Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
April 17, 2018
Photos By: Ford Motor Company

It doesn’t come as a surprise to us, but we love to talk about it anyway, especially on National Mustang Day! Ford has announced that for the third straight year that our much loved Ford Mustang is once again the top-selling sports coupe for 2017, according to IHS Markit. Through sales in 146 countries Ford sold 125,809 of them, the majority being the much sought out Mustang GT with the venerable Coyote 5.0L V-8 engine. Ford analyzed the IHS Markit data, which captured 95 percent of global new vehicle registrations, putting Mustang ahead of all other sports coupe segment competitors worldwide.

“The world loves Ford Mustang,” says Erich Merkle, Ford sales analyst. “For years, Mustang was unobtainable for customers on most parts of the planet. It could only be found on TV or the internet, and now it rolls down streets from Beijing to São Paulo.”

Of the nearly 126,000 vehicles registered worldwide, Ford reported 81,866 of those were registered in the United States, meaning just over one-third of all Mustang registrations are occurring in export markets. Demand remains particularly strong in China, where Mustang was the best-selling sports coupe last year based on 7,125 registrations. The most popular configuration worldwide is the Mustang GT with the iconic 5.0-liter V8.

While sports cars have traditionally skewed toward male buyers in the United States, Mustang is increasingly finding favor with women. In an environment of relatively flat sports car sales to women, Ford research shows a 10 percent gain in women buying Mustang in the last five years. Since global exports began in 2015, through December 2017, Ford has sold 418,000 Mustangs in 146 countries around the world.

In other great news Ford has released today it has been announced that Ford’s Mustang is headed to the NASCAR Cup series. Already a contender in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, winning championships every year but one since it started racing in the series in 2011, the Mustang will debut at Daytona next February for the 2019 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series.

“We’re combining America’s favorite sports car with America’s top stock car racing series,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “Mustang always has been about affordable performance, which can be traced to innovations we’ve made competing in racing, like NASCAR. Mustang is a perfect fit for our racing heritage today and tomorrow.”

This will be Ford’s fourth different Cup model in NASCAR’s modern era (1972-present), following Thunderbird, Taurus and Fusion. Ford has six organizations and 13 teams in its NASCAR lineup, including Wood Brothers Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Team Penske, Stewart-Haas Racing, Front Row Motorsports and Go Fas Racing.

“This announcement makes me very happy,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford Motor Company’s board of directors. “Mustang is a car that is woven into the fabric of our country, and it’s only right that we put it on the track in NASCAR’s most visible series. I can’t wait.”

Mustang is still going through initial testing and will be formally submitted to NASCAR for approval this summer. A public unveiling of the finished product will soon follow. The first series points race for Mustang will be the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2019.