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Mustang could become a Ford sub-brand – report

Ford is considering making the Mustang a sub-brand, with other vehicles joining the coupe, convertible and new Mach-E electric crossover.
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Mustang is arguably Ford’s most iconic and well-known nameplate, globally. Now Ford's considering on capitalising on the equity in that name and expanding the Mustang stable.

Murat Gueler, the design chief for Ford Europe, told Autocar, “We’ve talked about building a family.”

For those already concerned about the scope creep of an electric crossover bearing the Mustang name, rest assured there are no plans for a wide range of Mustang EVs in different sizes.

“We don’t want to take a Russian doll approach, where you can’t tell them apart other than the size of the car, but we want a family feel where a Ford EV starts to build off this concept,” Gueler told Autocar.

“But we’d never do a smaller version of this - if we did a smaller vehicle it would have different proportions.”

Though the decision to brand the new Mach-E electric crossover a Mustang has proved controversial in some corners, the thinking is clear – a Ford EV with a Mustang badge gets more attention than a Ford EV without.

The Mustang, after all, is an extremely well-known nameplate, Gueler calling it and the Porsche 911 the two most famous sports cars on the planet. That gives the Mustang Mach-E a rich, 55-year heritage to tap into, to help it in the fight against upcoming electric crossovers from the Volkswagen Group, Nissan and others.

Gueler confirmed Mach-E development started in 2014 but it wasn’t conceived as a member of the Mustang stable. In 2017, the whole program was “rebooted” and the Mach-E’s interior and exterior styling and positioning were completely changed.

The latest generation of Mustang – the coupe and convertible, that is – has proven to be a global success, Ford reporting global demand double what it'd expected.

It’s also the most exported generation of Mustang yet, sold in markets as far and wide as Brazil, China, and South Africa.

The Mustang Mach-E marks the first time in the Mustang’s 55-year history that an electric vehicle has worn the name and the first time a Mustang has been offered with four doors.

That’s remarkable consistency for a company that has introduced various permutations of other heritage models – the Ford Thunderbird, for example, was offered with four doors from 1967 until 1971, the Mercury Cougar briefly spawned sedan and wagon variants, and the Lincoln Town Car became a livery variant of the MKT crossover.

Prototypes were produced of Mustang sedans and wagons in the 1960s and 1970s but Ford never approved them for production, though in those years the Mustang shared its platform with a multitude of other passenger cars such as the Ford Falcon.

The Mustang Mach-E isn’t Ford’s first electric vehicle but it’ll be their most widely available EV yet. Earlier EV efforts from the Blue Oval brand include the Ranger EV, produced from 1997 to 2002 and sold only in North America, and the Focus Electric, manufactured from 2011 until 2018 and sold only in Europe and in select markets within North America.

Australia

Though the Mustang Mach-E has been engineered for right-hand drive and will be sold in markets like the UK, it hasn’t been confirmed for Australia.