Why Ford Insists on Using the Mustang to Sell Electrified Vehicles

Ford, like all automakers, is interested in making electric and hybrid vehicles. Unlike many others, though, it’s proven happy to trade on the reputation of its two most popular vehicles (in sales and in hearts and minds) to sell them.

Whereas Chevy created a whole new vehicle (the Bolt) and Volkswagen created a whole separate lineup (the ID range), Ford wants to leverage the Mustang and the F-150’s reputations to sell its electrified vehicles, according to a Bloomberg report published this week.

“These are two of the most iconic vehicles that we produce,” Bob Taenaka, senior technical leader of Ford’s electrified vehicles department told journalists after a speech about electrification in Detroit this week. So the idea is to show that EVs can be fast and tough, not just efficient.

The point isn’t just to buff up its EV lineup, though. Ford believes that it has to win people over to EVs and hybrids because gas prices aren’t scaring them away from gas guzzlers.

“People are now used to $4- or $5-a-gallon gasoline,” said Taenake. “They might gulp at $5 gas, but they wouldn’t have the same reaction today as was occurring 10 or 20 years ago.”

And while prices may eventually sway people away from traditional vehicles, Taenaka argues that prices would have to double before they had a big impact on sales.

So Ford doesn’t just want to trade on the. Mustang’s name for the sake of tricking people. It believes it has to trade on it to convince them.

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