ANAHEIM – It should come as no surprise that Ford Motor Co.’s all-new Mustang sportscar is selling before it even arrives at dealerships.

“Customers are literally buying them off the car-carriers,” Mustang Marketing Manager Paul Russell tells Ward’s here at the California International Auto Show.

“That is no exaggeration,” he says. “One customer in Texas took delivery right off the carrier, drove it home and came back to the store the next day to finish up his paper work. All the customers at the dealership thought it was a new unit for stock. They all clamored around it to see if they could buy it.”

Russell declines to say how many Mustangs the auto maker will sell in October, as inventory levels still are building. Mustang is produced at AutoAlliance Inc. in Flat Rock, MI, a joint venture between Ford and Mazda Motor Corp. that also makes the Mazda6.

“October is just a reflection of what we’ve been able to ship,” says Russell. “A car comes into inventory and it goes right out.”

Since its debut earlier this year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the consensus has been that the retro-futuristic styled Mustang would be a sensation with the public.

Mustang sales strong.

“It has done more to generate showroom traffic than any other product that I can remember in recent Ford history,” Russell says.

And that’s before Ford has launched advertising for the coupe and before some Ford dealers have received a single model. But that will change soon. Ford kicks off its Mustang marketing blitz Nov. 4 with spots during NCAA football and the season premier of “The OC “on the Fox network.

Print ads also will hit in November across various publications, including lifestyle, travel and fitness titles. A new Mustang website launches next week, as well. “Next week, it all drops,” says Russell.

Every Ford dealership will have at least one Mustang by November – giving the showrooms an impressive onslaught of new products simultaneously that includes the Ford Freestyle cross/utility vehicle, Ford Five Hundred midsize sedan and Escape Hybrid CUV.

Due to the buzz surrounding Mustang, Russell believes sales will stay strong in cold-weather states during the winter months even though the Mustang is a rear-wheel-drive sportscar. “We haven’t built a Mustang since May,” he says. “There’s pent-up demand.”

bcorbett@primediabusiness.com