The Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV could come to Australia – the only barrier is price, and how many local buyers might want one.
So far, the UK is the only right-hand drive market announced to take the vehicle, however Australia is likely to follow soon after given there is no technical impediment and no emissions tests to meet.
Ford US spokeswoman Emma Bergg told CarAdvice at the Los Angeles motor show: “We’ve not announced any other markets. It goes to the US and Europe first and then to China”.
When asked specifically about Australia, the Ford USA representative told CarAdvice: “We will look at each market on a case-by-case basis”.
When contacted today, Ford Australia repeated its earlier comments that it had nothing to announce at present.
In light of the confirmation of right-hand-drive production, Ford Australia said: “Our statement on Mach-E is unchanged. (It) marks a significant milestone in the future of Ford products and the company’s electrification strategy. We have no specific Australia/New Zealand news to with regards to Mach-E”.
Translation: 'we're just not ready to tell you yet'. In the meantime, the company's first hybrid or electric car in Australia will be a plug-in hybrid version of the Ford Escape SUV due in 2020.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E has received a mixed reaction globally since it was unveiled earlier this week. Some fans believe the iconic muscle car badge should not have been used on an electric vehicle.
Even the boss of Ford, William Clay Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, admitted he initially had reservations about the use of the Mustang name.
According to a report in respected US industry journal, Automotive News, the executive chairman of Ford, William Clay Ford, the great-grandson of the company founder Henry Ford, said: “I certainly wasn't sold at the beginning — far from it.”
Mr Ford told Automotive News: “They came to me and said, ‘We really think we can make this Mustang-inspired, really Mustang-like’. I said, ‘You guys aren't telling me you want to call this a Mustang’. No one would say yes, but nobody would say no, either. I said, ‘No, I'm sorry, I don’t want to hurt the brand. This is not going to be a Mustang’.”
However, the development team assured Mr Ford the car would have the performance to live up to the Mustang name – and will be faster than a Mustang V8 muscle car. Use of the name got a tick of approval once Mr Ford took a prototype for a test drive.
“When I drove it, I knew it had to be a Mustang,” Mr Ford told Automotive News. “Frankly, I was getting there before because I believed the team when they were laying all the specs out. As it evolved and I started to see the performance characteristics … at some point I realised: ‘Yeah, this is a Mustang. The pony could go on the grille’.”