Ford Won’t Use the Mach 1 Name for an SUV; Tries to Play it Off as an "Evaluation."
It took a while for the company to realize it, but still, better late than neverby Kirby, on
Ford has backtracked off its plans to use the “Mach 1” name on a future electric crossover. The American automaker reportedly received considerable blowback from fans and customers — us, included — when it floated the idea a few months ago. And so, the former Mustang badge is back in the vault. Ford still plans to infuse the forthcoming crossover with the Mustang’s DNA, but the Mach 1 name appears to have been spared from all that.
The ‘Mach 1’ is synonymous with the Ford Mustang, and while it is easy to understand Ford’s plan to infuse the crossover with the Mustang’s genes, desecrating the Mach 1 name isn’t a way to do it.
There’s nothing like a constant wave of criticism coming from all corners of the room to help Ford see the error of its ways. The company’s made a good decision to not use the ‘Mach 1’ name on an electric crossover because it really wasn’t the right to do from the beginning. The ‘Mach 1’ is synonymous with the Ford Mustang, and while it is easy to understand Ford’s plan to infuse the crossover with the Mustang’s genes, desecrating the Mach 1 name isn’t a way to do it.
Of course, Ford is already spinning its decision to soften the criticism. In a conversation with Automotive News Ford’s president of global markets, Jim Farley, tried to defuse the situation, saying that the company put out its plans “to evaluate” the reaction from the public. It probably didn’t expect the overwhelmingly negative reaction it got, but it got the message loud and clear. “There are pros and cons,” Farley told Automotive News. I don’t want to handicap it at this point, but we got a very strong reaction from people.”
There are still plans to tap into the Mustang’s DNA, specifically in terms of its looks and performance abilities.
Ford’s not going to acknowledge the pushback it received from fans and customers, nor should it. Doing so would open the company to even more criticism. Instead, it appears to have taken the opposite route, expunging all evidence that it considered using Mach 1 on an electric crossover. The company’s media site and YouTube channels have reportedly taken down any reference to it.
So the Mach 1 debate is dead, and it was pretty lopsided, too. But just because Ford’s ditching plans to use it on its electric crossover, that doesn’t mean the company’s going to change its plans for its EV model entirely. There are still plans to tap into the Mustang’s DNA, specifically in terms of its looks and performance abilities. That’s still a tricky gamble considering what Ford just went through with the Mach 1 debacle, but it’s a risk that the company is better off taking. With so many electric crossovers being pushed to the forefront these days, companies need to take bold risks to stand out. Using the Mach 1 name on an electric crossover may have flamed out, but tapping into the ‘Stang’s genes to create a unique performance-based electric crossover could still have some potential to it.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Ford Mustang Mach 1.
Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.
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Source: Auto News