The Bronco, Maverick, Puma, and Mustang Mach-E prove that it works.
Ford's current naming structure, reviving old names for new models, may have upset some people, but there's no denying it works. After all, the Mustang Mach-E outsold the good old Mustang in June this year.
Using or reviving existing names is a strategy that appears to be working. Not just here, but in Europe as well. Ford applied the Puma name to its latest compact crossover, and it's a smash hit. It's such a hit that Ford's CEO, Jim Farley, wants it on sale in the USA. The original Puma was a fantastic little two-door coupe, sold in the 1990s. Another example is the Kuga (equivalent to our Ford Escape), which is a fancier way of spelling Cougar - another old Ford model. Here in the USA, the Bronco made a triumphant comeback following a long hiatus. These all have two things in common. 1- they're old names for new cars, and 2- they're selling like hotcakes!
Ford's European design chief, Murat Gueler, recently spoke with Autocar, revealing that Ford would likely bring back old names for new models. He specifically mentioned the competition Europe is facing from China and Korea. Chinese vehicles aren't a big problem in the USA, but Korean cars are making significant inroads locally.
It makes sense that Ford would want to use old names, if only for that nostalgic feeling. Competitors from China and Korea have a lot to offer, but there's not a lot of history there. Ford has a ton of history, and Gueler states that said history could be used to differentiate Ford's EVs from the flood of electrics headed our way. It seems the Mustang Mach-E is just the first of many, with Gueler citing that using the name was "the right thing to do, because the Mustang name gives a gravitas to the product which maybe otherwise wouldn't exist." And let's not forget about the F-150 Lighting, which uses a name traditionally reserved for go-faster Ford pickup trucks. Not to mention the Maverick, which has a huge reservation list already.
We know Ford is working with Volkswagen to produce a compact electric crossover, though no name has been released. Looking back on Ford's history, it certainly has no shortage of names to work with. Names still up for grabs include Ranchero, Thunderbird, Ka, and Flex. Or, Ford could look back to historic nameplates like the Cortina and Escort.
If it really wants to make an impact, it should bring back the most famous name of them all. Since Ford intends to sell EVs for as little as $20k, it should evoke the spirit of the car that made car ownership a viable dream for every person in the USA. How long do you think it will be before the introduction of the Ford Model E-T?