It's already a smash hit. So what's next?
The Ford Maverick is yet another success story for the Blue Oval. The base hybrid variant is already sold out for the model year, which is understandable given its $19,995 base price. Above all, Ford proved America was ready and desperately wanted a compact pickup truck, even if it is car-based. Like the Bronco program, the automaker is eyeing an even grander Maverick future.
Speaking to Automotive News, Ford CEO Jim Farley, who played a key role in the development of the Bronco, Bronco Sport, and Maverick, said the latter is very likely to morph into a sub-brand. "I think Maverick will be a new franchise," he said.
"Just think about what we just did. It's a $20,000 hybrid vehicle and the response has been completely out of control. Could we make other affordable vehicles as a Maverick family? Yes, of course we could. I think we will need those kind of brand extensions, but they're going to stay within our icons."
To be clear, Farley is not talking about another so-called "horizontal" brand, like Lincoln or the defunct Mercury but rather a Maverick franchise. Ford is already doing this with the Bronco. The plan is to have separate Bronco stores located next to Ford dealerships. They're very much within the Ford "family" but act as a semi-separate brand entity. The thinking is that Escape customers, for example, are not interested in the Bronco Sport.
Also, the Maverick is drawing in lots of new customers who currently don't drive a Ford. Many of them are crossover owners from rival brands looking for something different. Whether there'll be separate Maverick and "affordable vehicle" showrooms is still unknown, but the fact is Ford and Farley have identified a smart opportunity. Domestic competitors like GM and Stellantis aren't doing this (yet). Ford is trying its utmost to reduce new vehicle costs.
For example, previous CEO Jim Hackett said he didn't think it was necessary to include so many features that a majority of owners are unlikely to use. Why should they pay for them? Farley and his management team appear to be thinking the same.