JAMIE LAREAU

Camaro's ad assault vs. Ford's secret weapon

Automotive News | August 6, 2010 - 2:41 pm EST

It's hard to believe we're more than halfway through this year. But here we are and it's as good a time as any to ponder whether Chevy's Camaro could dethrone Ford's Mustang in sales this year.

Here's a newsflash: It's possible.

Through July, the Camaro leads the Mustang in sales by 6,340 units, or 13 percent.

Next month, GM will launch a new Camaro ad campaign, which could help widen the gap in the pony car's sales leadership. No word on whether the Mustang will get additional marketing.

Still, Ford remains confident in its pony.

Recently, Ford’s head of U.S. sales, Ken Czubay, said the Mustang’s retail share rose significantly in July, gobbling up 38 percent of the pony car segment that month. In July 2009 it had 31 percent of the segment.

Czubay calls that gain "a great success story for Mustang."

He credits Ford's re-engineered 3.7-liter V-6 engine in the 2011 Mustang for the sales boost. The 2011 Mustang went on sale in late May, and was accompanied by a marketing campaign. That engine delivers 305 hp and 31 mpg highway. The Camaro's 3.6-liter V-6 is rated at 304 hp and 29 mpg highway.

Czubay calls the Mustang powertrain Ford's "secret weapon in the marketplace."

But with Chevy's Camaro ad blitz right around the corner, can Ford afford to keep that secret?

Jamie LaReau covers Ford Motor Co. for Automotive NewsJamie LaReau covers Ford Motor Co. for Automotive News

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