The new Ford Mustang 2009 will have an exciting new option, thanks to Webasto, a company specializing in glass roofs for autos. The new option will be factory installed and according to the company, it takes advantage of the desire of consumers to have more natural light in their vehicles.
Andreas Weller, the Vice President of Business Development with Webasto stated, "We believe this project truly speaks well to Webasto's ability to deliver complex engineering capabilities in a very short time frame while still meeting our customers' strong engineering demands for their product's safety, durability, and styling. It was a remarkable achievement that, along with Ford, we brought this program from concept to 'parts on the road' in just 70 weeks -- about half the time normally taken on an automotive project of this complexity.
“Such success started with our close working relationship with Ford Motor Company but it also reflects Webasto's competence and level of expertise and know-how in designing, engineering and proving out large, high-quality and innovative roof systems."
This exciting new roof will be offered as a new option for both the Mustang GT and the V-6 Mustang as early as this summer. Since it is not as expensive as a convertible, analysts are predicting that this third roof option will actually be quite popular. Consumers that select the glass roof will have the benefit of plenty of sunshine without having to deal with the downsides of a convertible.
The new roofs will be installed at the Flatrock, MI plant that is currently manufacturing most Mustangs. The components will first be assembled at two of Webasto’s plants before being shipped to Flatrock for the final assembly.
Weller added, "While we produce and deliver several fixed transparent module roofs
(FTM's) in Europe and Asia, this is the first fixed module in the United States market. What really brought this project together between Ford and Webasto was our ability to fully integrate the glass roof with the Mustang's structure -- to provide a design that did not cause any compromise to any structural rigidity of the vehicle, while still offering a very unique option for the end consumer.”
Webasto is one of the world’s largest suppliers of roof and thermosystems for the automotive industry. Their continued studies of automotive trends led them to create this intriguing new roof option. They cited that consumers by far prefer the ability to have an unobstructed view but wanted the benefits of a safer surface than a convertible.
Weller concluded, "We know first hand from our global reach and experience that traditional roof systems are being replaced in many markets by more innovative options. Consumers are demanding new features on their vehicles every year -- and the roof area was about the only remaining place left on vehicles to incorporate truly innovative and attractive design cues. Webasto has used its decades of expertise to pioneer roof systems that are functional, attractive and versatile."
How the new roofs will be accepted remains to be seen.