When Ford revealed its new all-electric SUV at the LA Auto Show last year, blue-oval diehards and gearheads across the globe seemed to roll their eyes in unison and let out an earth-shaking sigh. But despite the consternation of die-hard enthusiasts, I think calling this vehicle a Mustang is a brilliant idea.
Whether you like it or not, we're moving to an electrified future. Practically every automaker is hard at work developing battery-powered vehicles, and this includes Ford. Ol' Henry's company is investing nearly $12 billion in EVs to produce anpickup, an and, yes, even a battery-powered Mustang SUV.
On the surface, that last vehicle sounds absurd, like a product beaten into mediocrity by one too many focus groups. But there are myriad reasons why it's a very shrewd move. Right out of the gate, the Mustang has global appeal and brand recognition. Drivers around the world know what it is and what it represents. Launching an innovative vehicle like this would be much more challenging if it didn't have an established name to piggyback on.
Beyond that, calling the Mach-E a Mustang readies the car's expansive fan-base for what's in store. Electrification will be part of this filly's future, it has to be in order to meet emissions requirements around the world, but that's not all. The addition of motors and batteries to more traditional Mustang models will be required to help them keep pace with other high-performance cars. The Mach-E is the opening salvo in this upcoming movement.
Obviously, it's still early days; the Mach-E isn't even available at dealerships yet, but it'll be interesting to see if Ford combines sales of this all-electric SUV with the rest of the Mustang lineup. A company spokesman speculated that the two would likely be reported separately for transparency purposes, but he was unsure if that decision has officially been made. If the automaker decides to lump them together, it could significantly improve the showroom performance of the Mustang, which is already the best-selling sports car in the world according to IHS Markit. If you're wondering, this would not be the first time an automaker has tried to fudge the numbers. Toyota used to combine the sales of its Corolla sedan and Matrix hatchback models, to name one recent example.
For more of my thoughts on why it's brilliant to call thea Mustang, and why I think it will be a big success for Ford, make sure to watch the video above.