The big Ford Mustang global risk paid off

Ford Fiesta dash

Ford added that "demand remains particularly strong in China, where Mustang was the best- selling sports coupe past year". Ford sold 125,809 Mustangs globally a year ago, giving it leadership in the segment that includes 2-door hardtops and convertibles, according to registration data compiled by IHS Markit.

Of the almost 126,000 vehicles registered worldwide, Ford reported 81,866 of those were registered in the United States, meaning just over one-third of all Mustang registrations are occurring in export markets.

The Mustang has also been gaining traction in China and thanks to 7,125 local registrations, was the nation's best-selling sports auto also.

The Mustang will be the first ever two-door racer in the Supercars era and will be powered by a 5.0-litre Ford Racing V8.

"The world loves Ford Mustang", Erich Merkle, Ford sales analyst, said in a news release. Ford also noted that the Mustang is 10 percent more popular with women over the last five years, so it's gaining ground all over the place. "It could only be found on TV or the Internet, and now it rolls down streets from Beijing to São Paulo". He further added that they are adding America's favourite sports vehicle with America's top stock racing series.

"We've been working with the teams to ensure they have the best technical support to make Mustang a victor", said Ford Australia boss Graeme Whickman at a launch event for the Ford Performance brand in Melbourne. He adds that the "Mustang is a ideal fit for our racing heritage today and tomorrow".

Ford has used the Mustang model in NASCAR's Xfinity Series since 2011, but it has not graced the track during a race in its top tier.

Rushbrook said its three main Ford organizations in the Cup series - Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske - are sharing in the development of the Cup series Mustang model.

"Could you see me walking down pit lane in anything but a Ford jacket", he told motoring media at the announcement today.

"There is a strong appetite and passion for the Fiesta ST in our line-up, and we can see the affinity and esteem that Australians have with driving enjoyment of the existing model", said Ford Australia CEO, Graeme Whickman. Since then, the vehicle has won three driver championships (two for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and one for Chris Buescher) and 70 races.

Despite that shift, Ford spokesman Mike Levine says the company stands by its cars, including the Fusion. It will make its debut race in the first round of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship in March.

"Having Ford back on the Supercars grid and with its iconic Mustang is going to be brilliant for the whole sport, said Tickford Racing team owner, Rod Nash".