Ford's Executive Chairman REALLY likes the new Stang.
Muscle car fans across the US were understandably miffed when Ford announced the name for its new high-performance electric crossover: "Ford Mustang Mach-E". The name "Mustang" has only ever stood for sleek, two-door coupes with rear-wheel drive and, at the top of the trim ladder, big, burly American V8s. But a four-door electric family-hauler? What was Ford thinking?
Yet the Mach-E has certainly amassed its fair share of fans, and among them is none other than Ford Motor Company's Executive Chairman, Bill Ford Jr. - the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford.
Last month, Bill Ford had a prototype Mach-E in his possession, and he was so taken with the vehicle that Ford had a tough time getting it back.
Bill Ford asked for an extension with the car, and kept it so long that the Mach-E design and production teams had to beg for its return as they continued working toward launch, until finally, "we had had to pry it out of his hands," Ford's Chief Product Development Officer, Hau Thai-Tang, told the Detroit Free Press. If that isn't a ringing endorsement, we're not sure what is.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is a crucially important product for Ford, as it represents the company's first real effort at taking a bite out of industry leader Tesla. Ford CEO Jim Farley calls it a "game changer," saying "it's got Detroit swagger. It's a Mustang. Tesla is not a Mustang."
The first production examples of the Ford Mustang Mach-E will start reaching customers by the end of the year, but Ford's approach to sales and production is anything but typical. They're being built to order, not to sit on dealer lots, and Ford, expecting rampant demand, decided to sell the car through a reservation process. That's not the automaker's usual modus operandi.
Ford is "just entering early mass production now," Farley told the Free Press, but the automaker isn't "ramping up that curve and making hundreds a day... "We'll build them and test them and make sure they're perfect. We'll sort out every problem. Once we're satisfied we've got every problem solved, then we turn on the light switch and go into job one."