Ford's Mustang Bragging Brings Out the Best in Rival Automakers

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
ford s mustang bragging brings out the best in rival automakers

Ford celebrated its iconic sports coupe’s 55th birthday at the New York International Auto Show this week by proclaiming Wednesday as “Mustang Day.” But Mustang Day was overshadowed by other nostalgic celebrations taking place at the New York Auto Show, specifically Nissan’s 50th Anniversary Editions of the GT-R (which looked excellent) and 370Z (which one of our anal-retentive staffers criticized over technical inaccuracies). The Japanese manufacturer even had a multi-tiered display and brought in historic models, countering the building apathy many automakers seem to have developed for giant trade shows.

Despite Nissan winning the battle for eyes in New York, Ford still appears to have won the day — at least from its own perspective. Following the NY debut of the Mustang’s 2.3-liter High Performance Package, which brings up the base auto’s peak output to 330 horsepower just for starters, the company proudly announced that its pony car has remained the world’s top-selling sports coupe over the last four years.

Available for purchase in 146 countries last year, the Mustang sold a claimed 113,066 units in 2018. Ford said that was good enough for a 15.6-percent share of the total sports car market.

“We broke the mold when Ford launched the Mustang 55 years ago,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets. “Nothing says freedom, the wind in your hair and the joy of driving like Mustang; it’s an icon. The roar of its V8 on a spring day, there’s nothing better. No wonder it’s the most popular sports coupe in the world.”

While we can’t say that Ford’s birthday celebration encouraged Nissan’s nostalgia push in New York, as it was the Z’s 50th, we are certain that provided ammo for General Motors’ response. Tragically limited to Chevrolet Arabia’s YouTube channel online, GM posted a brief video called “ Wouldn’t be a party without us. .”

The clip showcases a pony blowing out candles at a birthday party clearly intended for a little girl. However, rather than wishing for a Mustang, the undersized horse is given a Chevy Camaro. Accompanied by the text “some wishes do come true” the animal neighs with glee. Direct and a little mean, without being truly cruel, the spot is everything we could have hoped for.

As important as it is for manufacturers to cooperate during this period of surprisingly high development costs, we prefer them at each other’s throats whenever possible. It’s just more fun that way and it doesn’t have to get out of hand. Automotive advertising doesn’t always have to be about a business’ ethical or moral commitments, as if profit-seeking companies even have a conscience outside of its employees. Pushing environmentalism, safety, and peace of mind are fine marketing tactics. But they’re not going to grab you by the crotch like a little confrontation … and cockiness.

Dodge gets it.

It can also be about ribbing your rivals and telling the public you can offer better armed with nothing more than a little gusto.

It’s okay to be slightly braggadocios, even if the cars they are talking about have fallen slightly out of favor in their home market lately. Hell, it might even help turn things around. GM’s jab at Ford certainly made us eager to see the automaker’s response and we can’t be the only people in the world who feel that way.

[Images: Ford]

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  • Sneedspeed Sneedspeed on Apr 22, 2019

    It doesn't get more American than the Ford Mustang. With a rich history and decades of success, the Ford Mustang has become a household name. Its tough V8 engine and beautiful aesthetics have become trademarks that we've learned to associate with this magnificent vehicle.

  • Stanczyk Stanczyk on Apr 28, 2019

    They should celebrate properly with new GT500 .. not some 2,3L - 4 - banger .. !?! .. >)

  • Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
  • Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
  • Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
  • Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.
  • Inside Looking Out I did not notice, did they mention climate change? How they are going to fight climate change, racism and gender discrimination. I mean collective Big 3.