealing to new customers. Smith told Automotive News in an interview at the Geneva Auto Show that designing the next Mustang is “a really interesting challenge.”

He quipped that the whole process will result in a Mustang that is one of the best sports cars in the world but is still affordable. He added that the next Mustang would not cost $1 million, referring to several seven-figure models on exhibit at the auto show. Smith remarked that the development process is moving the Mustang to Ford global design and engineering standards, while trying to maintain the model’s identity as "a North American icon."

Ford is also planning to sell the next-generation Ford Edge in Europe. While private importers have been selling a few Mustangs in Europe, Ford is planning to sell the latest model via its dealer network, as part of the "one Ford" strategy developed by chief executive Alan Mulally.

Ford displayed at the ongoing Geneva auto show the five-seat Tourneo Connect that will be marketed in the United States alongside the seven-seat Grand Tourneo Connect as replacements for the E-series vans. Barb Samardzich, vice president for product development at Ford of Europe, disclosed that the Indian-built EcoSport crossover displayed in Geneva is not immediately intended to be sold in the US.

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