The ’15 Mustang will be offered in convertible and hardtop body styles with a number of different technologies and two different transmissions and engines.
’15 Mustang designed to appeal to global customers.
DEARBORN, MI – Mustang buyers around the world have similar tastes when it comes to the technology they want in their vehicles, says Steve Ling, North American car marketing manager.
The all-new ’15 Mustang comes with a host of new technologies, including a selectable drive-mode system, blindspot information system with cross-traffic alert, push-button start and Sync AppLink, which allows drivers to control smartphone apps via the car’s voice-command system.
Ling says for the most part Mustang owners, or those who aspire to own the pony car, like the same technology, although some preferences differ in certain parts of the world.
“In China, they are a little more comfort-convenient-oriented than we found in other parts, while the Germans would rather do it themselves,” he tells WardsAuto during a Mustang technology forum here. “Those are very minor changes when you got to the specifics of, ‘Should we put this feature in and how should we make it operate?’”
For European markets, Ling says the automaker will stockpile cars that are most likely to be ordered in order to shorten the delivery pipeline. For example,expects European customers to buy more vehicles with manual transmissions than their counterparts in North America, where the take rate for Mustangs with a stick shift is about 20%.
When Alan Mulally took over as’s CEO in 2006, he strove to cut down on manufacturing complexity, noting there were too many variations customers could order.
While the ’15 Mustang will be offered with a number of different technologies, two different transmissions and engines and convertible and hardtop versions, Ling says the engineering and marketing teams were careful not to build too much manufacturing complexity was built into the system.
Still, those who wish to have their vehicle built to order will be able to do so, even if they are in Europe, thousands of miles away from the Flat Rock, MI, plant where the Mustang is assembled.
Ling says Europeans don’t mind waiting to take delivery of their vehicles, unlike Americans who prefer to drive off the lot in their new car the day of purchase.
“In places like Germany, they’re more open to waiting and want (the car) exactly like they want it,” he says. “You need to be able to accommodate that.”
When developing the Mustang for global markets, Ling says adhering to differing country-specific safety standards was a challenge, but one the automaker addressed by making sure the car could pass any requirement.
The ’15 Mustang was designed to meet all crash standards, but when it came to safety technology, there was more complexity involved.
Countries such as the U.S. soon will require back-up cameras on all new vehicles, while other countries will not. All current and upcoming regulations had to be considered when deciding what safety technologies would be offered in particular global markets.
“With things you can modify, like cameras, you can adjust that based on the likes and wants of customers in different places,” Ling says.