From the News Bureau|
FORD DIVISION of Ford Motor Company
Rotunda Drive at Southfield Road
MARKET FOR FORD MUSTANG
The sporty new Ford Mustang has generated more advance interest than any
new product in the Ford Division's 15-year history.
RELEASE PM'S, MONDAY, APRIL 13, 1964
With only speculative news reports to guide them, thousands of persons
hoping to be Mustang owners contacted the Ford Division and its dealers even before
the start of production in early March.
"These people knew only what kind of car the Mustang was," said Lee A.
Iacocca, Ford Motor Company vice president and Ford Division general manager.
"To us, their interest confirms that the Mustang meets a need for a new kind of car."
He said the Mustang market first began to make itself felt in 1961, when
Ford Division researchers noted an increasing interest in foreign sports cars and
in U.S. cars with bucket seats, floor-mounted manual-shift levers and "peppy"
"It showed up as a renewed interest in driving just for the fun of
driving," Mr. Iacocca said.
"This interest spanned all age brackets, but centered on the young and
the young at heart. The average American -- man or woman -- was spending more time
in his car, and it was important to him that he look good in it, that he be
comfortable in it, that he enjoy driving it, and that it correctly represent his
economic status and any special interests he might have, such as in sports cars."
Ford researchers found this interest in "fun-to-drive" cars related
to several factors:
- The rapid growth in population, especially among the younger age
groups. The number of 15-to-24-year olds will increase 11.5 million between 1960
and 1970. Their tastes are reflected not only in their own car purchases, but in
their influence on their parents' buying preferences as well.
- The increase in college enrollments, which will reach an estimated
7 million by 1970 -- or nearly double the 1960 total. College-educated people buy
cars at a phenomenally higher rate than non-college people.
- The growth in multiple-car families, increasing at a rate of more than
a million households a year. In 1956, only 6 million U.S. households owned two or
more cars. Today the number has grown to 13 million. In many cases the second
car reflects the special interests and needs of the buyer.
- The growing number of women who drive. Since 1956, this number has
increased by 53 per cent compared with an increase of only six per cent in the
number of male drivers.
What kind of car do these buyers want?
"They wanted the best transportation they could get for their money,"
Mr. Iacocca said. "Many of them bought used cars. Those who bought new cars
wanted style plus either economy or high performance -- at the lowest possible
price. They wanted cars that looked expensive but weren't. They also wanted
cars that were fun to drive and cars that held up well so they'd bring good
prices at trade-in time.
"All of the product characteristics these people sought in a new car
were offered on the market in some car or another -- but not in a single car. The
market was there and the needs were there. Our job was to come up with the car."
Ford designers set to work with these product objectives:
"That's how the Mustang was born", Mr. Iacocca said," -- designed for
a market looking for a car."
- The car should be as low-priced as possible -- to compete in the
volume segment of the market.
- It should seat four passengers, and have front bucket seats to
complement the over-all sporty appearance of the car.
- It should have good trunk space.
- It should offer both good performance and good economy -- meaning a
wide range of engine choice.
- It had to be soundly and exquisitely styled.
- It had to be versatile -- adaptable to a wide variety of tastes.
FORD MUSTANG | MARKET FOR FORD MUSTANG |
FORD MUSTANG OPTIONS