American Mustang Car

American Mustang Car – When Ford Motor dropped cars entirely from its North American lineup earlier this month to focus on trucks and S.U.V.s, it turned the page on a long and storied history of now-defunct but once-hot nameplates: Model T, Model A, Galaxie, Fairlane, Thunderbird and Falcon, to name a few.

“Get rid of the Mustang?” asked James D. Farley Jr., Ford’s president of global markets, when I asked him this week how the Mustang has survived. “The Mustang is like Rocky: It lived through the fuel crisis of the 1970s, the 1980s, the transition to S.U.V.s. It has withstood every cut.

American Mustang Car

American Mustang Car

For me, the Mustang pullback was welcome news: I was taking my driver’s test in my mother’s 1967 turquoise Mustang notchback. On the rare occasions I was allowed to drive it, it immediately conferred status and was the undisguised envy of my high school classmates.

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Lee A. Iacocca, a Ford executive who helped introduce the Mustang and Fairlane in 1961. Credit… Associated Press

Perhaps Wall Street would be just as happy if the Mustang went the way of the Fusion, Taurus and Fiesta, current models that Ford said it would phase out and which Mr. Farley dismissed as “commodity silhouettes.” (Ford says it will continue to make passenger vehicles, but they just won’t be in the shape of a modern sedan. The Focus, for example, will survive, but as a crossover S.U.V.)

That’s because in its latest earnings report, Ford revealed for the first time that a relatively small number of products, including the wildly popular F-150 pickup truck series, accounted for 150 percent of its earnings before interest and taxes, while margins were in half. Another group was barely profitable. By contrast, Ford said its “low-performing” products lost money, with negative margins of more than 10 percent.

Using Ford’s disclosures, Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas extrapolated that the underperforming companies accounted for 40 percent of Ford’s revenue, yet sharply reduced the company’s earnings. Ford did not specify which models fall into that category, but Mr. Jonas included North American passenger cars and Lincoln models. (At least until now, Ford hasn’t changed its Lincoln lineup, which includes several passenger sedans.)

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At the 1964 World’s Fair, the Mustang was introduced to the public with a large repertoire, an event that was depicted in its advertising. Credit… Ford Motor

Mr. Jonas applauded Ford’s decision to ditch most passenger cars, assuming the company actually follows through. “If a disproportionate amount of effort goes into products that don’t make money and that consumers don’t want, then what are they doing?” he asked.

Ford does not break out financial results by model, but Mr. Jonas believes the Mustang is modestly profitable. A base hardtop starts at $25,845, but popular options can add to the cost quickly. The convertible is priced from $31,345. The top-of-the-line Mustang GT fastback can easily reach $40,000, and the 526-horsepower Shelby GT350 starts at more than $57,000. The racing version of the Mustang Cobra can reach six figures.

American Mustang Car

“I can’t think of another car where some models sell for four times the base price,” Mr Farley said. “We sell a lot of $70,000 Mustangs.”

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A Nascar-tuned Mustang driven by Cole Custer led the race at Richmond, USA in April. Credit… Jared K. Tilton/Getty Images

The Mustang continued to sell well. Ford said it sold nearly 126,000 cars in 146 countries last year and that it is the world’s best-selling sports car. (By contrast, the Toyota Corolla, the world’s best-selling passenger sedan, sold nearly a million cars.)

But Mustang survival isn’t really about numbers. “Five years from now, whether or not Ford decided to keep the Mustang will not be a major factor,” Mr. Johns said. “It’s more of an emotional thing. They’re trying to keep the sexuality of the car as it was known.

Since its introduction 54 years ago, the Mustang has been positioned as a stylish, affordable and practical alternative to expensive European sports cars. In various tests, the Mustang GT still compares favorably to the Porsche 911 priced above $90,000.

The Ford Mustang

The 1968 film Bullitt featured chase scenes with Steve McQueen behind the wheel of a Mustang fastback. Credit… Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

The Mustang is so iconic that it was commemorated on a Postal Service stamp — twice. The latest, from 2013, features a blue 1967 model divided by two white stripes.

