The home of the Nurburging has fallen in love with the latest edition of the Ford Mustang. It was Germany’s top-selling sports coupe last month.
Ford sold 780 Mustangs in Germany in March outpacing what most people would likely assume to be the leader the Porsche 911 at 752 units and the Audi TT at 708 cars.
“Germans have fallen in love with the Mustang. Driving a Mustang GT on the Autobahn is a one of a kind experience for people who love cars,” said Wolfgang Kopplin, managing director, Ford Germany.
How did its American rivals fare? Chevrolet moved just 18 Camaros and 79 Corvettes in Germany last month.
(Ford plowing $1.6 billion into Mexico plant construction. For more, Click Here.)
Through the first quarter of the year, Ford’s sold 1,823 Mustangs, which is second only to the aforementioned TT at nearly 2,300 units and perhaps more surprisingly, 12 units ahead of the the illustrious 911.
The current generation Mustang is truly the first “global” iteration of the iconic car, and the automaker has marshaled plenty of resources to make sure it’s a worldwide hit, including a significant reworking of the car’s performance and handling attributes to satisfy European drivers.
The automaker is pushing hard to turnaround its European results. Ford not only reported a profit in Europe last year for the first time since 2011, but also grew sales 10%. The automaker made money after scaling down its operations on the continent: closing three plants, cutting employees and updating products.
Ford expects European sales will grow modestly with profit margins rising to 6-8%. However, to ensure that its operations on the continent are as efficient as possible, the automaker is offering “voluntary separations” packages to 10,000 salaried employees, expecting several hundred to accept them.
(Click Here for the details on another strong month of U.S. sales in March.)
The company doesn’t plan to shutter any more plants or let any hourly employees go as part of its expected $200 million in savings in 2016; however, it doesn’t mean that it won’t find more ways to squeeze some improvements out of its facilities.
Ford is operating at about 80% capacity and under new labor agreements will improve productivity and implement structural improvements in areas such as logistics and parts sequencing to assemble vehicles, engines and transmissions in less time.
The automaker will not remain profitable in Europe using cost-cutting measures alone.
It also plans to introduce seven new vehicles in the near term, including five new SUVs and crossovers in the next three years. Ford expects to sell more than 200,000 SUVs in 2016: a 30% jump compared with 2015.
(To see more about Ford’s expectation for continued growth in Europe, Click Here.)
Ironically while Mustang sales rose in Germany, they fell slightly in the U.S. by 0.8%. For the year to date, they are up 1.1%. It’s rival, the Camaro saw sales rise 15.5% in March. Through April, sales are up 7.3%, although its sales lag that of the Mustang significantly: 30,136 to 18,581.