The executive does not offer hints of another product beyond the coming Mustang convertible to max out capacity.“Let’s celebrate Mustang today,” he says.
Ford Vice President Joe Hinrichs (right) and Flat Rock Assembly Plant Manager Tim Young with first ’15 Ford Mustang.
FLAT ROCK, MI – Joe Hinrichs, president-The Americas, says a 2-shift crew with a dose of overtime at the automaker’s Flat Rock, MI, assembly plant will satisfy global demand for the ’15 Mustang and declines to speculate on a potential third product for the facility.
Flat Rock is one of the fewassembly plants in North America not running three shifts. The plant 20 miles south of Detroit produces the Fusion sedan in addition to the redesigned Mustang sports coupe.
“We’ll be at 2-shift capacity,” Hinrichs tells WardsAuto after a Job 1 ceremony here to launch production of the Mustang. “We have the capacity here for a third shift if we need it.”
He says Ford should know by the second half of 2015, after the Mustang’s global launch hits its stride, whether an additional crew will be added. “Then we can assess our capacity needs,” he says.
Flat Rock can produce 250,000 units over two shifts, according to WardsAuto estimates.
The Mustang accounted for 77,186 sales in the U.S. last year, while the Fusion delivered 295,280 with additional output from Hermosillo, Mexico. Flat Rock discontinued production of the Mazda6 two years ago.
Hinrichs does not offer hints of another product beyond the coming Mustang convertible to max out capacity. “Let’s celebrate Mustang today,” he says.
Hinrichs says initial builds of the Mustang will fill the pipeline for North America before exports begin next year for the first time in the car’s history to Europe, where first-run allocation recently sold out in one hour. “That’s the sort of demand we’re seeing.”
Shipments to Asia and other regions will follow Europe. Despite the addition of right-hand-drive models, which will push Mustang availability into more than 120 countries, and the availability of a 4-cyl. powertrain for the first time in 20 years, Hinrichs expects North America to remain the car’s No.1 spot at about 60% of the global mix.
“It’s very important to have an I-4 (engine) available for the global market,” he says, citing displacement taxes in many countries. “But because it has over 300 hp and gets very good fuel economy, we think there will be strong demand for it here.”
That said, Hinrichs adds, the 5.0L engine of the Mustang GT will still be king. He declines to elaborate on specific powertrain mixes for the car. Ford launches the Mustang with all three available powertrains, which also include a 3.7L V-6.