Ford weighs how to make the Mustang appeal in Europe
GENEVA -- Ford Motor Co.'s product development team is facing its toughest challenge yet in developing a global design language: creating a Mustang that works outside North America.
The next Mustang, scheduled to arrive next year, is scheduled for sale in Europe and other parts of the world. For Ford of Europe design chief Martin Smith, that means Ford has "a knife edge to walk" in keeping the fabled pony car attractive to American loyalists while appealing to new buyers.
"That is a really interesting challenge," Smith said in an interview at the Geneva auto show. "What will emerge from that whole process is one of the best sports cars in the world and one that is still affordable."
"It won't cost $1 million," he added, in a reference to the several seven-figure models such as Ferrari's new supercar, LaFerrari, on display in Geneva.
The development process is moving the Mustang to Ford global design and engineering standards, while trying to maintain its identity as "a North American icon," Smith said. The next-generation Ford Edge also will be sold in Europe.
Although a few Mustangs have been sold in Europe by private importers, Ford will sell the next generation through its dealer network as part of the "one Ford" push initiated by CEO Alan Mulally.
Ford also showed the five-seat Tourneo Connect, which, along with the seven-seat Grand Tourneo Connect, are bound for the United States as replacements for the long-running E-series vans. But Barb Samardzich, vice president for product development at Ford of Europe, said the Indian-built compact EcoSport crossover shown in Geneva is not immediately planned for U.S. sale.
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