NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Ford Motor Co. announced Thursday that it will boost production of the new Mustang by 70 percent this year in response to rising sales.
The automaker said it will increase Mustang production to 192,000 in 2005, from 112,000 in 2004.
"We're planning to increase production well beyond what was initially planned. This will allow us to sell 160,000 - 165,000 Mustangs in the U.S. this year," Steve Lyons, Ford Division president, said in a statement.
In the U.S. market, Mustang sales are up more than 45 percent on a retail basis over last year, boosted by sales of the convertible model, according to the company.
"Ford Mustang is the hottest car in the industry, and its performance on the street and in the showrooms is beating everyone's expectations," Lyons said in the statement.
More than 8 million Mustangs have been sold in the 41 years since its introduction. The 1 millionth Mustang was sold by March 1966.
Last week, Ford announced plans to halt production of its Thunderbird sports car after the current model year ends production in July.