The car of the year is no where to be seen with a grand total of three deliveries in 2020. Future Ford Mustang Mach-E owners are now receiving emails stating a delay in delivery pushing over a month out. This shocking news came as no surprise with many breadcrumbs along the way. What some might not realize is that this Tesla Model Y competitor is actually delayed a bit further than face value. Let’s take a look at some facts:
Due to battery availability, Ford planned on producing just 50,000 units within its first year of production. However, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E actually had an expected debut in late 2020.
Reservation holders doubted the claim of a 2020 release with most receiving scheduled delivery dates in early 2021. What’s not understood and left outside of the public eye is the fact that the December delivery timeline was for dealers, not future owners.
See, Ford had it all figured out. Knowing that they’re far from being recognized as an EV leader, they thought it best to provide each EV certified dealership with a test drive unit. These FCTP (Ford Courtesy Transportation Program) units were set to come first with a few restrictions. In short, dealerships were required to use them for test drives and hit a minimum mileage quota before being allowed to place them on sale. This of course would be best for a fast acceptance of the Mustang Mach-E in a mass EV misinformed market and provide better hands-on training for dealer staff.
This is not a standard practice for Ford and was just one of many ways the Mach-E was set to shift things up within the legacy automakers sales structure. Ford Options was revealed, an exclusive leasing program allowing you to take advantage of the $7,500 tax credit, as well as a fully immersive online buying process.
Mass production was scheduled for October with 3,200 units expected and another 4,000 in November. This proved to be a bit too optimistic. In reality, Ford ended up producing just 745 Mach-E’s in October and 2,545 in November, but more on this later. Unbeknown to those following from the outside, this was the first internal sign of a problem.
In mid December, we received dreadful news. Ford’s Mustang Mach-E online portal would be delayed until March. This was the purchasing method meant to be used by reservation holders from the very start. Now those stepping into the car of the future would have to bare the unbearable traditional dealership process.
The year closed off with no test drive units to be found and a total of three Ford Mustang Mach-E’s sold. I need to stress that this isn’t an exaggerative point, there were a total of three actually sold.
However it also closed off with 6,717 electric Mustang Mach-E’s built. This begged the question, where are these cars? Ford’s inventory manager showed them, for the most part, just sitting at the plant. It was a more than a sufficient amount to fulfil their dealer FCTP obligations and at the time, few have even taken the next step in the delivery process, actually being moved.
This is really where things started to become worrisome. If we take a look back to early last year, the VW ID3 was delayed for months thanks to software issues. Could Ford be facing a similar issue? Could it be something more significant with a battery or motor issue? Is Ford simply in over their heads? We have a few answers but the exact reason for these delays are still unknown.
According to one Twitter user in the know, when introducing a new vehicle Ford holds back a few thousand cars to randomly test for issues. If something is found they’re able to adjust and fix before sending these vehicles out for mass production. The Mach-E was only approved to head out in December, a few weeks later than planned.
Due to the delay, Ford has decided to prioritize customer deliveries ahead of the test drive units. It could be months before we see a Ford Mustang Mach-E sitting on a dealer lot ready for test drives. This is slightly worrisome given Ford’s biggest flaw being their dealer networks lack of experience with EV’s. Through our tests, we’ve found that the average Ford dealership simply isn’t ready to take a mass market EV seriously.
Even with retail purchasers skipping the line, some buyers are now receiving emails stating their delivery date has been pushed back.
Ford’s Global EV Communications Manager, Emma Bergg, made the following statement in regards to delayed delivery notifications:
“As part of our commitment to delivering high-quality vehicles, we are conducting additional quality checks on several hundred Mustang Mach-E models built before dealer shipments started last month… As part of our quality process, we want to ensure they meet the quality our customers expect and deserve. We notified affected customers that they may receive their Mustang Mach-Es on different timing than previously discussed. The team is working to expedite these vehicles, and we hope that customers receive them ahead of targeted dates, providing there are no COVID-19-related transportation delays.”
Not every order has been pushed back with clarification pointing towards only the vehicles effected by quality concern issues being held.
That being said, with FCTP units placed on the backburner, Mach-E training complete yet staff still incompetent, and Ford’s online portal delayed, we expect first deliveries of this vehicle to come with a bit of negative feedback.
Last week a handful of Mustang Mach-E’s were spotted at a Kansas City terminal. For those unaware, the logistics behind the Mach-E are simple. The Mustang Mach-E is produced and shipped out via rail from Ford’s Cuautitlan plant to a Kansas City lot where they’re split up and sent out to their respective dealers. Presumably, these are all sold cars heading to dealerships in preparation of delivery.
As of now, it seems cars are finally on the move. Ford’s internal vehicle locator is showing just about a 50/50 split between cars at the plant and cars currently on their way to dealerships. If Ford’s inspection has truly been completed and approved since December and only a few hundred cars had kinks to be worked out, we expect deliveries to finally begin ramping up as early as next month.