Get ready for a whole new car-buying experience.
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is breaking into new territory for the American automaker. Not only is it the first of many all-electric vehicles, but its famous nameplate means it also has extremely high standards to live up to. At the same time, it appears to be changing the method in which many people are purchasing a vehicle from a mainstream automaker.
A dealership bulletin sent to several California Ford dealerships earlier this month uncovered by Cars Direct reports that only some 5 percent of Mach-E buyers are actually setting foot in a Ford dealership to place their orders. The rest are placing their reservations online. Only 92 out of 1,712 reservations in the Southern California area were made at dealerships. In other words, 1,620 reservations were made online.
It's important to remember these are merely reservations and not actual orders just yet.
Ford's next mission is to convert those reservations, which require only a $500 refundable deposit, into actual orders. That process is set to begin very soon. The fact that so many Mach-E reservations are being made online is a strong indicator this sales method will, eventually, spread to additional models. In fact, over a quarter of Mach-E reservations nationwide came from California, a reminder of how much the Sunshine State continues to be a national trendsetter.
The only other automaker which relies heavily on online orders is, of course, Tesla. In all likelihood, Ford studied its main EV rival inside and out and realized Tesla customers' purchasing method preference.
Some additional information revealed about these Mach-E buyers' option preferences indicates 80 percent are opting for the extended range battery and another 55 percent click the box for all-wheel drive. Around 30 percent of US buyers have so far selected the GT trim, although it's not due to arrive until early 2021 and will feature some unique styling and improved performance.
Will these California Mach-E early customers influence the way Ford markets the vehicle nationwide in the years ahead? Could Ford dealerships one day be forced to adjust their sales model to accommodate those who prefer to stay at home and buy?
This vital subject matter isn't going anywhere anytime soon.