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74 Mustang - Young Car With a Tradition and a Future

       Like any undertaking in the auto industry, the revolutionary 1974 Mustang didn't happen overnight. The car's public debut in September, 1973, will conclude four years of planning, designing, developing and marketing the new offering.
       Ford's general thinking for Mustang and other new products of the Seventies was based on many factors, including knowledge gained from its "Project 80" study. Among the points it made concerning the 1980 market:
  • There will be more emphasis on small, relatively low-powered cars.
  • To many young people, sportiness is as much a basic need as is comfort to older people. Young people buy small practical cars for maneuverability and cuteness, not just for economy.
  • There's an increased desire, especially among relatively affluent and well-educated buyers, to express individuality in their car choice. This tendency strengthens the popularity of specialty segments of the market.
  • Higher prices and a more functional approach to the automobile, particularly among middle and lower income households with children, will cause buying downgrading within conventional auto segments and some movement toward even smaller cars.
       The need for a new 1974 Mustang was stated forcefully in November, 1969, when Iacocca addressed the company's top management at Greenbriar, W.Va. He called such a car one of the company's top priorities for the '70s. As originally intended, this 1974 Mustang was to be a good, compact, sporty car off a new shell, probably Maverick. It would be Mustang-Maverick in nature.
       Besides a Maverick-based Mustang, product planners concurrently began working on a car code-named the 1975 Arizona. (New car programs generally are named for states or flowers.)
       To assist this Arizona program, Ford developed a research clinic to answer questions on the subject of less conventional, smaller more economical methods of transportation.


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