Why The Ford Mustang Is “An Argument On Wheels” (With Video)

The following “review” of the 2013 Ford Mustang by “Regular Car Reviews” is anything but regular. Instead of discussing the car and its merits and demerits, the cameraman/reviewer presents an interesting opinion, which goes something like this: there are more arguments about the Ford Mustang than most other cars thanks to semiotics.

Semiotics, or the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation, would suggest that the word “Mustang” inherently carries with it a certain connotation in the world of cars. This connotation revolves around the notion that, as an American, one is expected to like cars like the Mustang, with the pony serving as a sign of American-ness, if you will.

So if you like the Mustang, then you’re one of the “good guys”, and are thus “with us”; if you don’t, then you’re “against us”. And if you’re “against us”, then we’re certain you can figure out what four-letter word (starting on the letter “f) followed by the word “you” follows. A car argument ensues. This kind of logic brings us to the notion that criticizing the Mustang is risky business: to many, it’s not so much of a car as it is a sign, perhaps even a symbol, of America. It’s an ideal, and is bigger than whatever the car is today. And if you rip on the Stang, then you’re also disrespecting all of America in the process. Hence, the Mustang is an argument on wheels.

The Motrolix Take

On some level, the reviewer’s train of thought, perhaps worthy of being called a “theory”, makes sense, and we commend him for thinking outside the proverbial “box”. To his point, the S197-generation (and older) Mustangs were argument-inducing cars: they were cheap yet powerful, and they were proud of it. But it would seem that The Blue Oval has been looking to change that.

Ford’s apparent desire to elevate the image and positioning of its pony started when the refreshed S197 got some higher-quality cabin materials. But it wasn’t until the all-new 2015 Mustang that Ford seemingly went all-out to change the pony’s reputation. The sixth-gen Stang will still be affordable, but by no means will it be “cheap”. Instead, it will be a world-class sports car worthy of such designations.

And we can’t help but ask the reviewer if he with us or against us… and why his sink is pink. Because there is most definitely a semiotic meaning there.

Motrolix Founder with a passion for global automotive business strategy.

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