There is a lot of pride at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant, and with good reason. Mustangs have been rolling off the line there since July of 2014, and the response has never been better.
Global demand for the new 2018 model has driven Ford Mustang to its third straight year as the best-selling sports coupe in the world.
“The world loves Ford Mustang,” says Erich Merkle, Ford sales analyst. “For years, Mustang was unobtainable for customers on most parts of the planet. It could only be found on TV or the internet, and now it rolls down streets from Beijing to São Paulo.”
Of the nearly 126,000 Mustangs registered worldwide in 2017, Ford reported 81,866 of those were registered in the United States. That means that just over one-third of all Mustang registrations are occurring in export markets, especially China, where Mustang was the best-selling sports coupe last year based on 7,125 registrations.
This year also marked the return of the original ’68 Mustang “Bullitt” to the spotlight at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The vehicle, long thought to be missing, was showcased alongside the reveal of the brand new 2019 version of the famous Mustang GT. The muscle car continues to steal the show, as Ford has just added it to the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series
“We’re combining America’s favorite sports car with America’s top stock car racing series,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “Mustang always has been about affordable performance, which can be traced to innovations we’ve made competing in racing, like NASCAR. Mustang is a perfect fit for our racing heritage today and tomorrow.”
Mustang has competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2011, winning championships in all but one season. It has taken Team Penske to four owner’s championships in the last five years and carried Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to consecutive driver’s championships in 2011 and 2012.
Ford has six organizations and 13 teams in its NASCAR lineup, including Wood Brothers Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Team Penske, Stewart-Haas Racing, Front Row Motorsports and Go Fas Racing.
Mustang is still going through initial testing and will be formally submitted to NASCAR for approval this summer. A public unveiling of the finished product will soon follow.
“This announcement makes me very happy,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford Motor Company’s board of directors. “Mustang is a car that is woven into the fabric of our country, and it’s only right that we put it on the track in NASCAR’s most visible series. I can’t wait.”
The first series points race for Mustang will be the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2019.