• May 4, 2007
The Detroit News obtained an internal document from Ford that outlines four specific objectives in CEO Alan Mulally's turnaround plan. For the most part, we've heard these goals before: ramp up product development, establish suitable financing, increase teamwork and (at long last) resize Ford's operation to better address what the consumers want. That last bullet point is what has our attention.

The proliferation of Mustang variants over the past few months (weeks?) has become an internal joke at Autoblog. Regardless whether these special editions are FoMoCo developed or birthed from the aftermarket, it's gotten silly. The proposal addresses the vast expanse of options, be it color choices or trim packages, and seeks to reign in the thousands (we've counted) of configurations available in both the V6 and V8 Mustangs. Ford execs maintain that it does little for the pony car and merely confuses customers. We tend to agree.

The realization that there are too many choices for many of Ford's models came to Mulally when he went to purchase an Econonline for his mother's senior center. The philanthropic head of Ford was met with 185 different options, and he understood that decisions like that do little to ease customers into the brand.

Implementation of this new edict will come quickly and will likely involve packages that make it easier for consumers to choose what they want and for dealers to keep the right products in stock for their region.

[Source: Detroit News]


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  • 36 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      #14 In Europe every car seems to have thousands of configurations, and it works there. The work vans have millions. Special editions though - I'm all for limiting those. They're silly.

      And customers order there vehicles and wait up to 6 months. Different world.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Excellent business move. Branding is one of the most important facets of a business, and I'm glad Mulally realizes that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Who are these idiots that are "confused" by options? Do people break out in panic attacks when asked if they want a sunroof or not? I guess it's just another case of ignorant people needing decisions to be made for them lest they be required to contemplate such ideas on their own. Really, if people can't decide between options on a car, should they even be allowed to drive when split-second decisions can spell the difference between life or death for their own self as well as others? Should they be allowed to raise children?

      Frankly, it ticks me off that I have to get 73-way power seats, leather, Sirius, and dual climate control if all I really want is a sunroof and xenon headlights.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is great. Just put together 5 packages. Thats more than enough. Car making is not like ordering a steak people!

      This should be done to all of Ford's cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mulally had a revelation.

      @ #5

      Half the mustangs you listed are tuners. Even then, the Giugiaro Mustang isn't for sale, there has only been one made, for the designer himself. And what the heck do you mean "Shelby Cobra"? There was the SVT Cobra, but Ford doesn't make those anymore. Most buyers only know of about six of these, if they pay any attention to what's on the road.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mustangs have always been a joke. The glory days of it are long gone. The ones that get top dollar at auctions are pre-1975 mustangs. Since then they are worthless. Put all the lipstick on a pig its still a pig.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It worries me that he thought of this when buying an Econoline - that sort of vehicle SHOULD have a billion options.

      In Europe every car seems to have thousands of configurations, and it works there. The work vans have millions. Special editions though - I'm all for limiting those. They're silly.
      • 7 Years Ago

      Mustang --- reduce packages by making the base models have more standard features, including automatic climate control and headlights. ADD a package with a really nice, not merely uncheap, interior.

      Trucks -- hey, I think the fiddly possibilities are what turn truck buyers on -- But what to I know, I am still trying to buy a Mustang convertible with a nice interior.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I applaud this move. Mustangs should be Base, GT, And Cobra. Thats it. After that it should be aftermarket and tuners. But the difference here is that Ford is in bed with the tuners and comes out in full support everytime. I dont see GM showing off Lingenfelter or Callaway at every freaking show. But I do see Ford Jr. arriving in one version of the Mustang or another at several events a year. And for how much longer are we going to milk Carrol Shelby for? The guy raced a car 40 years ago and has been living off it ever since.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Jamie: You sound like a moron when you say this: "I agree that there are far too many options to choose from, especially in the truck division. That is bordering on absurd like the current Mustang fiasco that has brought it to the fore." T

      The truck sells well because of its adapatbility/customization. That's the secret. As for the mustang, there are only really 3 models made by Ford, quite different. The others are ultra-low production or things you can order, like any auto company or deli-sandwich. As for labelling something a "mustang fiasco", you really are out to lunch. Mustang is still the top selling 2-door last I heard, and the customization, as with the F-series is why it has remained popular. Nope, toyota didn't invent that with the Scion line.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mustang V6 Deluxe
      Mustang V6 Premium
      Mustang GT Deluxe
      Mustang GT Premium
      Shelby Cobra
      Shelby GT 500
      Shelby GT
      Shelby GT-H
      Shelby GT-H Convertible
      Shelby GT Convertible
      Shelby GT500KR
      Mustang GT California Special
      Saleen Molly Pop Mustang
      Muscat Hardtop Convertible Mustang GT
      Rousch Blackjack Mustang Convertible
      Giugiaro Mustang
      Boss Mustang
      Steeda GT500
      Steeda Q335 Club Racer
      Saleen S281 Heritage
      Saleen Parnelli Jones Limited Edition
      Saleen Road Rally Edition
      Bullitt Mustang
      Shelby CS8 Mustang
      Playboy Pink Mustang
      Mustang Stampede Edition
      Shelby GT500 Red Stripe
      Miastang
      "Warriors in Pink" Mustang
      Mustang Sedan and Wagon
      Stretch Mustang Limo

      ...it isn't over. It's just begun.
      Christopher Watts
      • 7 Years Ago
      Number 37: YES. Porsche doesn't seem to mind when I visit and build my 911 or Boxter. And seeing as how I already own 2 Ford's; a Mustang GT Convt and Escape Hybrid...sometimes I like to see how the other side lives. And when/if I can spend more of my free time researching, building and shopping online BEFORE spending all day at a dealership to determine what my NEXT car COULD/MIGHT look like, it actually makes for a better business model and a better use of my time. This also helps me weed out useless options or models that I have no interest in. So again, the answer to your sarcastic statement is YES.
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