It may seem hard to believe, but the 49th birthday of the Ford Mustang just passed this week, specifically April 17th. As if that wasn’t special enough, another milestone was accomplished at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan -- the one-millionth Mustang rolled off of the assembly line at the automaker’s state-of-the-art Auto Alliance International plant.
The special one-millionth Mustang, a 2014 Ruby Red convertible, was accompanied off the assembly line by Raj Nair, group vice president for global product development. Nair rode shotgun with senior plant employee of 27 years, Ed Salna, to commemorate the special occasion.
“Mustang is one of the most beloved nameplates in the industry, with fans around the world and throughout Ford Motor Company,” said Nair in a statement announcing the milestone. “The team here at Flat Rock Assembly has built an outstanding reputation for quality while producing one million Mustangs over the last nine years, and we expect that to continue for many years to come.”
With almost 50 continuous years of production under the belt, Ford hopes to build one million more Mustangs at Flat Rock even quicker than before, especially with the brand new, 2015 Ford Mustang expected to be unveiled sometime around the 50th anniversary. Ford has been producing Mustangs at the plant since 2005. Anticipation is high, as renderings, sketches, spy shots, and other information surrounding the all-new, next-generation Mustang are spreading like wildfire across the internet -- getting enthusiasts amped up and anxious of what the new design might entail. Two of the biggest changes we’ve been hearing about are the addition of an independent rear suspension and the possibility of an EcoBoost turbo-powered engine joining the powertrain lineup.
“Flat Rock has gone through an amazing transformation over the past year,” said Tim Young, plant manager, Flat Rock Assembly Plant. “We’ve invested $555 million including a state-of-the-art, fully flexible body shop and an upgraded paint shop to make sure we’re continuing to build the best of the best for the next one million Mustangs.”
Many special edition Mustangs and race cars have come off of the Flat Rock assembly line through the years, including the Hertz black and gold GT-H coupes and rental fleets paying tribute to the old ’66 Shelby GT350 racers. Other special cars include the 2007 Shelby GT500 developed by SVT, the 2008 Bullitt, the 2012 and 2013 Boss 302 and 302R, the competitive FR500 and the incredibly fast and successful Cobra Jet drag car.
“The one-millionth Mustang is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of the Flat Rock Local 3000 membership,” said Tony Bondy, UAW Local 3000 chairman. “It’s been great building an iconic American car since 2004, and with the introduction of Fusion along with our new plant upgrades, we will keep building world-class quality in Flat Rock for years to come.”
2013 Ford Fusion
The history of the plant began in 1987 as Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA for the production of the Mazda MX-6. Back in 1992, Ford Motor Company purchased half of the plant and it was renamed to Auto Alliance and the Ford Probe began production alongside the Mazda 626, Mazda6, and Mercury Cougar. Starting in 2005, the Mustang was introduced to the plant and has been rolling off of the line ever since. Last year, Mazda decided to take all production overseas, halting the Mazda6 with the last car rolling off of the assembly plant last year. Currently, the Mustang is the only car still in production at Flat Rock with the addition of the popular Ford Fusion mid-sized sedan starting sometime in the summer of 2013.