The second-generation Ford Mustang is a pony car that was manufactured by Ford from 1973 until 1978. It was introduced in showrooms during September 1973, in coupe and hatchback versions for the 1974 model year, in time for the 1973 oil crisis. The Mustang II had no common components with the preceding models and shared its platform with the subcompact-sized Ford Pinto.
The first generation Mustangs grew in size; the 1973 model had become markedly larger than the original model. The pony car market segment saw decreasing sales in the early-1970s "with many buyers turning to lower-priced, fuel-efficient compacts like Ford's own Maverick - a huge first-year success itself." The Mustang was growing to become an intermediate-sized sedan, "too big and alienated many in its customer base." The allure of the original Mustang was its trim size and concept. The automakers in Detroit had "begun to receive vibrations from the only source it really listens to — new-car buyers... The message: Build smaller cars" as customers stopped buying and the inventory of unsold new cars climbed during the summer of 1973, and there were already positive market expectations for the new downsized Mustang. Automakers were "scrambling" by December 1973 as "the trend toward smaller, less extravagant cars to surge ahead faster than anyone had expected."
Subsequent to becoming president of Ford Motor Company on December 10, 1970, Lee Iacocca ordered the development of a smaller Mustang for 1974 introduction. Initial plans called for a downsized Mustang based on the compact Ford Maverick, similar in size and power to the Falcon, the basis for original Mustang. Those plans were later scrapped in favor of a smaller Mustang based on the subcompact Ford Pinto. The original pony car was based on the compact Falcon and for its second-generation, the Mustang evolved from an even smaller platform, the Pinto that was rolled out in 1971. The final Mustang II production design was set in 1971 by Dick Nesbitt, but the new model was "less of a Pinto than the '64½ had been a Falcon."
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