The Ford Mustang is currently the best-selling sports car in Germany and in many other European countries. Sales are so strong that allotments with regard to official importers are usually sold out for the rest of the year as well as customers are flocking in order to gray importers, who provide cars at greater prices and with out factory warranty.
What made Europeans go crazy for any pony car all of a sudden? Is something changing in European tastes, or perhaps is the new Mustang just that good? And the reason why can’t other United states cars make it within Europe?
Last month, Indonesia saw 780?Mustangs?registrations. That’s enough to beat everything in the category, including hot sellers like the Audi TT, Mercedes-Benz SLC or any of the stylish Porsches. In my home country, Czech Republic, 44 were registered, beating luxury coupes like the Audi A5 and 325i repair 4-series, which are not considered “sportscars” in Germany.
That’s an astonishing achievement for an United states car in Europe. Since the success associated with Chrysler’s minivans, no American car (European Fords are simply that -?European) managed to make itself genuinely relevant in any market segment. So, let’s look at the factors which made such a thing possible.
The most obvious reason why the actual Mustang is so greatly popular in Germany is, of course, the actual pricing. However crazy it may seem to United states eyes, the $48,700 base price for the Mustang GT is a true bargain, out of the box $43,000 for the four-cylinder Ecoboost model.
To understand why, one must realize that advertised prices within Europe are?final. This includes the Value Added Tax, which usually comes down to 20-22 percent, and of course, absolutely no further destination costs are allowed. Subtracting the tax (which is, in fact, deductible for VAT-payers who spend the money for tax on their last product and can deduct it from any company expenses) moves which car much nearer to its American pricing. The rest of the difference comes to the fact that in Europe, the base Mustang is available in Premium trim using the Performance Package.
This pits the Mustang towards similar competitors it faces in the US. The Ecoboost goes head-to-head with the brand new crop of “super hatches” like Golf R or Civic Kind R, and the GT is competing towards much slower vehicles (like the BMW 440i) or much more expensive ones, like the BMW M4. Possibly even more important, it’s nevertheless within the price range of the large sedan. A Volkswagen Passat or Ford Mondeo, or even a ?koda Superb, can easily?surpass an Ecoboost in price, and their most expensive versions can be pricier than the GT Convertible.
But the fact that the Mustang is cheap would not be enough for it to bring in such massive product sales. It has been cheap for quite some time,?and gray market vehicles are readily available in most European union countries. For some buyers, though, the fact that the Mustang is now sold through official Ford dealerships is of the great importance. Some don’capital t want to deal with small businesses that’s not able to provide the warranty and service of an official dealer, other people just don’t believe in anything “unofficial”.
The fact that the Mustang is officially available for the first time within almost 50 years (and in many countries, such as ours, for the first time actually) could be the reason why individuals who always wanted the Mustang now flock to get one.
Supporting this theory is the fact that now, the Mustang’s Western sales consist mainly of V8 cars, while the supposedly Euro-friendly four-cylinder model represents a small minority in most markets. It seems that the really important part of “Euro-friendliness” is not about offering a small engine, but the fact that the Mustang now has a proper, well-tuned suspension as well as an interior that can get up on its own when displayed next to large European Fords in the showroom. Absolutely no Mustang since 1973 was able to do that, that is one of the main reasons why the last four generations weren’t available in Europe.
If there are any other reasons for Mustang’utes long absence on our market, it’utes certainly not the lack of Western drivers’ interest in affordable, quick coupes with a big motor. When the Mustang left the European market after getting too fat as well as thirsty for ls tastes and wallets, Europeans just created their own Mustang.
It had been called the Ford Capri, along with other than being smaller, in line with other European cars of the time, as well as replacing the Mustang’utes I6 and V8 engines with (slightly) less thirsty I4s and V6s, it was similar to the Mustang, only with a more primitive suspension. Really -?the Capri, which sold almost Two million copies (at one time, one in four Fords sold in Europe had been Capris) had a??until manufacturing ended in 1987.
When the actual Capri went out of manufacturing, followed a year later on by its greatest rival, the Opel Manta, dark ages came for brawny rear-wheel generate coupes in Europe. Using the lack of mainstream RWD platforms to build on (the Capri was based on the old Companion, the Manta on first generation Ascona), the manufacturers attempted to make it work with FWD ones. Ford imported the actual futuristic but type of bland Probe, followed by the actual totally boring “Europeized” Cougar. Opel did better with the Vectra-based Calibra, as well as Fiat ruled the section for some time with its striking, muscular, Bangle-designed Coupe, powered by a glorious Two.0-liter five-cylinder turbo.
With mainstream coupes partly dying out and/or moving to uninspiring FWD platforms, the market for fast, stylish coupes dropped into the hands associated with German premium manufacturers -?the 3-series coupe and Mercedes CLK still offered some style and, for?the Bimmer at least, a sporty character.
Of course, horse cars were still existing -?but mainly through gray imports. Very rarely were they available from official dealers, such as the Camaro and Firebird in Indonesia during late 1990s. While the demand was undoubtedly there, the actual terrible quality of their interiors and ancient live rear axle suspensions kept most European customers away. Nevertheless, the pony cars were always one of the most successful cars in the gray market. Mustangs from the previous retro-styled generation offered better than some officially available cars.
There should not be a surprise that when the actual Mustang came to Western shores with an recognized warranty, availability through regular Ford showrooms and a modern suspension (which makes it drive a lot more like a cheaper Jaguar than a thuggish American brute), not to mention an interior that is at least on-par using the Mondeo, the customers went nut products.
For now, it’s most likely mostly fanboys who’re now ordering the V8 pony cars of their dreams, but I anticipate the share of Ecoboost vehicles to rise in the coming years, as people who didn’capital t specifically lust after a Mustang (but wanted the downmarket/faster alternative to a BMW 4-series) come into the picture. There’utes also those who simply want a cool-looking coupe to exchange their Mondeo wagon following their kids finally leave the nest.
In a means, the Ecoboost Mustang is a replacement for the Capri. When the European pony car was on the market, Western Fords were orders associated with magnitude smaller than Ough.S. models –?the large, luxurious Granada was about the size of a Maverick, and the Cortina (the typical family vehicle of the time) was hardly any bigger than a Pinto. Which necessitated a smaller pony car for European countries. Now, Europe’s big Ford is identical in order to America’s midsize Fusion, and also the Mustang suddenly ceased looking out-of-place with its size.
What it is that most American automakers don’t obtain and what they can study from this example? European customers are not interested only within small, sophisticated four-cylinder vehicles. They want big, cool American cars they are fully aware from the movies. They simply don’t want them to appear completely terrible inside, and they won’t live with the rear axle on a sports vehicle.
The American cars that sell the best in Europe are those that appear to be most American. The biggest hit for Chrysler? The actual 300C (and gray import Competitors aren’t doing so poor, either). The most popular Rolls royce? Of course, the Escalade. However a Lancia-badged Chrysler 300C? Nah, they won’t fall for which. A four-cylinder Cadillac ATS or even CTS? Dude, where’utes my V6?
The Mustang is like a hamburger. It’s quintessentially?United states, and while you won’capital t see us Men and women ditching our pasta or Wienerschnitzel for it, we still like to indulge from time to time. A part of us will always like a good pony car, around we like those burgers.
[Image: 2015 Ford Mustang,?? 2015 Alex M. Dykes/The Truth About Cars]