What will make it to Australia first – the new Ford Mustang or an expanded MG line-up? It may seem like an odd question, but it has the potential to reshape the best-selling car brands in this country. That’s because Ford Australia has had to press pause on orders for the outgoing Mustang model as demand far outstrips supply.
The challenge the company faces is the impending arrival of the new seventh-generation Mustang means uncertainty over how much production allocation it can secure of the sixth-generation model.
A company spokesperson said it will try and reopen the order book for the current model but there is no indication when or even if that will happen. Ford Australia has set up a specific page on its public website to keep customers updated over the supply situation.
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The company’s website reads: “The global semiconductor chip shortage and supply chain challenges for various commodities continues to impact vehicle production for all automakers. The challenges facing the industry are dynamic and we are doing our best to fulfill current customer orders on Mustang as quickly as we can. As such we are pausing any new orders for Mustang until we can get through the existing customer order bank. We understand this is frustrating and we will re-open for orders as soon as possible.”
This could ultimately have a major impact on Ford’s overall sales record in Australia as the Mustang is typically one of its best-selling models.
While the vast majority of the Blue Oval’s local sales are the Ranger ute, in 2021 the Mustang was the fourth best-selling model behind the Ranger, Everest and Escape. Year-to-date to the end of August, the Mustang has slipped to fifth spot on the company’s line-up, with the Puma moving ahead.
In the first eight months of the year, Ford has delivered 1220 Mustangs, which puts it on course to be approximately 1000 sales behind its year-end 2021 result of 2827.
With no clear timeframe for either the reopening of the current model order book or the arrival of the new Mustang, Ford Australia could be without one of its most important vehicles for a large part of 2023.
Ford has said the new-gen Mustang will arrive in Australia next year, but with the parts shortage wreaking havoc across many car brand’s launch plans, we’ll have to wait and see if this comes to pass.
This opens the door for MG, the company behind Ford in the overall sales race, to pounce and potentially claim sixth spot on the sales charts.
The Chinese-owned British brand is planning to introduce the all-new MG4 in early 2023. This new addition to the range is a crossover hatch powered by a single, rear-mounted electric motor that makes 125kW with a 51kWh battery good for a driving range of 350km. A bigger 64kWh boosts range to 450km range and power to 150kW.
A dual-motor, all-wheel drive version of the MG4 is expected to follow in the future but no details of that model, and whether it will make it to Australia, have been confirmed by MG.
Adding a fourth model line to its Australian line-up is key to MG’s growth in the local market and has the potential to add significant volume if priced right. As we’ve previously reported the MG4 could knock-off its stablemate, the MG ZS EV, to become Australia’s most affordable electric car.
Pricing for the MG4 in the right-hand drive UK market converts to approximately $44,000 based on the exchange rate at the time of publication. However, a direct price conversion is not the most accurate way of understanding new car pricing between countries as there are other charges and costs associated with bringing a car to market.
Crucially though, the ZS EV retails in the UK for a price that converts to higher than what we pay here, which opens the door for the MG4 to possibly start at low as sub-$40,000.
The MG5 small sedan is also set to land early next year, giving MG a rival to the popular Toyota Corolla and Mazda3, but it will likely add little to the bottom line as customer preference has shifted away from passenger vehicles.
However, it may be a small window of opportunity for MG to overtake Ford on the sales charts and it won’t be easy as the pair are separated by a not-insignificant 8000 units in the first eight months of 2022.
Also, the arrival of the new ‘S650’ Mustang will likely see a resurgence in the American pony car’s popularity Down Under. Even in its current supply-restricted state and its seventh year on sale in Australia, it remains the best-selling sports car in the country.