Ford Mustang Mach E Lukewarm Reservation Numbers
Jimmy Dinsmore's picture

Mustang Mach-E Reservation Numbers Show Luke-Warm Interest In Electric Crossover

All-electric crossover Mustang Mach-E reservations require a $500 deposit. First-edition Mach-E reservations have “sold out” while the overall numbers seem underwhelming. Around 1,500 initially reserved and just over 9,100 total "sold" according to a source at Ford.
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Much has been written and discussed about Ford’s launch and introduction of their all-electric crossover Mach-E. Note: I didn’t call it by the entire name of Mustang Mach-E as I am with the thousands of others who refuse to accept the Mustang name and badge being dropped onto a four-door, all-wheel drive crossover.

And as Ford has battled internal strife over using the hallowed Mustang name, the company has publicly been aggressive about the promotion of the Mach-E (as they should be). They released some general, loose numbers back in December that seemed to show there was a niche audience for the Mach-E. I don’t doubt that there is a specific buyer who will want this vehicle. And truth be told, I’m not opposed to the Mach-E nor do I want it to fail. I just don’t want it called a Mustang. But again, enough has been written about this.

I first reported that first edition Mach-Es has been sold out. That is true. But, I’ve been given some initial reports on sales reservations for the Mach-E and they’re uninspiring. An anonymous source with knowledge of the reservation numbers tells me that just over 1,500 reservations were initially taken, and that accounts for Ford touting that the first editions were sold out.

However, the more disturbing numbers is that, according to the same source at Ford, that number represents 18% of total sales reservations so far, which would mean that Ford has taken just over 9,100 reservations for this all-electric crossover.

See the Mustang Mach-E coming at a car show near you
The Mach-E has begun making the rounds at the bigger car shows throughout the country. It was recently at the Washington (D.C.) Auto Show but was blocked off and nobody could get inside of it.

There’s a great deal of skepticism regarding and that has led to some customers to cancel their reservations and ask for their $500 to be refunded. Although, it’s likely these auto show display vehicles are prototypes and the PR folks would not allow consumers inside as such. That’s pretty stand operating procedure at auto shows, although as a journalist, I appreciate being able to sit and touch things inside all vehicles. It helps me get a feel for the fit and finish and functionality of these vehicles. I will be at the Chicago Auto Show next week and hope to get some seat time inside the Mach-E and offer my fair assessment of this vehicle.

Ford Mustang Mach E

If consumers don’t feel confident in getting quality time with the Mach-E, especially with this being a brand-new vehicle, Ford should work to address that. Be transparent and proud of this vehicle, since a lot seems to be riding on this vehicle’s success. As such, not being accessible at car shows for consumers feels suspicious.

Likewise, the Mach-E has not been at many, if any, dealers yet, but there’s an expectation and push for those dealers to talk it up and take reservations. I have heard from a couple dealers who have expressed concern about that and they also admit there has not been much enthusiasm regarding the Mach-E.

We know from stats released by Ford that 25 percent of all reservations for the Mach-E have come from the state of California. That is not surprising and the feedback I’ve heard from here in the Midwest has been less enthusiastic.

The Mach-E, with a starting price just under $45,000 is expected to go on sale, which means on car lots, late in 2020 as a 2021 model year. Those who placed their orders will take delivery of their vehicles first. There is a Mach-E GT version, which has been a popular option amongst the early reservations, but that high-performance version is not expected until sometime in the summer of 2021.

See you in my next story where I discuss the current Ford Mustang categorization of a pony car, muscle car and a sports car.

Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. In addition to being a nationally syndicated automotive columnist, Jimmy has been published in a compilation book about children growing up with disabilities, where he shared his own very personal experience. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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Comments

I saw a Mach-E at a local car show about a month ago and I was actually surprised to see it. It was up on a podium and locked, but so were most of the featured, new cars at the show. I was also surprised to see the Toyota RAV4 Prime (also locked) available to see up close. My reaction was the opposite of yours, for me it showed that Ford was really committed to building a crossover that can actually rival the upcoming Tesla Model Y. Looking around, Chevy had their pretty much unchanged Bolt, Chrysler had zero EVs and no sign of them coming in the future. Honda had their CRV-Hybrid, but that's a pale offering. I don't remember noticing any EVs from the European marques, but so far most of their offerings are too pricey to consider seriously anyway. I agree that those numbers are tiny compared to the Tesla Model 3 and later Model Y and Cybertruck reservations, but Ford did say that their initial reservations were being limited to the number of vehicles that they had capacity (read batteries) to build initially. If I were Ford, I would have offered the more expensive Mach-E GT first, because it's the one that should provide top acceleration. Once we see some Mach-E GTs at the drag strip beating classic high performance cars as Tesla did then car enthusiasts will start getting more excited about them. Show goers were certainly drooling over the Shelby GT500, and the new Corvette, but the Mach-E still drew a crowd. I don't think that Ford needs (or expects) to dominate the BEV market right away, but the fact that they are visibly committed to building BEVs and showing what the real production car will look like can inspire buyers more than promises and commercials.
I think it's an indictment on the mistake of the name, plus America clearly doesn't have much interest in EVs not named Tesla.
I think that the net effect of calling the Mach-E a Mustang will be a wash in the end. The Mustang name will draw in new customers who normally would not be attracted to a $45K+ electric crossover. And it will also alienate die hard Mustang lovers who see the marketing move as an insult to the marque. Ultimately, I think that the Mach-E will be a big hit, especially once people start to see comparisons against other crossovers and performance cars as Tesla has done, then the Mach-E will convert many buyers over to the EV world. If I were a Ford decision maker I would have brought out the Mach-E GT model first, to make a performance statement. But they didn't ask me.
Possibly. My colleague John Goreham here at Torque News said that if the Mach-E even sold remotely close to its max 50,000 capacity (which I don't think it will), that it would be the second-best selling EV not named Tesla. Tesla owns this segment and it seems every other company is scrambling to take some of their market share.