The Ford Mustang – being one of the best or probably the greatest of the American automotive brand and a symbol of outstanding quality reached a major milestone on Wednesday as the 10 millionth vehicle rolls off an assembly line at a Detroit-area plant.

Ford, which marked the occasion for the car, at the Michigan headquarters celebrated with a big party and parade, recognized the world over as a quintessentially American cultural export.

The milestone was regarded a key moment for the car maker, which is banking on the Mustang’s wide appeal to help it grow global market share. US sales of the model are declining, but they are accelerating overseas.

“The Mustang is the best-selling sports coupe in Germany, as well as in the United States,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett boasted in remarks to revelers assembled at the Ford headquarters on Wednesday morning to kick off the party.

As it celebrates the milestone, Ford is appealing to the sense of nostalgia for what is seen as the original ‘freedom vehicle’ that exemplified the love of the open road. After all, the car was named after a horse that still roams free in the American West.

“I can think of no other American car that captures the love affair with the automobile that Americans have had,” automotive historian John Heitmann of the University of Dayton told AFP.

“It is as American as one can have an American product.”

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