An image-booster for Europe, but no big numbers
BARCELONA, Spain -- Ford Motor Co. expects the redesigned 2015 Mustang to boost its image in Europe, even though sales won't be huge.
"We want it to say it's quite a technologically advanced car, not a Neanderthal American," Ford's new global head of design, Moray Callum, told Automotive News Europe.
Ford plans to sell the Mustang through its European dealer network for the first time to broaden the car's appeal outside of its core American audience.
"There has always been a gray market for Mustang," said AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan. "Now there will be warranties and real service and vehicles that actually meet European regulations."
Jacques Brent, Ford's general marketing manager for large cars and SUVs, said Mustang sales in Europe will be modest, but would not give a figure.
"Current global volume for Mustang is around 106,000," Brent said at a press event in Detroit. "We're expecting some growth, but we haven't banked on doubling the volume or anything like that. "It's going to be relatively niche."
Callum: "We want to offer our customers drop dead gorgeous designs that not only meet all the necessary functional requirements, but also provide a visually premium experience."
The Mustang will get a new 2.3-liter four-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost engine that will produce about 310 hp. A 5-0-liter V-8 also will be offered in Europe, but not the entry-level 3.7-liter V-6. The car will come with standard independent rear suspension for the first time.
The focus on technology highlights its role as "a billboard for what Ford is capable of," Brent said.
Ford has not released prices for the Mustang.
Brent said the Mustang will appeal to European customers who drive high-performance volume cars such as the Fiesta ST subcompact and Focus ST compact and want to "move up."
Bradford Wernle contributed to this report.
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