Camaro vs. Mustang. It was a battle royal in the late 1960s, and it’s the same today. (Dodge was number three then, and they’re number three now.) For the moment, the Chevy has pulled ahead:
Ford narrowly lost the crown in 2010 after a 24-year run, and the gap widened this year, with General Motors Co.’s revived Camaro outselling Mustang by 33 percent through May.
The problem for the blue-oval boys, apparently, is that the real profit center is down the road in the truck department:
This year, Mustang sales have suffered because of a short supply of a new V-6 engine that gets 31 miles per gallon on the highway while generating 305 horsepower, [Mustang marketing manager Steve] Ling said. The Mustang shares that engine with the F-150 pickup, the centerpiece of Ford’s top-selling truck line.
As rising fuel prices have driven up demand for the V-6 engine, Ling said Ford has chosen to apportion more supply to the F-150, among its most profitable models.
Meanwhile, the secretary’s ‘Stang starts under $23k, down there among cars with half as much horsepower. You try wangling an F-150 for that kind of money. Then again, the Lincoln MKX — whichever MK that is, no one seems to know — also gets that same Duratec 37, though it can’t possibly be selling enough to disturb Mustang.
Still, this is as the world has always been: Ford or Chevy. One day I was fumbling with a vapor-locked, or something, ’84 Mercury when a couple of yobbos in a farging Monte Carlo, of all things, pulled alongside to remind me that they’d rather push a Chevy than drive a Ford. I can only hope that they one day got their opportunities.
Among the cars I have counted as my own were one Chevrolet, one
Ford Mercury, and two Mazdas, which were conceived under the auspices of Ford’s Japanese protectorate, but were actually assembled in Flat Rock, Michigan, alongside various Fords. That same plant today builds the Mustang, and shortly will stop building the Mazda6, which is moving back to Japan, putting Flat Rock’s single shift in jeopardy.