|2005 Mustang Convertible Launch
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The stampede continues today as the first production 2005 Ford Mustang Convertible stormed the gates of AutoAlliance International in Flat Rock, Mich.
The start of convertible production caps off a nearly $700 million investment in AAI that transformed the plant last fall into a flexible facility capable of building six models on two vehicle platforms. Currently, AAI builds Mustang Coupe and Convertible models and three bodystyles of the Mazda6.
During a ceremony with employees, Csaba Csere, editor-in-chief of Car & Driver magazine, presented plant employees with an award recognizing the Ford Mustang as one of the magazine's "10Best" cars for 2005. Mustang was called the "Best Muscle Car" in the January issue of Car & Driver and "an unbeatable performance buy: 300 horsepower for 25,000 bucks."
"Several months ago we told America that their car was ready as the all-new Mustang stormed out of these gates," says Matt DeMars, vice president, Vehicle Operations. "Today, with spring just around the corner, we're here to show America how to drop its top and soak in the sunshine with the hottest convertible on the planet - built in a world-class plant with an all-new flexible manufacturing system."
Ford's investment in AAI includes a new body shop with 380 robots and flexible tooling as well as an upgraded stamping operation with 38 new die sets capable of stamping 52 critical body parts. Major upgrades to the final assembly area include programmable platforms, or skillets, that hold the body on a scissor lift and adjust to the operator's height for improved ergonomics.
"The new technology in our plant means we can make a great car even greater," says Phil Spender, AAI president. "With quality a top priority, the 2005 Mustang Convertible is built with extreme precision and attention to detail on an all-new platform."
The 2005 Ford Mustang convertible, which will reach showrooms this spring, is the first in a string of specialty versions of the new Mustang. Just as noteworthy, it is the most solid, best handling and most refined open-air version yet of this American legend.
The convertible uses the same ingredients that have made the 2005 Mustang coupe magical
-Totally new architecture
And because the convertible was designed right alongside the coupe, and not as an afterthought, it is more solid than coupe-derived convertibles of the past. Better still, it retains all of the personality that has made the Ford Mustang one of the most-loved automotive nameplates in history.
This spring, the Mustang Convertible will join the all-new Mustang Coupe, which arrived in Ford dealer showrooms in October 2004 and has been an instant sensation with new car buyers. To date, more than 33,000 2005 Mustang coupes have been sold, with nearly 12,000 retail orders still waiting to be fulfilled, many of which are for the convertible model.
Mustang "mania" has been running rampant throughout America, with customers going to extreme measures to secure their piece of the American legend. One customer in Texas was so anxious to take delivery of his new Mustang that he insisted on paying for transportation to and from the company's distribution center in Kansas City. Others claim that they are near-celebrities since taking delivery of their new Mustangs, with on-lookers drooling over their new purchase at every stoplight.
Source: Ford Motor Company