Is Ford Repeating Same Mustang Missteps From 1969?

Photo by Awakening/Getty Images)
Photo by Awakening/Getty Images) /

When Ford brought the retro look to the new Mustang everyone loved it. Sales are slumping after several changes and it appears history is repeating itself.

As a lifelong Mustang fan, it pains me to say that Ford is charging down the same path that almost killed the iconic pony car. Sales have fallen so far Ford is shutting down production for a short period to reduce inventory.

Throughout history, brand sales have risen and fallen. The history of the Mustang is no different, but this slump is awfully familiar. When the Mustang first hit showrooms in late 1964 it was a huge hit. The design of the car was relatively unchanged until 1967 when it got a bit bigger and a lot more powerful.

In 1969 the body of the Mustang went through another growth spurt. It got longer, wider, and a lot heavier. There were several new engine and trim packages for customers to choose from. With new emissions laws coming into effect, the power started to fall and sales went down with it.

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Ford decided to continue down the same path with the Mustang being bigger and getting farther away from its origins. They did this even though smaller, lighter cars were selling like hotcakes. Is anything sounding familiar here?

Since the 2005 Mustang went to its concept of retro styling and modern performance upgrades, sales have skyrocketed. The popularity of the Mustang drove the production of the modern Camaro and Challenger. As those two cars sales stay strong, the Mustang is starting to sputter.

The 2016 version of the Mustang took a large step away from the classic look of the pony car. There are also so many different packages to choose from, buying one is almost a chore. With slumping sales, Ford now must look at the platform and make a decision that faced them before. What direction do they go?

In 1970 Ford forged ahead on the path they set, no matter what the sales numbers were. Today, Ford cannot afford to do the same. The question is, can designers at Ford find a way to go backwards in exterior design in such a short period. They need to bring back the nostalgia that the Mustang used to bring. A small, fast, nimble car that people loved to drive.

Another step they should take is using the upgraded 3.5L Ecoboost that is in the 2017 Raptor. At 450hp and 500lb torque, that should replace all the engine options besides the top performance package. That would make it an innovative car again. Out front with a powerful fuel efficient V6, that would be a game changer.

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That would make it an innovative car again. A true sports car with a powerful fuel efficient V6 that would turn corners and heads. Bringing back the identity of our beloved Mustang. I will always be a Mustang man at heart, but if Ford keeps making it hard to stay loyal to the brand. Hopefully, they look back before they made decisions about the beloved Mustang going forward.