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74 Mustang - Young Car With a Tradition and a Future
CREATING EXPECTATIONS

        Those who attended the birth of the first Mustang agree that much of its record-setting early sales success was due to advance expectations created over a period of several months preceding public introduction.
        A carefully controlled program was carried out, making selected background information available to media representatives.
        A prime objective was to time the release of details about the new car so that sales of current offerings would not be hurt.
        Because Mustang wa a completely new car line, there were no earlier models to be affected. But Ford Division had other car lines close to Mustang in price.
        "If we ballyhooed the Mustang as a great bargain, which was to be one of its prime selling points," a former Ford Division public relations man noted, "then we took a chance on hurting sales of current models of some of our other car lines.
        "On the other hand, of course, we did not want to pass up any good opportunities to create advance interest in the Mustang."
        As it developed, excitement reached its peak at introduction time. The Mustang's advance buildup became a textbook example. Public relations men who were involved gave much of the credit to top management.
        "Without the appreciation of Lee Iacocca and his top aides of the important role played by public relations in the launching of a new product, we never would have obtained the coverage we got," the public relations man said.
        The program carried out at that time merits reveiw at a time when Ford is planning the introduction of a new Mustang that shares so many key elements with the original.
        The display of experimental or styling concept cars at road racing tracks and at auto shows has been detailed previously. First, the experimental two-seater midship-engine car called Mustang was shown at Watkins Glen in the fall of 1962. Next, the Allegro and the Cougar II were introduced at press conferences in Detroit and New York, respectively, and shown at auto shows during the 1962-63 season. Finally, the car called Mustang II - fiberglass styling concept car very close in appearance to the final production Mustang - was shown at Watkins Glen in October, 1963, and displayed at auto shows through the '63-'64 season.
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