FORD TO INCREASE MUSTANG PRODUCTION TO MEET RUNAWAY CONSUMER DEMAND

DEARBORN, Mich., March 17, 2005 – What’s an auto company to do when demand for a hot model exceeds supply? Give the customers what they want.

Ford today announced that it will take production of the hot new Mustang to more than 192,000 units in 2005 – an increase of more than 70 percent, or 80,000 units, from the previous year.

"Ford Mustang is the hottest car in the industry, and its performance on the street and in the showrooms is beating everyone’s expectations," says Steve Lyons, Ford Division president. "Sales are up more than 45 percent over last year, and V-8 GT and convertible model demand is so strong that we haven’t been able to build enough.

We’re planning to increase production well beyond what was initially planned. This will allow us to sell 160,000 – 165,000 Mustangs in the U.S. this year."

Sales and Share Gains

Since its launch in the fall of 2004, the new model Mustang has been an instant sensation with new car buyers. Sales of the 2005 model, coupled with the sell-down of the prior model, have sent overall Mustang sales to record levels every month since launch.

The higher-end Mustang GT V-8 models are in short supply, and the much anticipated new convertible model is just beginning to arrive at dealerships in time for spring. Traditionally, May and June are the hottest selling months for convertible models.

In the key U.S. market, overall Mustang sales are up more than 45 percent on a retail basis over last year, a feat accomplished without the support of the convertible model, which traditionally accounts for one-third of overall Mustang volume. Based on the current sales trajectory, Ford expects to sell about 160,000 – 165,000 Mustangs in the U.S. for the 2005 calendar year. In Canada, where Mustang was named 2005 Canadian Car of the Year, sales continue their triple-digit month-after-month rise, topping records set more than a decade ago.

Increasing sales gains have also been accompanied by share gains. Since the 2005 launch, Mustang has garnered 44 percent of the small specialty segment, featuring sports coupes such as the Pontiac GTO, Nissan 350Z, Chrysler Sebring and Hyundai Tiburon among others.

Historical Anecdotes

Red-hot sales and resulting production increases of a new Mustang are not unprecedented. When Mustang was first introduced in April 1964, Ford had only expected to sell 100,000 the first year. But dealers took 22,000 orders the first day. Ford shifted production mid-year and Mustang went on to sell 618,812.

Mustang fever spread from showrooms to car-hops and Mustang legend spread through barbershops, diners and service stations on "Main Street USA" as Mustang became a part of Americana:

A Ford dealer in Chicago locked the doors of Mustangs in his showroom because he feared for the safety of people trying to crowd into them.

In Garland, Texas, 15 customers bid on the same car and the successful bidder insisted on sleeping overnight in the car until his check cleared the bank in the morning.

In Pittsburgh, a restaurant advertised "Our hotcakes sell like Mustangs."

Parents purchased 93,000 Mustang toy pedal cars during the 1964 Christmas season at a price of $12.95.  Today, restored Mustang pedal cars are extremely popular with collectors and some sell for more than $1,000, nearly 100 times the original price.

Nearly 500 Mustang clubs formed in the first two-and-a-half years of the car’s production.

More than 8 million Mustangs have been sold in the 41 years since its introduction. The 1 millionth Mustang was sold by March 1966.