About The 1978 Mustang
The 1978 Ford Mustang II saw its last year in 1978 as well as the Cobra II option and the Mach 1. The Mustang II was being phased out and a new Mustang would be introduced that was more stylish and targeted at the youth.
The federal government established the CAFE rules, which stands for Corporate Average Fuel Economy. The significance of these rules being initiated in 1978 is that every new car sold was required to meet the fuel economy ratings set up by the Environmental Protection Agency. If cars did not meet the EPA standards then very large fines were just waiting to be issued to the offender. The EPA set up requirements in 1978 for 18 mpg. These fuel economy numbers kept climbing until 1985. The impact of these rules was the Ford needed to introduce a new Mustang fast so the last year of the Mustang II was a necessity. The future generation would focus on a vehicle that was more efficient, smaller, lighter, and met the CAFE rules.
The last year of the Mustang II had favorable sales. In fact sales were higher than any other year of the Mustang II except for the first year it was introduced. Many Americans were shocked so many Mustang II’s were sold in its last year because the general perception of this generation was that it was not really a Mustang at all. However, the Mustang II did have its following and in its last year it did well.
And, considering the 1978 Mustang was the last year for the Mustang II there were very few changes made. The few changes that were made were simply cosmetic changes by Ford in order to try and attract more women to the Mustang II. Perhaps the marketing worked and that accounts for the higher sales in its last year.
Source: Mustang Forums