By on June 14, 2017

2017 Ford Mustang RHD Australia - Image: Ford Australia

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 Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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41 Comments on “The Ford Mustang’s New Big Market: Australia...”


  • avatar
    IBx1

    I completely lost it after the headline picture loaded on my screen!

  • avatar
    Hoon Goon

    nb4 flat earthers start raging on that pic because it is obvious that the Mustang would fall off the planet.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I remember hearing that modern Indy and F1 cars could drive upside down due to ground effects downforce being greater than the vehicle weight, but I wasn’t aware that this was even available on the Mustang. Just another example of how racing technology improves street cars.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Buckle up

  • avatar
    4x4

    I love it. Bet it rides nice.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Any information as to which trim and powertrain is most in demand?

    • 0 avatar
      Car Guy

      Not sure about Australia, but in the UK I read the 5.0L GT was almost 60% of sales. I guess $7/gallon gas don’t phase the enthusiasts.

      • 0 avatar
        nvinen

        They don’t sell the V6 here, it’s EgoBoost or V8 only. I think two thirds to three quarters of Mustangs sold here are V8s.

        Part of the reason V8 Mustang sales are so good is the death of the Falcon which was Ford’s only prevous V8 offering in decades. When Commodore production ends this October, Mustang sales may get even stronger. Mustang will then be about 50% the price of the next least expensive V8 option…

        Petrol prices aren’t really a concern because once you add up the cost of registration, insurance, tolls and depreciation, fuel is only about 1/4 (or less) the cost of vehicle ownership. A few extra dollars a week to own a V8? Sign me up!

        • 0 avatar
          Spike_in_Brisbane

          Mustang because ……..no more Falcons.

          On the cost question, here in Queensland it costs over $220 extra per year to register a V8 over a 6. (Fours are cheaper) I have a Mercedes V8 which is more fuel efficient than either of my six cylinder cars (Citroen and Falcon) but the rego cost penalty persists.

  • avatar

    It was the perfect timing for the Mustang to officially be sold in Australia. With the unfortunate demise of the long-running and performance oriented Falcon last October,it left a lot of Ford loyalists up the creek without a sporty, rear wheel drive car. Had the Mustang been sold any earlier, it could’ve cannibalized the remaining Falcon sales.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    With the demise of V8 Falcons something was needed. The numbers don’t surprise me for the Mustang or Ranger.

    Australia has the highest per capita performance car ownership in the world and sell more pickups per capita than the US and not only do we have US pickups we also have a dozen or more brands to choose from. Freedom of choice and market power is a great thing.

    I’m surprised TTAC didn’t “pick up” (no pun intended) on the Ranger Raptor development in Australia. The latest article was released a couple days ago.

    By the sounds of it, it will be powered by the same 3.5 EcoThirst that’s in the US Raptor. Interesting. 368kw and 670Nm Ranger.

    Oh, the biggest selling vehicle is the Hilux.

    Another interesting fact. The US has 15 times the population of Australia and we have a similar rate per 1 000 for vehicle ownership.

    • 0 avatar
      Malforus

      It still bugs me that I had to find out about the bara inline-6 from a youtube channel.

      I was down there and actually got seat time in a Ford Falcon XR6, a car I wish I had the chance to buy in the US.

      Well I hope you folks are coping and I hope the Fusion Sport and Taurus SHO treat you fine folks well.

      Have a kangaroo sausage while I can’t.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        The inline 6 Barra engine was a good engine. In the end the most Ford got from the Barra 6 was 438hp and 440ftlb (or thereabouts).

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Big Al from Oz
          You had the ” woof woof ” boys running around in 1000hp Versions of the Barra. Very like a normal car till you hit 5000rpm and you were off.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Malforus
        No Fusion Sport or Taurus SHO here.,Ford is struggling and losing market share with only the Rabger selling in pretty reasonable numbers,

    • 0 avatar

      “I’m surprised TTAC didn’t “pick up” (no pun intended) on the Ranger Raptor development in Australia. The latest article was released a couple days ago.”

      I don’t say this to be a dick, but we don’t pay a lot of attention to Australian automotive media because over 90% of our readership is from the United States and Canada. Many of the vehicles offered in Australia aren’t offered here, so there’s not a ton of reason to read every article that comes out of Australia.

      That said, if you see something that you think might be of interest to those on the top-side, you can always shoot us a tip email to [email protected]

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Thanks Mark,
        I might see things a little differently.

