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November 19, 2019

Ford Made a Mistake In Calling Their EV a Mustang

Mustang (noun) meaning a free-roaming horse found in the Western United States. It’s also the first “pony car,” an affordable sports coupe with a long hood and short deck first launched by Ford in 1964. It is the only nameplate in the Blue Oval’s stable to remain in uninterrupted production over five decades or development and revision. This year, Ford management to throw all that legacy away by launching a model that’s the anthesis of everything the Mustang stands for. The biggest crime is that they actually call it a Mustang.

Ford will try their best to convince you that their all-new, all-electric SUV is a Mustang. They used phrases such as, “born of the same all-American ideals that inspired the best-selling sports coupe in the world” and “it represents the best of the American spirit: freedom, progress, fast performance, and a touch of rebellion.” But even a five-year old knows better.

By and large, this all-electric SUV, the Mustang Mach-E isn’t the product of rebellious thinking. It isn’t the product of American freedom and progress. If anything, it’s a sign of Ford trying to play catch up as the rest of the world looks at electrification technology to power future cars. And sadly, there’re willing to sacrifice the storied Mustang brand for short-term gains in the process.

Ford says its new SUV has “a sleek silhouette and muscular curves,” but there’s no way you can mistake it for a Mustang. With up to 459 horsepower and 830 Nm of torque, it promises “0-100 km/h times quicker than a Porsche 911 GTS,” but you cannot mistake it for a Mustang. It has the “long hood, rear launch, aggressive headlights, and tri-bar taillights,” but it certainly doesn’t look like a Mustang. What it is, is an SUV that seats five and cargo. It’s an all-electric, all-wheel drive SUV that offers up to 482 kilometers or range. Clearly, there’s nothing Mustang about that.

Ford could and should have named their new all-electric SUV something else—anything else but a Mustang. A hybrid two-door sports coupe would have raised eyebrows, but would have been more acceptable; a hybrid two-door all-wheel drive sports coupe would have been pushing it, but again, it would have been acceptable. Without knowing what Ford’s marketing team is thinking, on the surface, naming it the Mustang Mach-E is a case of wanting to cash in its brand recall. Perhaps, it was done to avoid the pitfalls of the Chevy Volt which failed miserably.

What Ford’s done here is straight from the Star Wars or Marvel playbook—where a big chunk of marketing is hinged on the strength of the brand, and how it connects positively with people. It’s why these franchise movies work—they play to a certain tempo, and fit in a certain mold. Unfortunately for Ford, it’s quite the opposite. They may be using a well-revered, well-respected brand, but it’s playing to a tune that’s not just unfamiliar, but stands against everything that brand stands for.

1 comment:

  1. Let’s give Ford a chance. They’re playing a catch-up game in terms of manufacturing EVs. They want to go head-to-head with Tesla’s upcoming Model Y. I’m looking forward to this model, though, I do hope that Ford will also build a 2-door sports coupé all-electric Mustang.


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