The Mustang has appeared in countless movies and television shows, becoming an indelible icon of American culture. In the movie “Goldfinger”, James Bond drove off-road in a white 1965 Mustang convertible with a red interior.

American Mustang Car

Steve McQueen drove a dark green 1968 fastback in the movie “Bullitt,” in which the Mustang appeared as a classic “muscle” car. This year, Ford is selling a 475-horsepower anniversary edition of the Bullitt that, reminiscent of the original, comes complete with a stick shift. The limited edition Bullitt retails for $47,495. (The first one off the assembly line sold at a charity auction earlier this year for $300,000.)

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The 2019 Limited Edition Mustang Bullitt, inspired by the movie of the same name, retails for $47,495. Credit… Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Prepared 1967 Mustang fastback in “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”. But Mustangs aren’t just about high testosterone. The 1966 convertible is featured in “The Princess Diaries,” and Ford said 27 percent of Mustang buyers are women.

William Clay Ford Jr., Ford CEO and great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, is a Mustang fanatic and has 20 versions in his personal collection. Mr. Ford arrived at the company’s annual Mustang birthday party last month in a navy blue 1968 Mustang Shelby 500 convertible with a white top.

“I put it in the same category as a Corvette,” said Eric Minoff, an automotive specialist at Bonhams auction house in New York. The Mustang “is a cultural icon,” he added. “Even people who know nothing about cars recognize a Mustang.”

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Next week, Bonhams will auction several vintage Mustangs previously owned by Carroll Shelby, the racing driver and automotive entrepreneur who, starting in the 1960s, developed high-performance Shelby Mustangs in partnership with Ford. The 1968 Mustang GT 350 and 1969 GT 500 are estimated to fetch between $80,000 and $100,000 at the June 3 auction.

I found a turquoise 1967 Mustang notchback that looked identical to my mother’s car listed on the Hemmings antique car site for $37,900.

These are surprisingly high prices considering how many Mustangs were made. “After the car first came out, there was a saying that hotcakes sold like Mustangs,” Minoff said. “They’re not exactly rare. But regardless of how common they are, they’re very attractive cars, and with the V-8 engine and rear-wheel drive, they’re very sporty and fun to drive. The Fast Editions, especially with all the options, are pretty high quality.

American Mustang Car

Mr. Farley described the Mustang as a “mind” vehicle. “When we ask people around the world what they think of Ford, they say Mustang,” he said. “Mustang means freedom. That means taking a road trip in a convertible down the west coast. This is how America is imagined by people all over the world. Why would we ever give it up?

Ford Mustang / Gt, An American Muscle With Sports Car Pedigree

A version of this article appears in print on page 1 of the New York edition, section B, under the headline: Saving an American Icon: ‘Mustang Means Freedom’. Order reprints | Today’s article | Subscribe Every year, American University’s Kogoda School of Business creates an index to calculate the vehicles with the highest percentage of American-made parts. In the 2021 compilation, the Ford Mustang GT with a manual transmission ranks first with 88.5 percent.

To calculate these points, Kogoda Business School does not take into account only where the parts come from. It also affects where final assembly, engine and transmission manufacturing takes place, whether the automaker is headquartered in the US, and even where research and development takes place.

For example, 77 percent of the Mustang GT’s components come from the United States or Canada. Other Kogoda factors determine the result to 88.5 percent. The table below shows the top five vehicles for 2021.

If you want to see how things stack up in terms of manufacturers, Tesla has the highest average overall local content at 81%. General Motors and Ford also ranked well with an average of more than 70 percent.

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Last year, the Ford Ranger topped the rankings, but in 2021 it slipped to 16th place. The reason was that total domestic content in trucks fell to 45 percent, down from 70 percent in 2020.

Also, the Chevrolet Camaro with an automatic transmission ranked second in 2020. This year it slipped to seventh. Total domestic content increased from 83 percent in 2020 to 78.5 percent in 2021.

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