European design chief claims that past nameplates like Mustang and Puma can “emotionalise new cars”
Ford plans to revive other historic models in the future, and has already applied the Mustang, Puma and Kuga namesplates to its new European-market SUVs.
Each of these three models gets its name from a lower-slung, more sporty forebear (the Kuga being phonetically connected to the 1990s Cougar coupe or 1960s Mercury Cougar), and comments by the firm’s European design chief suggest that similar revivals may be on the horizon.
Murat Gueler, a former Fiesta designer, explained to Autocar that the latest facelift did not take into account the previous generation’s design. Also, the retro design – like that used for a number of high-profile models such as the new Renault 5 and Nissan Z – will not be a part of any upcoming Ford models. Gueler said that Ford will be more inclined to pay homage to its past successes and bring back their names.
“The industry is at its most chaotic time since I joined it 20 years ago. I have never seen it as disruptive.” He said that there is a lot of new stuff on the market, and that consumers are being bombarded daily with information and products.
“There is a lot of competition from China, and the Koreans have beautiful designs and high technology. So the question for Ford and other manufacturers is, ‘How do you position yourself? This is the ‘.
“I believe we have the unique advantage of having nameplates that date back to the past that can be used to emotionally sell our product and tell stories no other brand can.
Gueler did not name any models that might be revived, but acknowledged that Ford could use such a technique to stand out from the “bomber of electrification” that is coming.
Gueler stated that there were “a lot sceptics” at Ford’s launch of the all-electric Mustang Mach-E. However, it turned out to be the right decision because the Mustang name lends a gravitas and credibility to the product that might not exist otherwise.
Nameplates offer you the opportunity to really distinguish yourself from your peers by executing in the right way.
The compact electric SUV, due to be released in 2023 on the Volkswagen MEB EV platform, is one candidate to adopt an old moniker. Although it will be made in Cologne, Germany’s Fiesta factory, it is unlikely that it will share the same name as today’s supermini.
Ford has a lot of sportsy coupes that could be honored in the same manner as the Puma. Probe and Capri are the most likely candidates. Sierra, Escort, and Cortina – all sold in two-door versions at different points – also have strong legacies.