        1. The Ford Asia Pacific T6 platform is of huge significance to the US market, eg Bronco and US Ranger.

        2. There is a considerable amount of design and development occurring for the US T6 in Australia.

        3. If paragraphs 1 & 2 are occurring a good place to keep tabs on the US T6 platform would be reading Australian motoring articles and news.

        4. I do believe the comment of the 3.5 EcoThirst will be in a Ranger. A 2.7 would be more than adequate.

        But, we don’t have any V8 utes, let alone the supercharged Ford and GMH utes. So, a very limited run of 3.5 EBs could occur.

        Maybe Australia will lead the way again with proper high performance utes. One can only hope.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Big Al from Oz
          Seems a US Pickup /Car blog does a lot. It regularly quotes car advice.
          Has a few articles on the Ranger and some Australian contributors.. Including this one.

          • 0 avatar
            nvinen

            Unlike Big Al, it doesn’t bother me that TTAC is Canada/US-centric. We have plenty of local motoring publications. I read TTAC for “bigger picture” stuff, general vehicle engineering articles and to see interesting cars we don’t get here. And as you say, they do publish articles about other markets from time to time, including Aus.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          RobertRyan,
          I do believe the Ranger Raptor article I picked up on was from Car Advice.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Big Al from Oz
            Correct. It had about a 3.5 in the Ranger, probably something Detroit thought was a good idea. All the new models coming onto the market,are going to challenge Toyota/ Ford combo
            Maybe the 3.5 for the new Ute racing series next year, Diesels will not cut it as race engines, I think engine choice will parallel the Supercar series

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            South Africa had a V8 killing 3.2 off road racer.

            One area Ford need to look at with those EcoSieze engines is durability.

            Where I’m currently at we are siezing F150s and Expeditions. They don’t like idling for periods of time. High temp environments as well as poor FE is not good. We are struggling with V6 Sorentos in the heat as well.

            We are screaming out for more 2.7 Hiluxes to replace the Fords.

            In the Aussie Outback the Eco Sieze Fords will be a liability and risk.

  • avatar
    kkop

    Some are not so taken with the (stripped of safety features in EU and AUS) Ford Mustang:

    https://youtu.be/3vupJqnNyaE

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @kkop
      It’s 2 star rating is in Chinese car territory. Pretty poor ratings from a major US Manufactuers 2 door sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Robert Ryan – So you’d be driving one if they only had a “5-Star”? Yeah shove it. You’re the only one here not a car enthusiast of any kind.

        You never contribute anything but criticism of anything and everything “American”.

        Crash safety hasn’t been a huge selling feature for sports car enthusiasts, ever since James Dean. That’s for squares man!

        The majority of Ozzies are opting for the Coyote V8, but it’s like having to wait hours for a table at your favorite or famous restaurant. A couple hours in, who’s gonna zero in on the soup and cheese sticks?

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Correct the Mustang has a terrible crash rating.. Should not be on the road.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “…Should not be on the road.”

            Nor should just about every Porsche 911.

            And did I mention Shove it?

          • 0 avatar
            raph

            Meh… anecdotal experience indicates the S550 fairs pretty well in an accident well at least with 8th gen Civics when testing that all important offset frontal impact.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Cheese sticks? What fast food “restaurant” do you eat at?

          In Australia restaurants have quality sit down meals.

          Cheesesticks? WTF? Pizza Hut and Dominoes have deep fried cheese, restaurants have cheese of a high enough quality it doesn’t require frying.

    • 0 avatar
      nvinen

      It’s especially sad since the four-door Falcon XR8 that was discontinued (and which the Mustang essentially replaces) had a 5-star rating and I can (unfortunately) testify from personal experience gives excellent protection in an offset frontal impact.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @nvinen
        Sadly the Mustang is not much of a replacement. A sort of bargain basement FPV

        • 0 avatar
          nvinen

          When I ordered my XR8 the salesman asked me whether I was interested in the Mustang instead (it was just going on sale). I thought why would I want to pay more for a car with fewer doors, less power, a smaller boot, less safety and (in my opinion) worse looks? (The Falcon definitely looks more “grown up”).

          The only reason I could think of to prefer the Mustang is the convertible option.

          I’m glad I didn’t change my mind. Having said that, now that the Falcon is gone, if I wanted to buy a new car then I would at least consider a Mustang. I think I’d wait for a version that addresses the crash protection issues though.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @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

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      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.


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