• Ford Gears Up to Become The Ultimate Enthusiast Brand

Ford’s future plans involve enthusiast-centric models and "Passion brands" despite mass-electrification being the main focus

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With the mass adoption of electric powertrains, it’s difficult to see how car companies plan to appeal to car enthusiasts. It seems Ford is tackling the challenge by splitting its model development process into two separate divisions: the Ford Model e division and the Ford Blue division. In the eyes of traditional fans, Ford has already done some controversial moves, case in point being the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which aside from the tri-bar taillights has little in common with the Mustang we all know and love. But now, Ford assures us that, despite the focus on EVs, it’s going to be an enthusiast-centric brand.

Ford Gears Up to Become The Ultimate Enthusiast Brand Interior
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It was Ford CEO, Jim Farley that spoke about how traditional Ford customers may not like the transition to EVs. While enthusiasts, generally, represent a small portion of the market, they are still there, and there’s no denying the fact that Ford’s most iconic models, lie the Mustang and Bronco, are still ICE-powered and will remain so for at least another generation.

At the 2022 Alliance Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference, Farley stated that the automotive giant will focus its internal-combustion-engine models around “passion brands”. A case in point is Ford Built Wild, which focuses on customization options and accessories for the Ford Bronco. We expect Shelby will be part of the “keeping enthusiasts happy” initiative as we are expecting details of an upcoming high-performance version of the S650 Mustang, which in its standard trims, will include hybridization.

Ford Gears Up to Become The Ultimate Enthusiast Brand Exterior
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“We’ve shrunk wrapped our ICE business around segments that are often kind of self-selected out of EV and the real passion brands. I’m going to allow the team to invest in those passion brands because we’re in the emotional business”, Farley said. We already know that Ford’s strategy also involves axing quite a few of its mass-produced, ICE-powered models, such as the Ford Escape and Ford Edge, the latter of which is scheduled to be discontinued in 2023.

The Ford Mustang and Ford Bronco will remain, representatives of the ICE spectrum of Ford models. The Mustang Mach-E will completely replace the ICE-powered Ford Edge as it is “a better product”, as stated by Jim Farley. It’s also proof that Ford is not going to limit itself to making EV versions of ICE models like the Ford F-150 Lightning. The company is also planning to electrify more models such as the Maverick and Puma, in order to make a less turbulent transition to a completely new spectrum of EV models.

Ford Gears Up to Become The Ultimate Enthusiast Brand Exterior
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Despite the Ford Mach-E quickly becoming one of the most popular electric SUVs in the U.S., with almost 43,000 units sold in two years, and the F150 Lightning offering 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg) of towing capacity, for around $40,000, Ford management recognizes that EVs are not for everyone. While EV spin-offs are expected to continue, Ford wants to continue offering exciting products for enthusiasts, even if the options are going to be quite limited compared to the EV offerings.

Source: Ford Authority

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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