Regardless of what you think about the Mustang Mach-E, it has been a fantastic foray into electrification for Ford. And by the looks of it, the upcoming performance trim, the Mach-E GT, is lining up to be another speedy hit. In fact, demand for the electrified pony car SUV has been so strong that it even surprised the highest of ranks at the Blue Oval.
Speaking to our own Kyle Cheromcha at Monterey Car Week, Ford CEO Jim Farley reflected on the launch of the Mach-E as a whole, admitting that the automaker simply wasn’t ready.
[Editor’s note: The Drive recently interviewed Ford CEO Jim Farley, a full transcript of which can be found here. This is one of several accompanying stories we’re publishing to highlight the most newsworthy details from the conversation.]
“We didn’t have the right spec levels, the GT was much more popular than we thought,” said Farley. “We couldn’t react. It was like, the marketing team could, but the industrial system that creates the physical product, and the software team—they didn’t like, get the memo of this demand.”
The Mach-E outsold the actual Mustang earlier this year, which is a big feat in itself. Starting at $61,000 (including destination), the Mach-E GT is a performance bargain to families that need something with four doors, but also want a bit of zest in life. All-wheel-drive, 480-horsepower, and enough electric torque to hit 60 mph in as little as 3.8 seconds.
“We couldn’t impact the commercialization, couldn’t buy batteries at the higher level,” said Farley, noting that the F-150 Lightning has since helped the automaker get a headstart on increasing its overall battery capacity.
“But probably the biggest [lesson learned] is vertical integration. We need to be involved in battery production, we can’t just buy batteries,” he added.
The Mach-E offers a combination of rear- and all-wheel-drive models, along with two different battery packs of varying usable capacity. This allows consumers to mix and match their desired motor configuration along with either a standard 68-kilowatt-hour battery pack or 88 kWh, depending on the trim, of course.
Production capacity may be a moot point in the near future for the Blue Oval, however. Ford announced a stateside venture with SK Innovation earlier this year that would allow it to join the ranks of Tesla, General Motors, and Volkswagen who have all taken the same route of in-house battery production. Ford’s battery capacity demand is estimated to be equal to Volkswagen’s at 240 GWh by 2030.
Ford claims that non-reservation orders for the Mach-E GT will begin hitting dealer lots in late 2021, barring any pandemic-related production delays. Meanwhile, its Premium-trimmed variant (which can also be had with an Extended Range battery pack) is also backlogged for an estimated 24 weeks.
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