The Ford Mustang's New Big Market: Australia

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

Thanks to the appeal of a modern independent rear suspension and the availability of right-hand drive, the sixth-generation Ford Mustang has encountered far greater global appeal than any Mustang before it.

The latest country to take a real liking to the Mustang is Down Under, where Australians are buying more Mustangs than any other Ford save the Ranger.

And it’s a good thing they are. While U.S. sales of Mustang plunged 28 percent in the first five months of 2017, production at Mustang’s Flat Rock, Michigan, assembly plant hasn’t been forced to slow down nearly that much. Through the first-third of 2017, Ford built only 4-percent fewer Mustangs than in the same period last year.

Put another Mustang on the barbie, indeed.

Australia’s Wheels Magazine is reporting May 2017 was Ford Mustang’s best month ever in Australia with 1,351 sales.

Ford sold 3,772 Mustangs in Australia so far this year.

At Ford, Austalia’s fourth-ranked auto brand, Mustang accounted for 18 percent of the brand’s sales in May. Only the Ford Ranger, Australia’s second-best-selling vehicle, sold more often in Ford’s Australian showrooms in May. In fact, over half the Fords sold in Australia in May 2017 were Rangers.

Australia’s new vehicle market is small by U.S. standards. In 2016, Americans bought and leased 15 times more new vehicles. But Australia has now become the Ford Mustang’s third-largest market.

(Wheels, which states that Australia ranks second among all Mustang markets, told TTAC on Monday that the article would be amended to reflect Canada’s superiority.)

While Ford Australia sold 6,208 Mustangs in calendar year 2016, Ford Canada sold 7,655. Ford Australia then reported 1,351 Mustang sales in May 2017; 3,772 year-to-date. During the same periods, Ford Canada reported 1,698 and 4,031 Mustang sales, respectively.

Mustang is certainly a more pivotal player for Ford Australia than it is in Canada. Thanks in part to the Mustang’s newfound Australian success, Ford outsold Holden in May 2017 for just the second time since 2000, CarAdvice reports. And while Mustang is a relative drop in Ford’s F-Series-controlled North American bucket, it’s now a key part of Ford’s Australian lineup.

Moreover, Mustang is absolutely crushing all other sporty cars. In May, for example, the next-best-selling cars in the broadly defined sports car segment — Mazda MX-5, Hyundai Veloster, Toyota 86, BMW 2 Series — combined to produce less than half the sales Mustang produced.

Now that Ford’s all-American Mustang has made its way to Australia, it’s time for Australia’s favourite Ford, the Ranger, to make its way to America. Wait a couple more years.

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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3 of 42 comments
  • RobertRyan RobertRyan on Jun 14, 2017

    @Timothy Cain I thought Ford was ranked at least 5th. It and GM are plummeting in Australia as the public turns their back on both. Toyota, Hyundai, , Kia Mazda and the Europeans are doing well

    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jun 14, 2017

      RobertRyan, I wouldn't write off GM or Ford yet. The Ranger is keeping Ford's nose above water. GM is another story. GM needs a RWD V8 and I don't think a Camaro will be successful. GM need to I'mprove the Colorado. The last update a year or so ago was half assed.

  • Snakebit Snakebit on Mar 18, 2020

    As far as cars that I craved and wished I had myself, when I was a freshman in a Los Angeles HS, one of the seniors, whom I was told was a male fashion model, had a new '63 Impala SS 409 at the beginning of the school year. Around the time of the holidays, he began bringing a new Sting Ray to school. When I was a senior, a boy in the same graduating class but with whom I shared no classes brought a Mercedes-Benz 230SL (Pagoda)to school. I think that car started my fascination with foreign cars that continues to today.

  • Fred Of course they will retaliate. Expect things to worse before they get better.
  • GBJT I think there are still non-turbo cars.
  • Slavuta US has created a game called "Free trade" and bashed any country that in US's view somehow interfered with that. Now that countries learned how to beat US at its own game, US does what? - right. smashes the board,
  • Brandon Hyundai doesn't make a mid size truck. The Santa Cruz is a compact truck. And having owned a maverick I can tell you it was a great truck and it outsells the Santa Cruz by a huge margin
  • Kwik_Shift Nothing of interest to me from BYD. All bland and generic knock-offs.