No vehicle’s prospects have been as badly damaged by the drop in EV growth as the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Ford reasoned that marrying its billion EV investment with one of the best-known brands in American car history would help the No.2 US car company race to a leadership position that might rival Tesla. Ford sold only 1,295 Mustang Mach-E units in January, down by 51% from January 2023.
Although Ford plans to launch an electric version of several of its models, the Ford-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E were the company’s early hard push into the EV space. F-series pickups have been the best-selling vehicles in the US for 42 years. The Mustang has been in continuous production since 1964. The gas-powered Mustang had sales of 3,771 in January. There are nine models of gas-power versions available today.
Ford’s EV Billions
Ford planned to spend over $30 billion on its EV future between 2021 and 2025. It has cut or delayed those programs as more and more major manufacturers have entered the EV business, and Tesla continues to have a market share of over 50% in the US.
For a reason that may never be entirely clear, Ford must have done little significant market research on how Americans viewed EVs. Studies from other sources showed, at least two years ago, that consumers worried about EV charging times, the number of charging stations, and ranges that averaged about 300 miles on a single charge. Add to these that it became more widely known that EVs eat through tires at a rate that is about the figure for gas-powered cars and that the EV range drops sharply in cold weather.
An EV crossover should have been a hit. Crossovers now represent a large part of the American car market. The Mustang Mach-E was close to being a sure thing as the EV industry had. Ford didn’t use its brand leverage, its EV strategy was ill-conceived, and the Mustang brand has been tarnished in the process.