Mustang may get an all-new look for 2014

(April 18, 2012) The retro-styled Mustang is being abandoned at Ford in favor of a modern look with the next-generation pony car set for the 2014 model year, according to reports. The new Mustang will closely resemble that of the Evos concept car that Ford showed in September at the Frankfurt auto show, according to the Wall Street Journal, quoting Ford sources.

The Journal reports that Ford is pulling back from successive styling changes that served as a throwback to the original 1965 model.

Mike Ramsey, writing in the Journal earlier this week, says Ford will retain the round headlights and some of the look of the Mustang from the front, but that the overall car could look more like the midsize Fusion sedan.

The Ford Evos concept may
represent the styling direction of the next-generation Mustang

The change is part of a bid to give the Mustang appeal to Generation Y, consumers born between 1980 and 1999, according to the Journal. The thinking is those younger buyers are not hooked into the nostalgia of the iconic Mustang design language and are not going to buy the car simply on its retro styling.

By 2020, Gen Y will represent as much as 40 percent of the car-buying market, according to a 2009 study by the Deloitte consulting firm.

Weak sales may have a lot to do with the change in direction. Last year, Mustang sales in the United States decreased 4 percent to 70,438 units and fell behind the restyled Chevy Camaro. By comparison, Ford sold more than 166,000 units in 2006, a year after Ford introduced the current retro-styled Mustang.

During the first quarter, Ford sold 20,133 Mustangs in the United States, a 31 percent increase over the first three months of 2011 but below the totals of the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Charger.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, USAToday, Automotive News