The campaign amounts to a significant effort for a vehicle that is being launched into an EV market that remains niche, despite much hype.

Year-to-date, 175,350 electric vehicles have been sold in the U.S, which is less than 2 percent of all vehicle sales, according to figures provided by Kelley Blue Book sourced from Tesla dominates EVs, selling 491,602 since 2010, compared with just 9,787 by Ford.

But the Mach-E represents a mindshift for Ford, which had previously sold electrified versions of more economy-minded models, like Focus, rather than a brand like Mustang that is known for performance. “This is a huge play by Ford to get serious about EVs,” says Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Kelley Blue Book. It is as much of a corporate branding play as anything, he notes, driven by a desire to be perceived by consumers and analysts as “a forward-thinking, progessive company.”

Ford’s push follows moves by other high-performance brands to take on Tesla, including Audi, which has poured significant marketing behind its new “e-tron” SUV, the first of three battery electric vehicles the luxury brand will introduce over three years. Jaguar, meanwhile, has run TV ads for its electric I-PACE SUV, including one that uses the phrase “roar silently.”

But Brauer says Ford’s Mach-E fills a gap for U.S. buyers who prefer domestic brands and might be lured into buying an EV backed by an iconic brand such as Mustang that has been around a lot longer than Tesla.

Still, he says that does not guarantee the Mach-E will be “an overnight success.” There “is not going to be a single model that comes out in one fell swoop and turns the world into an EV-buying world,” he adds. “It’s going to be a long process of knocking down barriers and knocking down resistance from various demographics one-by-one.”

Ford is targeting a group of buyers it refers to internally as “lovers of the new,” which it refers to in internal documents as “LOTN.” 

“These are folks who are younger, more educated, more affluent,” VanDyke says. “Most of them...have never shopped Ford before. So we are absolutely interested in expanding the audience and bringing new people into the brand.”

Still, Ford wants to avoid turning off Mustang loyalists, some of whom might find anything resembling an SUV to be blasphemous for the pony car brand built on sports coupes. That is why Ford put an emphasis on reaching out to Mustang clubs, including flying members of the enthusiast groups to Detroit to get a behind the scenes look at the Mach-E. Some members of California-based Mustang clubs were scheduled to participate in Sunday’s reveal event.

Ford is also trying to leverage its network of 2,000 dealers who are “certified, trained EV dealers,” VanDyke says, referring to the vast dealer network as a “competitive advantage” over Tesla. The dealers, he says, “are completely motivated to activate their active their loyal owner base.”

Source link


Great Wall Motor Co., the only major domestic Chinese light-vehicle maker that has maintained sales growth this year, continues to build new production capacity in China.

It broke ground for an 8 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) vehicle assembly plant in Taizhou of east China’s Jiangsu province on Monday, the company said.

The factory, Great Wall’s eighth production site in east China, is slated to start output in Dec. 2020. It will build traditional and electrified vehicles for Haval, the company’s brand for mass-market crossovers and SUVs.

Earlier this year, Great Wall kicked off construction of plants in Pinghu of east China’s Zhejiang province and Rizhao of east China’s Shandong province. Both factories are expected to become operational in late 2020 or early 2021.

Great Wall now assembles vehicles in Baoding and Xushui of north China’s Hebei province, the north China municipality of Tianjin and the southwest China municipality of Chongqing.

It also expects to partner with BMW Group to build battery electric vehicles for its proprietary brands and the Mini brand in Zhangjiagang of east China’s Jiangsu province. But the joint venture agreement, signed in 2018, still needs to be approved by regulatory bodies in China.

In June, Great Wall opened its first overseas assembly plant in the Tula Oblast region of central Russia.

In October, the company’s sales rose 4.5 percent year on year to top 115,000 vehicles thanks to its expanded product mix.

For the first ten months, its deliveries rose 6.7 percent to approach 840,000. The number includes 687,884 crossovers and SUVs as well as 114,270 pickups.

Source link