Mr. Worldwide: Mustang Takes Off in China

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

The Ford Mustang might have been born in America, but it’s now doing burnouts around the world. Helped along with fresh sales in places like Germany and the U.K., global registrations topped 125,000 cars last year. Your humble author saw his first right-hand-drive Mustang last January.

One country where it’s doing particularly well? China.

According to the company, sales of the very ‘Murican Mustang rose 35 percent in China last year compared to the one before, retaining its crown as the best-selling two-door sports coupe for a second year. Data shows the model sources much of its popularity in that country from young buyers and women.

Ford says of the 125,809 Mustangs registered worldwide in 2017, a total of 81,866 of those were in the United States. Back-of-napkin math tells us that just over one-third of all Mustang registrations are occurring in export markets.

“For years, Mustang was unobtainable for customers on most parts of the planet,” said Erich Merkle, a sales analyst at Ford. “It could only be found on TV or the internet, and now it rolls down streets from Beijing to São Paulo.” The man has a point. He further goes on to say that the most popular configuration worldwide is the Mustang GT, with its 5.0-liter V8 (as it should be).

Good to see that “Line-Lock” translates well into any language.

Here at home, the Mustang crested 100,000 sales in 2015 for the first time since 2007, but has since fallen back to roughly 75 percent of that volume. Yearly sales last year were about half what they were when Ford introduced the fifth-gen S197 model in 2005. In 1967, a heady 607,568 Mustangs were sold to an eager American public.

Never far from the limelight, Mustang has received an extra bit of attention over the last week, with announcements of NASCAR duty, an upcoming GT500 version, and a drag-ready Cobra Jet.

Since global exports began in 2015, Ford has sold 418,000 Mustangs in 146 countries around the world through to the end of last year. Incremental sales volume, yo.

[Images: Ford China]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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6 of 16 comments
  • FalconRTV FalconRTV on Apr 23, 2018

    Chinese people living the American dream.... love it.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Apr 24, 2018

    To give you an idea in a 20+ million per year market; Porche China sales were over 65 000 in 2016 compared to Mustangs 3 thousand odd. China represented 25% of all Porsches sold globally. When the Mustang hits those kinds of numbers, then you can play the Star Spangled Banner. Even in the 1.2 million a year Aussie vehicle market Porsche sold 4 400 vehicles and over 9 000 Mutangs. So, better still I'd like to see 130 000 Mustangs sold in China per year to equal the Aussie market.

    • See 3 previous
    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Apr 24, 2018

      SD 328I, Yes, I realise this and why not? Porsche is not a huge selling brand in the US either. Last year Porsche sold just under 55 000 in the US. Nearly 82 000 Mustangs were sold in the US last year. If you look at the data Mustang is more popular in Australia with our 25 million people bought over 9 000 Mustangs. The US would of have to of sold 120 000 Mustangs to have them as popular. After reading the another article, it seems the Chinese are leaning more towards European vehicles, even performance cars. If Ford can clean up the Mustang, especially it's interior I do believe it would sell better outside of the US. The US wants to export vehicles, well maybe if they build a little differently they would become more attractive.

  • Dartdude They need to rebrand the models, The standard model should be Wagoneer and long version should be Grand Wagoneer. There should offer the Ram Rev powertrain in these
  • Irvingklaws Seems more like they're adopting Honda styling queues. Now if they would just adopt their reliability...
  • FreedMike "Obsidian Edition."Oooooh, obsidian is really, really hard stuff.
  • John The awesome Infiniti G series saved this company 20 years ago, but they are right back on track to obsolescence. (yawn)
  • Teddyc73 White with black wheels, I'm so sick of. Or dull grey and black wheels. Just stop.