Ford’s UK marketing director believes demand for old-school performance cars like the Mustang will continue long into the future, even in the face of growing popularity for electric and autonomous vehicles.
Speaking to Autocar at Ford's Driving Skills For Life event at London’s Excel, Lisa Brankin said she believed there would always be space in Ford’s range for cars that appeal to lovers of driving alongside its future driverless models.
“I’d like to think that people in the future will still want a fun car like a Mustang for the weekend,” she said. “I can’t really imagine a time when Ford doesn’t produce a V8 Mustang.”
Brankin said while Ford was researching and developing autonomous systems for its first driverless model, due in 2021, a large amount of its R&D efforts were still focused on more conventional models.
Brankin was also cautious about predicting the arrival of fully autonomous vehicles. She said: “I don’t believe fully autonomous cars [that can drive from door to door without any input] will be on our roads in any big number for at least another decade. When [fully autonomous technology] comes, it won’t come all at once. Driverless cars won’t be everywhere straight away.”
Ford’s first autonomous vehicle is being developed to run without a steering wheel and pedals and will be used in commercial operations, such as car sharing. Brankin believes that vehicles like this will be useful for commuting and urban driving, but models such as the Mustang will retain their place as enthusiasts' cars.