The car industry is shrinking the world. Nowhere is this more evident than at Ford, who has made an effort in recent years to bring its American lineup and styling in with the rest of the planet’s. So when the next Mustang comes out, expect to see it developed with design input from Ford’s European and Australian studios.
The Mustang is currently designed exclusively in America and while the styling may soon come from overseas, the Dearborn, Mich., studio ultimately has final say in turning the collaborative styling themes into a final production vehicle. J Mays, Ford’s global design chief, is based in Dearborn, and wields this power decisively.
“It is a common process we use on every vehicle,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president for global product development. “When we embark on a new product, particularly one that is all new, it involves all of the studios. Then J [Mays] and the design team pick the best of those themes.”
Ford has been using this global design collaboration for three years now, most recently with the new Ranger pickup, which was primarily designed in Australia and will be sold worldwide later this year. But the Mustang is an American icon, acknowledges Kuzak; Ford has conducted surveys in Asia and Europe regarding the Mustang, asking men and women, who represents the car the most? Their answer? Steve McQueen, of Bullitt – naturally.
When the new Mustang comes around 2014 or 2015, it will be in good hands.
[Source: Automotive News]