Exactly 49 years after being publicly introduced as the Mustang at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, the one-millionth Mustang to be produced in Ford’s Flat Rock, Michigan, facility rolled off the assembly line. A ruby-red 2014 Mustang convertible observed the ceremonial honors, fittingly piloted by Ed Salna, 27-year plant veteran, and Raj Nair, Ford’s vice president for global product development. The event also marks the 50th year of continuous Mustang production, which moved to Ford’s Flat Rock facility in 2004. Ford has recently invested $555 million in the plant, and production of the Ford Fusion within its walls will commence this fall.

Originally produced at Ford’s legendary and imposing Rouge complex located a few miles to the north, the popularity of the first-generation Mustang grew so swiftly that Ford was forced to bring online additional plants in New Jersey and California to satiate public demand. Within two years, Mustang production would hit its first million-car milestone, essentially creating the pony-car segment in the process. To date, more than 8.5 million Stangs have been sold.

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Although at the time, Ford refereed to it as “the working man’s Thunderbird,” the Mustang quickly developed an audience that crossed all social-economic and gender barriers, a trait that helped it sell more than 400,000 units in its first year of production. Ford played to this characteristic wisely over the next half a century, always making sure each generation of Mustang was available in varying levels of trim ranging from thrifty four-cylinders to V-8–endowed pavement pounding monsters.

The original Mustang’s launch still stands as one of the most effective product campaigns in modern history, and you can count on Ford squeezing every ounce of publicity from the Mustang’s 50th anniversary it can. In the meantime, why not peruse our gallery of Mustangs spanning its 49-year history?

Ford's Flat Rock Facility Births Its Millionth Mustang [Mustang Mega Gallery]

By Andrew Wendler

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