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Source: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/ford/2019/12/03/mustang-mach-e-buzz-pulls-first-time-customers-ford-dealers/2588376001/

Mustang Mach-E buzz pulls first-time customers to Ford dealers

Dec. 2, 2019

Ford dealers have met some new customers over the last two weeks, and they have the Mustang Mach-E to thank for it.

Ford Motor Co. debuted its first-ever electric SUV on Nov. 17 in Los Angeles, at an event live-streamed to more than 140,000 people. The automaker said then it would start taking $500 reservations for the Mach-E that night, a full year before it hits dealer floors.

The company won't say how many buyers have stepped up, but the publicity about the event has pulled Mach-E buyers to Ford showrooms even though there are none to see or drive.

"It's been exciting for the store," said Tim Hovik, owner and general manager of San Tan Ford outside of Phoenix. He is one of the top Ford dealers in the U.S., and had taken 47 reservations for the Mach-E as of Monday morning. "I've been doing this 27 years, and you can kind of count on one hand the times we've dipped our toe into a completely new segment."

Hovik said about two out of every three Mach-E reservations taken at his dealership are from people with whom he's never done business. Some have never owned an electric vehicle.

Then there are customers like 41-year-old Glendale, Arizona, resident Travis Myrick, who reserved his Mach-E GT last Tuesday. Myrick has an F-150 and a 2015 Mustang GT in his garage. He drove to Hovik's dealership to reserve his spot in line for the fastest trim of the Mach-E after catching a few Mach-E commercials and reading about it online.

Myrick had test-driven his friends' Teslas and had been impressed with their capabilities. But he couldn't bring himself to make the leap. Tesla's service department seemed like too much of a hassle, he said.

He's not sure yet if the Mach-E will be a secondary vehicle, or replace something currently in the garage. Myrick hasn't seen the car yet, nor is it available for test drives. But he likes Ford, and he likes Mustang. And he likes that the Mach-E can go fast and lessen his impact on the environment at the same time.

"It's going to be basically half the price of a Tesla, and I've got to think the technology is going to be better," he said. "I honestly think it looks better. To me, it seems like a perfect fit."

Since the Mach-E's debut two weeks ago, the hour-long recorded press conference has been viewed 6.5 million times online, Ford says. And 1.6 million people have visited the Mach-E's main web page, which Ford built and tweaked to ensure a seamless ordering experience.

"We've never to my knowledge put this amount of information out for a reveal," said Matt VanDyke, Ford director of U.S. Marketing. "We've never seen high traffic to our website for a reveal. This one is really off the charts."

The new Mustang did cause some unintended uproar: More than 13,400 people have signed an online petition to get Ford to remove the storied Mustang name and badge from an unconventional SUV powered by a battery hidden beneath the floor.

But everything adds to the buildup, experts said. That's a good thing for an automaker attempting to reinvent itself and prove to consumers, investors and employees that it's ready for the future.

"There's certainly a lot of buzz, which is the most important thing for any new vehicle," said Karl Brauer, an auto analyst with Kelley Blue Book. "This is exactly what Ford wanted to do, and they seem to have done it. And they're bringing non-Ford people into Ford dealerships, which is the dream of any automaker."

Beginning trim levels for the Mach-E start at $45,000. But the vehicle could be in short supply come launch time. Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of automotive, said shortly after the Mach-E launch that Ford would be limited to around 50,000 units out of its Cuautitlan, Mexico, plant in the first year of production. That's due to constraints on battery supply, he said.

Ford officials said the reservation system will allow the automaker to figure out which regions will need the most supply when the Mach-E starts rolling off the assembly line in 2020. But if the automaker can sell 50,000 in the first year, that would be a stellar start.

"You can't ignore 50,000-plus," Brauer said. "They know that 50,000 is a number that proves interest, and that proves viability. Only Tesla and GM have crossed the 200,000-vehicle mark.

"If Ford can hit a quarter of that in one model year, if they can get demand for 50,000 vehicles, they get to say they sold a lot, and they get to say they sold everything they could build."
 

Shihear

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"We've never seen high traffic to our website for a reveal. This one is really off the charts."

And that's why the Mach-E is so vital for the future commercial viability of Ford Motor Co. This car and the electric F-150 are key.
 

silverelan

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Ford needs a new hit vehicle and one that expands its current customer base. The Mach-E does that.

