By on October 11, 2016

2015 Ford Mustang Flat Rock production

Update: Added official statement from Ford.

Ford Motor Company is briefly shutting down production of the Ford Mustang at the car’s Flat Rock, Michigan, factory in a quest to avoid ballooning inventory ahead of the winter months, Bloomberg reports.

Year-over-year, U.S. sales of the Ford Mustang tumbled 32 percent in September 2016 in response to rapidly elevating incentives on the Chevrolet Camaro. As the Camaro outsold the Mustang for the first time since October 2014, Mustang sales fell to a 23-month low, causing inventory at the end of September 2016 to rise to an 89-day supply, up from 71 days of supply one month earlier.

The temporary idling at Ford’s Flat Rock facility will allow Ford to bring U.S. Mustang inventory down to more appropriate levels. 60 days of inventory is considered normal. 

Traditionally, Ford gleans only 45 percent of the company’s annual Mustang volume over the October-March period, as sales in northern climes dwindle during winter months. Thus, an 89-day supply heading into October is much more troubling than it would be heading into April.

Ford expected Mustang sales to decrease somewhat in calendar year 2016 as 2015’s eight-year high was partly the result of pent-up demand and excitement for the all-new sixth-generation Mustang.

One year later, after sliding 6 percent through the first seven months of 2016, Mustang volume took a 17-percent dive in August before the Mustang lost 3,027 sales in September.

Ford Motor Company’s quick October response to excessive supply stands in stark contrast to GM’s strategy with the Camaro. Chevrolet tripled Camaro incentives from August to September after Camaro inventory had exploded to a 139-day supply at August’s end, but the U.S. sales results of that MY2016 clearout weren’t exactly explosive.

Year-over-year, GM’s pony car posted a 25-percent improvement, but the Chevrolet Camaro only outsold the Ford Mustang (which saw incentives decrease about 10 percent in September) by only 148 units last month.

By no means was September’s Camaro performance successful in dramatically reducing Camaro supply. At month’s end, Chevrolet still had 120 days of Camaro supply, more than double the industry norm.

GM is on track to sell around 70,000 Camaros in the United States in 2016, which would become the lowest-volume year for the nameplate since the fifth-gen’s abbreviated introductory year of 2009.

Ford is still on track to sell more than 110,000 Mustangs in 2016. Prior to 2015, Ford hadn’t crested the 100K marker since 2007.

Mustang production will begin anew on Monday, October 17. “We continue to match production with demand,” Ford’s Kelli Felker told TTAC this morning. “Mustang remains the top seller in its segment in total and retail sales.”

[Image: Ford]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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13 Comments on “Ford Temporarily Shuts Down Mustang Production To Decrease Inventory Before Winter Doldrums...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    With enough cash on the hood, I guess anything sells…

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Ford Motor Company is briefly shutting down production of the Ford Mustang at the car’s Flat Rock, Michigan, factory in a quest to avoid ballooning inventory ahead of the winter months.

    Well winter would be the least likely time to buy a Pony Car for most folks.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      But that statement is completely contradicted when he says that nearly half of annual Mustang sales are from October to March.

      The spin to make Ford look good is incredible. He also ignores all the new markets the Mustang isn’t selling in either that should keep the factory up and running.

      The car is a dud plain and simple.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Yet no matching statement from GM for the Camaro? That car needs a 10-week shutdown, but they’re still stacking up at dealerships.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Well there is a 18-24 month wait here in Oz for a Mustang.

    Why not spend a month building RHD Mustangs.

    This shows there is little flexibility in how Ford plans and operates manufacturing.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      More specifically, perhaps Ford doesn’t care about exports to Australia.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaMaximaCulpa

        Well I guess that ford might say “fudge’em down under”, but Britain is a pretty sizeable market and there’s a lot of smaller countries that’s RHD so a slighty longer production run of RHF cars might be in order. However, that should be the second item on the production and allocation to do list, first on the list should be increasing shipments to Europe. The mustang is selling at above MSPR even with a couple of thousand miles on the odometer, this sort of kills the cheap thrills appeal of the mustang.

        Oh and sync 3 for heavens sake!

  • avatar
    slap

    Three reasons:

    1) Lots of cash on the hood for the Camaro.
    2) More Camaros that aren’t optioned out the wazoo on the dealers lots.
    3) Mustang is getting older, the boost from the redesign is losing steam (which is normal).

  • avatar
    mikey

    Fact of the matter is, that “down weeks” are all part of the auto manufacturing business. If your stuck with an inventory situation , the easiest solution is pull a week, or two, out of the schedule. Slowing the line down is more of a long term fix. Slowing, or speeding the line down, can be a logistic, and expensive undertaking.

    @SCE to AUX….Yes, they may need to pull 10 weeks out of the schedule, but they will spread it out over 6 months.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Fact of the matter is most OEM’s do it unless you are doing the whole fake supply thing by restricting to drive up price and desire. (apple)

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Shutdown? They don’t need no stinking shutdown!

    They need a Mustang Sportwagon model!

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    “Ford gleans only 45 percent of the company’s annual Mustang volume over the October-March period, as sales in northern climes dwindle during winter months.”

    Or, to put it another way,:

    Ford gleans nearly half of the company’s annual Mustang volume over the October-March period, as sales in northern climates dip slightly during winter months.

    What is funny though is the Mustang is being sold in many, many new markets across the globe. You’d think that would be enough to keep the factory moving. I guess the Mustang really is a dud.

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