The party hats and mini sausage rolls must be in hot demand in Michigan this week, with Ford’s Flat Rock plant celebrating production of the 10 millionth Mustang. Now 54 years old and in its sixth-generation, the world-famous pony car is as important a halo car for Ford as it’s ever been, helping to boost the desirability of the Blue Oval’s entire range and emphasise the firm’s intent on producing driver focussed cars.
Rewind to 1964, though, when the first Mustang was shown in concept form, and it wasn’t the global offering we see today but a car for the American people. It used a 2.8-litre straight-six with, erm, 101hp, cost from just $2,368 and, most importantly, looked the dog’s bollocks. An icon was born pretty much out of the starting blocks.
It’s passed through various guises, some of which were genuine giant slayers (like the Shelby GT350), while others were, to be frank, pants (see the second-generation Mustang). But since the turn of the millennium modern ‘stangs have gradually returned the brand to its best. Evidence of which comes with sales of the latest Mk6 car.
Launched in 2015, it was the first to be offered in right-hand drive, so effectively opened the door to 25 previously unofficially untapped global markets, including the UK. Ford flogged 125,809 Mustangs last year impressive for a car that’s still a rather niche offering even if 81,866 of these sales came in the USA.
Nevertheless, Europeans bought 13,241 Mustangs in 2017, most of which were with the 5.0 V8 engine rather than cheaper 2.3 EcoBoost. The total number was a 1,963 drop on 2016 but still represented the second highest ‘stang sales on this side of The Pond yet. By comparison, the previous-generation car peaked at 904 cars in Europe in 2008.
One thing’s clear then: this pony's enduring popularity shows no sign of diminishing. Happy 10 millionth Mustang, and here’s to 10 million more! What’s your favourite Mustang? Let us know in the comments below.