I've never seriously considered a Ford product before but the Mach-E is a game changer on every level and it's the first time I've ever decided to spend $50k+ on a vehicle. Hopefully it's worth my money.
 

s7davis

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Ford needs a new hit vehicle and one that expands its current customer base. The Mach-E does that.

I've never seriously considered a Ford product before but the Mach-E is a game changer on every level and it's the first time I've ever decided to spend $50k+ on a vehicle. Hopefully it's worth my money.
I have to agree with Silverelan on this. I have never really considered a Ford for any of my vehicles. I have liked the Mustang and have driven some as we have owned some (brother had a 69 Fastback inline 6) and I think the other as an 80s mustang. My parents bought I think one of the original Aerostar Vans with the digital display. However, everytime we went on a road trip the Alternator kept going out on us and we lost the display completely not know how much gas or how fast we were driving. Needless to say parents got rid of that van too bad I really like it.

Anyways but I have never purchased a Ford myself. So I think the Mach-E will be my first. As for pricing at least the Select version is in my price range not too sure I can get to 50k for higher versions. I drive an Alfa Romeo right now and it was around 46K so not sure I can push another 5 - 6k on a car.

Also people need to consider what the registration costs and insurance costs will be. Hopefully the Mach E will not be alluminum like the Tesla which makes them super expensive to insure. and at least in California the registration for electric cars is going up I heard around $100 bucks for a road tax I'm assuming. Since BEV do not need gas they do not pay the taxes for gas which pays for the roadways.
 

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Some of that increased insurance cost will be down to how easy it is / isn't to get hold of parts for a tesla to repair them. Will probably also depend on the insurance company so no doubt have to do plenty of shopping around.

I am hoping that the parts issue will be less of a problem as ford will be battery coinstrained when it come to production numbers rather than being able to stamp out parts so the insurance will be reasonable.
 

s7davis

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Some of that increased insurance cost will be down to how easy it is / isn't to get hold of parts for a tesla to repair them. Will probably also depend on the insurance company so no doubt have to do plenty of shopping around.

I am hoping that the parts issue will be less of a problem as ford will be battery coinstrained when it come to production numbers rather than being able to stamp out parts so the insurance will be reasonable.
I believe you are correct on these issues as Ford has dealerships all over the world which makes it a bit easier to have car worked on. And it already has hundreds if not thousands of factories stamping the parts and shipping them out as well as their automation lines have already been working for so many years now that they can push more cars out as they been around for over 100 years building cars all the way back the Henry Ford's Model T so they know how to build cars with a better fit and finish than Tesla.
 

Falc'man

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Ford needs a new hit vehicle and one that expands its current customer base. The Mach-E does that.

I've never seriously considered a Ford product before but the Mach-E is a game changer on every level and it's the first time I've ever decided to spend $50k+ on a vehicle. Hopefully it's worth my money.
There's simply no other way of making a splash and grabbing people's attention. Making cars that are just appliances on wheels may work for some because that what consumers expect from those brands.

When "Ford" is mentioned the image in the minds of the general public shouldn't be of generic vehicles. It needs to be something a little more aspirational and desirable. You're right, and this is the direction I've wanted them to take for a while and I'm happy to see it's now coming to fruition.

It's not just Mach E. As has been reported there will be another, different body that will sit under the Mustang umbrella, most likely a 4 door coupe - similar to Taycan - also sitting on Mach E's skateboard.

Then there's the Bronco family of vehicles. That, I believe, will also be a multi-pronged attack. .

Mustang and Bronco families spearheading Ford's quest to drastically alter the perception of their brand.
 

Falc'man

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/Meanwhile, some Mustang lovers are campaigning to have the name changed. I do understand their frustration and why they're unhappy about it, but I believe the pros far outweigh the cons.

They're only thinking of tradition and they're stuck in the past (just like the live rear axle brigade), but the future is about perceiving what is required to remain ahead of the competition, and what is required to survive.

If the icon is so great then it won't be effected and its heritage cannot be tainted especially when Ford have recently demonstrated how much effort went into the 2018 Mustang, and the two Shelbys... especially the 500. What an animal!

And if the icon is so great then it has the equity to help the parent brand, which in turn helps the icon itself live on. (sales trends of the coupe and the pony cars in general are going down, are they not?). If Mustang coupe is the core Mustang and the original icon then there's way too much pride in it for Ford to ever let go of it, but when times turn ugly they will need to justify its existence, and Mach E is here to help that. Those objecting to the name simply don't see that. They look at tradition but they're not the ones responsible for ensuring the Mustang's actual survival.
 

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