Can Ford match Tesla? Mustang Mach E reservations rumoured at more than 30,000 | The Driven
The Ford Mach E. Source: Ford
The Ford Mach E. Source: Ford

Ford has taken more than 30,000 reservations for the Ford Mach E, according to reservation numbers posted by potential owners of the new electric car, but will it prove a solid competitor to the Tesla Model 3?

Unveiled by Ford to the world in November, the Mustang Mach E is the first electric car from the US car giant and is set to be launched in a $US59,900 ($A88,525 converted) “First Edition” limited release from late 2020.

In late December, Ford announced that the entire run of First Edition vehicles had already been sold out (although it did not specify how many that is), and now it would appear that as much as two-thirds of the first annual production run of 50,000 are also reserved.

According to Mach E Club forum member Bob Nelson, the numbers are collated from “reservation numbers, dates, User ID’s and location are from postings on this site and another site: macheforum.com”.

He estimates that based on the last reservation number (100035082) he has seen posted as of Monday, that more than 35,000 vehicles are now reserved.

This may include dealer demo models and media cars, he notes, and accordingly suggests that actual sales numbers may be some 4,000 less.

Even so, if true that’s well more than half of the first annual production run of 50,000 that was confirmed by Ford’s president of automotive Joe Hinrich at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show.

It’s promising for Ford, and although it doesn’t come anywhere near the ten-fold 325,000 reservations taken by Tesla for its Model 3 electric sedan in 2016, to put it in perspective it represents almost half Ford’s 2019 sales of the fossil-fuelled Ford Mustang.

Whether this will lead to Ford selling that many is unlikely: expect a cancellation rate of between 10-25% if going on Tesla reservation cancellation rates reported here and here.

Even so, a 25% cancellation rate could mean 24,000 – nearly half of the first year run – are already accounted for if these figures prove correct.

Does this mean Ford has a chance of competing with leading electric car maker, Tesla?

From late 2020, the Mach E will also be available in a Premium model starting at $US50,600 ($A74,780 converted) available with AWD or RWD in late 2020, and an entry-level Select model available in either AWD or RWD starting at $US43,895 (f$64,840 converted) from early 2021.

This will be joined by a “California RT.1” edition from $US52,400 ($A77,404 converted) in early 2021 and a $US60,500 ($A89,369 converted) GT edition in the northern hemisphere spring 2021.

ford mach E pricing
Source: Ford

These prices sit close to if not above similarly positioned variants of the Model 3, which based on US sales figures provided by Carsalesbase, Tesla sold an average of 13,240 a month in 2019 and almost 160,000 in the entire year.

However, based on a study of geotagged Twitter data compiled by Partcatalog, there is considerable interest in the Mach E.

Visualised in this map below, the geotagged data shows that across 50 US states, there is a preference for the  Model Y, Tesla’s crossover version of the Model 3, in 30 and a preference for the Ford Mustang Mach E in 20 states.

Source: Partcatalog
Source: Partcatalog

Notably, there is more interest for the Mach E in the mid-west and southern states, whereas electric car sales by share (ipso facto Tesla) are highest in California, New York state, and Washington state according to EV Adoption figures for 2018.

With an electric F-150 promised to follow the Mach E, it will be interesting to see how the electric vehicle sales trend when those vehicles finally come to market.

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