More Rear-Wheel-Drive Fords?

Ford builds about 6,000-7,000 Mustangs a month right now. That’s not nearly enough cars to justify a unique chassis platform or its own factory. Since 2005, the Mustang has shared the production line at the Auto Alliance International assembly center at Flat Rock with the Mazda 6. This year, Mazda has announced it will be pulling out of the Flat Rock Plant soon, which leaves a factory that cannot pay its bills making just the Mustang.

This means that Ford will likely need to find another model to share the production line, or find another plant to build the Mustang. While this provides a challenge, it also opens an opportunity to build more than just the Mustang on the new rear-wheel-drive platform.

With the Ford Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car ending production this year, the Mustang will be Ford’s lone rear-wheel-drive car in America. While the Ford Falcon family of sedans and Utes in Australia can help spread the engineering costs of the new rear-wheel-drive chassis, the question remains whether Ford will buck up and offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan in America again.

Lincoln dealers are clamoring for a rear-wheel-drive flagship to compete against Cadillac and Chrysler. Limousine and livery companies are none to happy to see the Town Car go. And while the new Taurus-based Police Interceptor is seeing some interest, law enforcement still wants a rear-wheel-drive Ford. With both GM and Chrysler continuing to build high-performance rear-wheel-drive sedans, Ford will at some point need to compete.

The Next 50 Years

The 2015 Mustang will make its debut in 2014 at the N.Y. Auto Show for the 50th birthday party of the Mustang. It will roll out to some three generations of Mustang owners and enthusiasts, along with a new breed of young buyers that Ford will need to ride the Pony into the next 50 years.

Ford in many ways has come to be defined by the icon that is the Mustang. For that reason, the Mustang will continue to be their most important image car. The 2015 Mustang will be saddled with 50 years of both the past and the future. It has to be that good.

About The Author

Sam Haymart is the editor of TheMustangNews.com, svtusa.com, and the FnSweet.com Roush Enthusiast Community. His experience with Mustangs spans over 25 years of restoring vintage Mustangs, building up late-model ponycars, and testdriving new models on tracks around the country.

About The Artist

Artist Sean Smith was educated at the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, then went on to work for Hyundai, Mazda, and the motorcycle division of Honda before becoming a concept designer for Rockstar Games and forming SeanSmithDesigns.com.