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Zack Rosebrugh

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Ford goes electric

What makes a car a Mustang? Ford's new all-electric Mustang Mach-E is a crossover SUV that the company hopes is as fun to drive as a muscle car. It's an existential crisis on wheels.

Ford is mortgaging its future on the value of its past

Since this is actually my area, let me try something.

The short: This vehicle ain't for you.

The long:

It doesn't matter that Mustang enthusiasts don't want to buy it. It really doesn't.

Take the Jeep Renegade or Compass or Patriot. No Jeep enthusiast who has ever owned a Wrangler or a Cherokee wants

Since this is actually my area, let me try something.

The short: This vehicle ain't for you.

The long:

It doesn't matter that Mustang enthusiasts don't want to buy it. It really doesn't.

Take the Jeep Renegade or Compass or Patriot. No Jeep enthusiast who has ever owned a Wrangler or a Cherokee wants one of those smaller vehicles. You want a real Jeep. The Renegade is made in Italy, for Pete's sake. These smaller vehicles are for brand newbies that want a name but have less money to spend. Funky colors that look good on Instagram. It doesn't damage the Jeep brand, it just makes it more available. I hate those cars, so do real Jeep people. Have people stopped buying Jeeps?

...No.

Ford isn't selling these to Mustang owners. Fact: The yearly volume of the current 2020 Mustang is 65,000+ vehicles, 25% or more are sold overseas. So your "Mustang Enthusiast" opinion is irrelevant. You might just have to accept that.

This vehicle is for Tech folks who like the IDEA of a Mustang but don't want to pay for gas. They live on the coasts, they are eco friendly, need a reason to buy a domestic brand, and have way more money to spend on a car than you. I know this because I saw the press briefings before all of you. I was there when they brought in focus groups. I've seen it assembled at NMPDC when it was still Body-in-White. Ford knows what they're doing, get over yourself.

Very little about this car makes sense to me. I'm not sure why Ford felt compelled to muddy the Mustang brand with a crossover vehicle that looks very little like a Mustang. But then again, Porsche and Lamborghini make SUVs now, so I guess anything goes. I'm not sure if there's enough here to sway anyone

Very little about this car makes sense to me. I'm not sure why Ford felt compelled to muddy the Mustang brand with a crossover vehicle that looks very little like a Mustang. But then again, Porsche and Lamborghini make SUVs now, so I guess anything goes. I'm not sure if there's enough here to sway anyone from a Tesla, nor from a gas-powered muscle car. Maybe some men in the throes of a mid-life crisis men who also want to save on gas, though.

The Mustang branding makes me want the car less. I’m not sure the typical Mustang demographic would care for a tech heavy SUV, and vice versa.

Putting the name “mustang” on this car is a bad joke. When you hear “mustang Mach e” it calls to mind, obviously, an electric mustang. This car is decidedly NOT an electric mustang, it’s a completely separate EV inexplicably called a mustang. It’s a four-door crossover, not a two-door muscle car, and

Putting the name “mustang” on this car is a bad joke. When you hear “mustang Mach e” it calls to mind, obviously, an electric mustang. This car is decidedly NOT an electric mustang, it’s a completely separate EV inexplicably called a mustang. It’s a four-door crossover, not a two-door muscle car, and has nothing in common aesthetically with a mustang anywhere.

None of this is to say that there’s anything actually wrong with the car— but it’s an absolute travesty of branding. Ford should’ve just come up with a new name for it. Mustang buyers wouldn’t even want this thing, and the name’s cachet does nothing for its target audience. All this does for Ford is irk their loyal mustang customers, confuse people who’d actually be interested in this car, and dilute their most recognizable brand.

Edit: to more specifically address Michael’s points, the problem isn’t that the name offends the Mustang’s greatness or anything— it’s that the car is so totally different from a Mustang that the name is just ridiculous. Porsche makes SUVs, but they don’t call them Carreras. Jeep makes that weird El Camino thing (gladiator, I think?) but they don’t call it a Wrangler.

If they’re not selling the car to “Mustang people” (and they obviously aren’t) why on Earth did they call it a Mustang?

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