Ford Motor Co. begins output of the right-hand-drive Probe at AutoAlliance International, a joint venture with Mazda, in Flat Rock, Mich., on Dec. 13, 1993.
It marked the first time since the early 1900s that Ford produced a vehicle in the United States with the steering wheel on the right side.
The compact, front-wheel-drive Probe coupe was built on the same line as the Mazda MX-6 and 626 and shared the same platform designed and engineered by Mazda. The right-hand drive Probe was destined for consumers in the United Kingdom, Japan, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
In addition to right and left-hand-drive Ford Probes, AutoAlliance also built the Mazda 626 to European specifications.
The Probe was intended to fill a market niche formerly occupied by the Capri in Europe, and it was originally intended to be the fourth-generation Ford Mustang in North America -- a direct competitor to the Acura Integra, Nissan 200SX and Toyota Celica.
Ford marketing officials at the time determined that a front-wheel drive platform would offer lower engineering and production costs, and prove more popular with consumers.
AutoWeek dubbed it the "Maz-stang."
But Mustang fans objected to the front-wheel drive configuration, Japanese engineering, and lack of a V-8 engine, so Ford began development on a new design for the Mustang instead. On March 17, 1997, Ford announced the discontinuation of the Probe.