A PINK Mustang? Ford trim package splashes a touch of pink to attract women
DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Co. is readying yet another version of its popular
Mustang pony car, this time with a feminine touch.
The Detroit News has learned that the automaker plans to offer a "Warriors
in Pink" trim package for the sports car this summer to help raise money for
breast cancer research and attract new buyers to the Mustang nameplate,
which has seen sales slip in recent months.
Details are still being worked out, but the new version is expected to
feature pink stripes on the exterior and pink contrast stitching inside. It
will be available only with a V-6 engine, but customers can opt for either a
convertible or a hardtop. A couple of colors will be offered, including
black. Pink will not be one of them.
Ford will build the cars to order, and some of the profits will be donated
to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Not everyone likes the idea of a Mustang marketed at women. Analyst Erich
Merkle of IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids said Mustang is an iconic brand that is
based on a special mix of speed and testosterone. He said Ford should not
mess with success.
"Is Mustang going to be a stallion or a gelding?" Merkle quipped. "The cause
is admirable, but the Mustang isn't the right choice."
He suggested Ford use another vehicle for the program.
But other Mustang enthusiasts welcome the move.
"I think it's a great idea. It's going to add a little class to the car and
a little feminine touch," said Audrey Zavodsky of New Boston, who races
Mustangs professionally in the Grand Am Coni Series and teaches
high-performance driving at the Bondurant Racing School.
"A lot of women are buying Mustangs, and I think this is going to appeal to
even more women."
Racing legend Carroll Shelby famously derided the original Mustang as "a
secretary's car" before going on to transform it into one of the most macho
vehicles ever to hit the American road.
Ford needs to get new customers into Mustangs. Almost three years into its
latest redesign, Mustang sales are down more than 19 percent this year, and
Ford has hinted that incentives are on the way to help bring buyers into the
But Mustang has always relied on special editions to keep drivers
At least two other special edition Mustangs are slated for release later
this year, including a new, limited edition Mustang Bullitt to commemorate
the movie of the same name.
"One of the reasons for this strategy is to keep the buzz up as high as
possible," said Ford spokesman Jim Cain, who noted that the Mustang
continues to dominate its segment in the domestic market.
In fact, he said Mustang's share of the U.S. sporty coupe market has climbed
to more than 50 percent even as its sales have slipped.
Ford has long been a leading sponsor of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer
Foundation, having already donated more than $87 million in cash and in-kind
donations to fund its mission of breast cancer research, education,
screening and treatment.
Ford's "Warriors in Pink" initiative is aimed at increasing breast cancer
awareness, and also offers a collection of clothing and accessories,
proceeds of which go to fund the foundation's work.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is
marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and
comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great
devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at the best, knows the
triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least
fails while daring greatly.
T.R. April 10, 1899