Fords Mustang - this is the 2013 model - will be engineered for right hand drive by about 2012, just-auto has learned, adding to the growing stable of global-sale OneFord products

Ford's Mustang - this is the 2013 model - will be engineered for right hand drive by about 2012, just-auto has learned, adding to the growing stable of global-sale 'OneFord' products

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Ford is planning to engineer the next generation North American Mustang sports car - currently built as both a coupe and convertible - and Edge SUV for right hand drive, just-auto has learned.

Both models were confirmed bound for Europe from about 2015 at Ford's 'Go Further' product launch blitz in Amsterdam on Thursday (6 September) but RHD availability for the UK (Ireland and minor markets in the region such as Cyprus and Malta are also RHD) was not specifically confirmed. However, sources have since told us RHD engineering is in the works for both model lines' next major updates.

Taking Edge and Mustang RHD also opens up other new export markets for these Ford US products. Japan, many Asian markets such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, Australia and New Zealand are all RHD and the latter two actually ban new LHD cars from import, unlike the UK.

Some years ago, Ford Australia imported previous generation Mustangs and had them converted locally to RHD, something it had also done for years with the US LTD until 1973 when it launched its own Falcon-derived version, following a late-1960s change in Ford Asia Pacific (FASPAC) strategy which had decided Australia, rather than Canada as well, would now be the sole source of large RHD passenger cars.

GM made a similar decision, also in the late 1960s; hence from 1968 its export of Chevrolet-badged RHD Holdens for the likes of South Africa (replacing mostly Canadian-sourced RHD completed cars and assembly kits) although, in the mid-1990s, it subsequently added LHD Chev-badged Commodores for the Middle East and South America.

Along with Chrysler/Jeep, Ford has tried US factory RHD exports more recently though with less success than its cross-town rival. In the mid-90s, the Taurus was offered as a sedan in Japan, Australia and New Zealand (Japan also got the wagon) but the local sales units priced the 3.5-litre, front-drive V6 in Australasia at about the same level as top four-litre I6 and five-litre V8 rear-drive local Falcon models. Most potential buyers opted for the better-value Falcon and the American alternative was also shunned because Antipodeans traditionally prefer rear-drive for towing trailers, caravans and huge boats.

Ford also offered the Explorer with RHD, again starting in the mid-1990s, and that also came to the UK. A subsequent generation was also again offered in Japan, Australia and New Zealand, but dropped from the UK, and RHD exports were finally given the chop in 2005. The model remained on sale in Japan where expensive imports are often offered with both LHD and RHD - apparently because it's easy for the chauffeur many owners emply to exit kerbside to open the back door for The Boss.

With that history, it remains to be seen how RHD Edge and Mustang will do. Certainly, a few of the big Ford SUVs and some Mustangs have found homes here in the UK, imported LHD by specialist (non-Ford) dealers, modified to meet different regulations for lights, etc (a pain as the US models' red rear indicators have to be changed to amber for Europe).

As an American car nut, though, I personally can't wait for the launch...

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