QOTD: How Can Ford Attract Younger Mustang Buyers?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Poking around ye olde Internet today, I came across this Motor1 piece that aggregates an interview that MuscleCarsandTrucks did. The interview is with Ford’s Mustang marketing manager, Jim Owens, and concerns, at least in part, the graying hairs of the average Mustang buyer and how Ford can get younger folks behind the wheel of the venerable pony car.

Owens seems to believe that younger buyers want an ownership experience that is more experiential — think autocross instead of showing one’s car at Cars and Coffee. I suspect there may be other factors at play, t00. For example, the Mustang made its bones as an affordable sports car, but a well-equipped GT costs well over $40K these days, and it doesn’t take many clicks on the build and price tool to turn an affordable EcoBoost coupe into one that costs over $35K, especially if you want the high-performance engine and/or certain creature comforts.

The interview also mentions that Ford has created Mustang clubs for Millennial-aged buyers.

So, what strategy, or combination thereof, will help bring the average age of Mustang buyers down? Lower prices, outreach to buyers in the Millennial and younger age group (the oldest Millennials are in their early 40s now), or more experiences at events that go beyond showing off a parked car? What other ideas are missing?

[Image: Ford]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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7 of 118 comments
  • Jeff S Jeff S on Dec 31, 2021

    Auto executives have no idea of how the average person lives nor do most of them care.

    • See 2 previous
    • DenverMike DenverMike on Dec 31, 2021

      @ToolGuy Dealers should have more involvement since the shot callers are far removed from end users, their desires, frustrations, angers or just plain ambivalence. Stockholders should be much less involved.

  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Dec 31, 2021

    Late to this party but is this demographic observation a harbinger to a collapse in value of '60s and early '70s muscle cars? Those also predominantly appeal to older white men, mostly Boomers. I do not know if anyone's been watching but those are selling for crazy prices now. Six figures for some, and the car doesn't have to be particularly special to reach that point (like a Boss 429, Hemi, LS6, and so on). My theory has long been this won't hold as they leave driving age behind and, ultimately, this mortal coil. So who buys them then? As to the question of the article, the ship may have sailed on that. I don't know the formal demographics but today's Dodge muscle cars seem to bring in at least some younger drivers. But in general, younger buyers haven't gravitated towards V-8 muscle. Younger enthusiasts grew up coveting Japanese and European iron starting in the 1980s. Again, speaking in generalities. There are always exceptions, before anyone chimes in that their young son Todd who is 14 is restoring the '69 Camaro they found in a field.

  • Jdmcomp Jdmcomp on Dec 31, 2021

    How about a liftback so you can actually haul an object larger then a grocery bag. After all the back seat is worthless and should be folded down for more load space.

  • Wjtinfwb Wjtinfwb on Jan 03, 2022

    Easy... bring back a de-contented base coupe, V6, manual trans., decent wheels and the 8" monitor in the base interior. Offering some interior colors other than black, perhaps a fun plaid or hounds tooth cloth. Bring it in at an MSRP under 25k and suddenly a Civic or Sentra is a helluva lot less appealing.