DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. says it will build at least 192,000 Mustangs this year as demand for the redesigned pony car surges.
Company executives previously had said its Mazda joint venture plant, Auto Alliance International, in Flat Rock, Mich., could build 160,000 to 194,000 Mustangs. Sources had said Ford would try to push Mustang production close to 200,000, but Ford had not publicly committed to a specific production target for 2005.
Now that the 2005 Mustang has been selling well for five months, Ford says it will schedule overtime at the plant for the rest of the year. Between the extra overtime and quicker-than-expected launches, Ford will be able to make the 192,000 number, spokesman Dave Reuter said.
"We had such a smooth launch for the coupe and the convertible that we got ahead of where we thought we would be," Reuter said.
Ford will not reduce capacity for the Mazda6, also built in Flat Rock, to hit the Mustang target. Flat Rock should build around 75,000 Mazda6 sedans, five-doors and wagons this year. The Flat Rock plant began assembling the 2005 Mustang coupe in September and the convertible in February.
Ford expects to sell up to 165,000 Mustangs in the United States and 10,000 or more in Canada in 2005. The rest will go to build dealer stock.
The build target for this year far surpasses 2004 when Ford made 111,629 Mustangs during eight months of active production. It also will be the most made since 1994, when Ford produced 199,048 of the cars during the first full year of the redesigned 1994 Mustang. Ford has produced an average of 140,000 Mustangs annually for the past few years, Reuter said.
Dealers will welcome the extra production units. Some already have been told that they're at the end of their allotment for V-8 GT models for the 2005 model year. Ford says about 40 percent of Mustang sales are GTs, up from about 35 percent of the historical mix.
You may e-mail Amy Wilson at