The Mustang Mach-E still has a lot to prove

Ford president of automotive, Joe Hinrichs, has revealed that the Blue Oval plans to build 50,000 units of the Mustang Mach-E in its first year of production. As eye-popping as that figure sounds, it’s actually capped to that number, at least in part, because of battery availability.

The volume is enough to raise some eyebrows, but not at all surprising. The more important question is whether Ford can actually sell 50,000 units of the Mustang Mach-E in its first year of production. Given the current landscape of the market, it is reasonable to think that even if Ford “caps” production to 50,000 units in the first year of production, it might not be able to sell that many anyway.

Ford Would Have to Sell More Than 4,000 Mach-Es Per Month to Outsell Production

The Ford Mustang Mach-E’s production volume remained a mystery even after Ford unveiled the electric crossover at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. But those who have been asking that question didn’t have to wait long for an answer. The Detroit News auto reporter, Ian Thibodeau, tweeted the answer after hearing from Ford president Joe Hinrichs, who said that 50,000 units of the Mustang Mach-E will be produced in the first year of production. Hinrichs added that production would be “limited” due to battery availability.

Ford’s plans to build 50,000 units of the Mustang Mach-E in its first year of production comes with the caveat that the volume is limited because it doesn’t have enough batteries to build any more

Still, Ford believes that it can sell at least 4,000 units of the Mustang Mach-E per month in its first year in the market, especially since the 50,000 production cap isn’t limited to the U.S. market. The production cap extends to the global market, specifically markets where Ford will launch the Mustang Mach-E in the coming months. Ford North America Product Communications Manager Mike Levine confirmed that to Slashgear.

Ford Is Limiting the Mustang Mach-E Production in the First Year, But It Won't Sell That Many Anyway Exterior
- image 871949

Unfortunately, battery availability will make it difficult for Ford to build more than it probably wants. The automaker does not have enough lithium-ion battery packs to meet Ford’s expected rate of production for the crossover.

Ford’s decision to prioritize the Mach-E First Edition and the Mach-E Premium means that it would also need to place equal priority in developing the 75.7-kWh standard-range battery pack and the larger 98.8-kWh extended-range battery pack.

The Premium trim will carry the standard range pack with the extended range pack available as an option. The Mach-E First Edition, on the other hand, will come with the extended range pack as standard.

Ford Mach-E Performance
Battery Type Drive Type Performance Horsepower and torque
Select Standard Range Rear-Wheel Drive 255 HP / 306 LB-FT
Select Standard Range All-Wheel Drive 255 HP / 417 LB-FT
Premium Standard Range Rear-Wheel Drive 255 HP / 306 LB-FT
Premium Standard Range All-Wheel Drive 255 HP / 417 LB-FT
Premium Extended Range Rear-Wheel Drive 282 HP / 306 LB-FT
Premium Extended Range All-Wheel Drive 332 HP / 417 LB-FT
First Edition Extended Range All-Wheel Drive 332 HP / 417 LB-FT
California Route 1 Extended Range Rear-Wheel Drive 282 HP / 306 LB-FT
GT Performance Extended Range All-Wheel Drive 459 HP / 612 LB-FT

Ford Has High Hopes If It Expects to Sell 50,000 Mach-Es in the First Year

Ford Is Limiting the Mustang Mach-E Production in the First Year, But It Won't Sell That Many Anyway Exterior
- image 871926

For what it’s worth, Ford’s goal is not impossible. It’s going to be difficult, but it’s not exactly laughable. Part of that is because Ford’s production volume for the first year isn’t just limited to the U.S. market. The markets where Ford will introduce the Mustang Mach-E will also get allocations, though how many will go which market is still unknown. Expect the U.S. market to receive most of the volume, though, so even if those 50,000 units will be shared across different markets, America will likely get the biggest piece of the pie.

In that context, let’s assume that the U.S. market gets half of the 50,000 units.

That’s 25,000 units, which means that Ford has to sell 2,000 units of the Mustang Mach-E per month in the U.S. market and another 2,000 units per month in all other markets combined.

In the case of the U.S. market, it remains an ambitious number considering that a lot of potential customers are still trying to get used to electric crossovers. Take the EV crossovers that are currently on sale in America these days as examples. Audi sells 600 units of the E-Tron per month while Jaguar only sells 200 units of the I-Pace per month. Both models are admittedly more premium and more expensive than the Mustang Mach-E Premium, but the sales averages are still way short of Ford’s goals for its new EV crossover. Could you see Ford, even with its mainstream appeal and popularity in the U.S., sell 10 times as many examples of the Mach-E models than Jaguar’s sales of the I-Pace? It’s hard to think that Ford can do it.

Ford Is Limiting the Mustang Mach-E Production in the First Year, But It Won't Sell That Many Anyway Exterior
- image 871925

Perhaps a better example is the Chevrolet Bolt. Chevy sells 1,500 units of the Bolt per month in the U.S. market. The difference is that it’s already a tried-and-tested model, unlike the Mustang Mach-E. The latter is more appealing, but expect growing pains to come for the Mach-E, too.

As implausible as it sounds, there are reasons to remain optimistic. The electric car market is growing in the U.S. as more and more customers gravitate towards these models. Tesla, for example, sells 12,500 units of the Model 3 per month. That’s an incredible number, even if Tesla was only able to deliver 1,764 units in the first six months on sale.

Final Thoughts

Ford Is Limiting the Mustang Mach-E Production in the First Year, But It Won't Sell That Many Anyway Exterior
- image 871930

I’d like to think that Ford has a plan in place to sell 50,000 units of the Mustang Mach-E in its first year of production. But until that plan — or plans — materialize, it’s hard to imagine Ford selling that many Mustang Mach-E models, especially if it’s going to roll out the more expensive Mustang Mach-E Premium trim before the entry-level Mustang Mach-E Select trim. I’d be more confident if the Select trim arrived first because it’s cheaper and it serves as a solid appetizer before the bigger and more expensive trim models arrive. There’s a scenario where potential buyers could wait for the entry-level model before deciding on what trim they’d like to buy. There’s also a scenario where production delays torpedo Ford’s goals before it even starts.

A lot of things will have to align for Ford to sell 50,000 units of the Mustang Mach-E in its first year of production. Sure, it helps that the total allocation stretches to the global market, but until we know which markets get the EV crossover and how many units these markets get, I’m not prepared to go out on a limb and say that Ford will be able to reach its first-year production goals for its all-new electric crossover. Ford could end up proving me wrong, but for now, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
About the author

Related Articles

Mustang Expert and Historian Starts a Petition to Change The Mustang Mach-E’s Name

How Does the 2020 Ford Mustang Mach-E Compare to Its Main Competition?

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Has Some Interesting and Unique Door Handles

How much Mustang is there in the 2021 Mustang Mach-E?

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Picture Gallery

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Order Books Have Opened - Here’s What You Need to Know

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: