Alongside EVs and driverless cars, demand for old-school performance models will survive for many more years, says Ford's Lisa Brankin
Sam Sheehan
23 December 2016

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.

She said the sales successes of the Focus RS and Mustang were evidence that people still love more traditional driver’s vehicles, despite increasing costs for motoring and worsening traffic.

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.

Our Verdict

Ford Mustang V8 Fastback

The Ford Mustang is available in the UK in right-hand drive for the first time, but does the rest of this American muscle car fit the UK car scene?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Join the debate


23 December 2016
This article very much reflects my views. Readers of this website, and others like it, are presumably people who share a passion for cars - whether the technical aspects, the pleasure of driving, or both. I have a detached interest in autonomous cars, but more from the point of view that they represent an inevitable future of convenience and appeal to the majority of drivers. In heavily congested environments, they will also be relevant to even the most fanatical car enthusiasts.

I just hope that ever more repressive legislation does not prevent car manufacturers from continuing to produce the exciting vehicles that enthusiasts will always lust after.

23 December 2016
So she said little of any substance, but then that's perhaps expected of a marketing director. A more interesting comment would have been whether the Mustang will survive long into the future in the UK.

24 December 2016
Well if they keep pricing the Mustang right and restricting supplies to just under demand I'd think that the car has a pretty bright future in these shores as put it quite simply the the biggest bang for the buck and for the price no "prestige" manufacturer can touch it. For me the only pity is that GM has not made available a RHD Camaro for UK & Australian markets to replace the HSV Commodore/Vauxhall VXR8 who's imminent demise will leave a hole in the market for the company to attract keen drivers through it's dealers showrooms

23 December 2016
After I been earnin $8768 this-past/five weeks and-a little over, $10k lass-month. it's realy my favourite work I have ever had. I actually started 7-months ago and pretty much straight away was earning at least $87... p/h. I follow
this website,
===============>>> www.NetJob90.Tk

27 December 2016
This director talks as big a pile of crap as the cars that Ford make. If autonomous cars are allowed to come to fruition then driving will end. Non-autonomous cars will be taken off the road and crushed, forcibly if necessary, unless their owners are willing and able to pay for authorized centres to render them undrivable and reduce them to the same level of useless, mundane crapness as the autonomous cars, just semi-mobile white goods.

That is the whole purpose of autonomous cars, to control the free movement of the people, so they aren't going to leave usable cars around to defeat that purpose. Autonomous cars are one of the tools that the lefties are aiming to use to enslave the people, and too many fools are walking straight into their trap. A magazine like Autocar should be doing something to wake people up from their daze before it's too late, instead of encouraging the acceleration of the theft of the people's liberty.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left


1 January 2017
There are hardly very many cars out there that are as classic as a Mustang. Honestly, that car is right up there with some of the other greats that you absolutely must try your best to finance for yourself or weasel a chance to sit in and drive once in your life! You won't regret it when you do! I personally found it one of the most enjoyable driving experiences when I had my go at it!

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week