Ford admits that its ponycar owners are getting older.
Over 50 years after its debut, the Ford Mustang is still America's best-selling muscle car, consistently outselling the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. Even more impressively, the mighty Mustang has held the title of the best-selling sports coupe in the world for six consecutive years.
Over the years, updates to the perennial pony car have kept the Mustang fresh and exciting. But despite Ford's attempts to attract new younger buyers, the opposite is happening. Speaking with Muscle Cars and Trucks, Ford Mustang Marketing Manager Jim Owens revealed that the average Mustang buyer has been getting older over the last decade.
"The demographic is, yeah, they're getting older," said Owens. "The baby boomer generation that remembers the 60s fondly… it isn't substantially getting larger, but it's more about that psychographic, that type of personality that buys the Mustang, and that's not age-dependent." This doesn't mean that younger buyers don't find the Mustang appealing, however, but that it simply isn't practical for people at certain life stages. While the EcoBoost Mustang is relatively affordable, the reality is that most enthusiasts will want the more powerful V8 GT.
With a starting price of $36,120, splashing out on a Mustang GT is difficult to justify for someone who is at an early stage of their working life or starting a family.
As a result, younger buyers are more likely to want something practical like a sedan or SUV - and Ford is hoping the Mustang Mach-E will fill this role.
"There's a time in your life where a Mustang just isn't that practical for you," said Owens, who likens the Mustang to a life stage vehicle. "Now, a Mach-E can change that. You come into it, then go to what you need for your life, then come back into a Mustang later," he said. Consequently, younger enthusiasts are less likely to experience the Mustang in its traditional form, and that's a shame. Let's hope Ford's strategy doesn't affect the Mustang Coupe's long-term survival.