• Apr 17th 2013 at 4:30PM
  • 17
Long-time Flat Rock assembly employee Ed Salna, drives ... Long-time Flat Rock assembly employee Ed Salna, drives the 1 millionth Ford Mustang produced at the plant off the assembly line, while Ford vice president of global product development Raj Nair rides shotgun. (Ford)
Ford marked one milestone with another Wednesday afternoon.

Forty-nine years after the Ford Mustang made its debut at the New York Auto Show, the assembly plant where the sports car is now produced moved its 1 millionth Mustang off the production line.

About 25 miles southwest of Detroit, the Flat Rock Assembly Plant has been home to the Mustang's production for the past nine years. It has produced an average of 304 Mustangs per day.

On Wednesday, employees gathered around as the longest-tenured employee at the plant, planning and logistics manager Ed Salna, made a right turn off the end of the production line in a ruby red 2014 Mustang convertible and revved the engine at 1:45 p.m.

"I remember when Ford Motor Company wanted to end the Mustang," said UAW vice president Jimmy Settles, on hand for the spectacle. "I also remember when it was $99 down and $99 a month."

That bargain price helped Mustang beat expectations when it launched in April 1964. Ford initially produced it at its Rouge factory in Dearborn, Mich., and the company was soon selling more Mustangs than it could make. By early 1965, Ford expanded production to Metuchen, N.J., and San Jose, Calif. Combine sales figures from all of its plants, and Ford has sold more than 8.5 million Mustangs.

Sports cars have been a tougher sell lately. The recent recession forced customers – when they bought cars at all – to buy more practical vehicles and eschew the possibility of purchases based on fun.

Sales still haven't recovered. This year, Ford has sold 17,320 Mustangs through March, a 14 percent decrease over the same time period last year. It also trails the Chevy Camaro, which has also seen a similar sales decline, by 1,878 units so far this year.

But Wednesday, sales figures weren't on the mind of the employees at Flat Rock, who will see their ranks swell with 1,400 new jobs as Ford adds a second shift to start production of its hot-selling Fusion sedan later this year.

The 1 millionth car looked like a celebrity, as several hundred employees gathered in a half-moon around the car, held their cell phones up over the assembled crowd, and snapped pictures.

Their moment to appreciate their handiwork was short-lived. At 1:50 p.m., a voice came on the loudspeaker inside the plant and said, "Everybody please report back to your work stations. The conveyor re-starts at 1:55."



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      Ron Wizard
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Ford Mustang is a work of american art. And will remain a work of american art.
      alisatonyaug
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Mustang is truly an American Icon. Love it
      • 2 Years Ago
      Way to go FORD!!
      hollowalls
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lifes a beach" re read number of Mustang produced its 8.5 million not one. Also Mustang is and has not been a car for everyone as theToyota you refer to.
      • 2 Years Ago
      @HOLLOWALLS, did you even read the article? it says 1 mil at the plant not overall. nice try though GM troll
      rrusrjr2
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great auto icon. Great anti bailout company. Last remaining truly independent US automaker, unfettered by Obamanable interferences. Surprised the Credit Seeking Missile, Obama, didn't show up for photo ops and speeches on how he 'helped' Ford success.
      dhartson
      • 2 Years Ago
      FORD ! #1
      Zoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you think Norman`s story is nice, , four weeks ago my auntie worked and got paid $8733 grafting twenty hours a week at home and their roomate's mom`s neighbour has done this for 7-months and errned more than $8733 parttime on their pc. the tips on this web-site... Great60.com
      ga7smi
      • 2 Years Ago
      last good Mustang was GT350
      Lifes a Beach
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just yesterday I was reading that Toyota has sold 5mil (that's million) Prius since introduction (1997). So, Ford's all gushing over it's 1 millionth rustang (oops) in 49 years (industry leader & all) while Toyota has sold 5 million Prius in 15 years. Gotcha.
        wrestleprocbt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lifes a Beach
        You didn't read correctly, it was the 1 millionth at this plant, 8.5 million overall. Still not on a pace to beat the Prius but lets give Ford credit where it's due. Would you rather have a Prius that when you stick your hand out the window it cause the car to turn because it's so light? A car that the stereotypical lefty drives because if their not driving it, they are out hugging a tree or playing hackeysack? Or would you rather drive a cool ass car like the stang? Granted it's not as sweet as driving a bimmer or sweet benz but for an American car that came fron a company not owned by the gov't. (aka Gov't Motors who screwed us tax payers) I think it's a sharp car!
        S
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lifes a Beach
        Did your parents have any kids that lived?
        Lifes a Beach
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lifes a Beach
        I should have prefaced my comment a bit, I'll add this now however I'm an American & I love this country dearly. I'm not a Toyota fan, I refer to them as 'the official car of the taliban'. I've never sat in one & I never will, & never can be a long time. Oh yeah, & a question for the experts (& I'll warn you, I know the correct answer) - Who created the world's first assembly line for the automotive industry?
        Matt Verb
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lifes a Beach
        1 millin in last nine years.... the prius is sold ini WAY more markets than the mustang, and has WAY less competition as well.... they sold over 8.5 million mustangs........over the 49 years silly if you read the actual article
        Ron Wizard
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lifes a Beach
        The mustang looks better! The Prius looks like an onion and probably perform and smell like one. I imagine most Prius are bought by penny pinching liberals. Who follow the democrat's play book for what products to purchase.
      tatersalad03
      • 2 Years Ago
      As GM retiree I tip my hat to FORD! I like the retro styles that the Mustang, Dodge Challenger, (probably my favortie of the three), and the Camaro all have. Takes me back to some real good times!!!
      a2004ssr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Love the Mustang. The new GT's are great cars that dollar for dollar cant be beat performance wise. Props to Ford !!
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