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InsideEVs published an interesting op-ed about the Mach-E and whether or not it will survive.

I think there's a bit too much Tesla arrogance in the writing but it does raise an interesting point about the challenges of legacy automakers like Ford producing EVs.

I just read Tom Moloughney's article "2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Nearly Sold Out."

Before going on (OK, maybe going off would be more appropriate) about the topic of the article, I want to say, "good job Tom." I enjoy watching Tom on Alex Guberman's YouTube channel, E for Electric. Tom is as easy and enjoyable to read as he is to listen to.

The first thing that comes to mind is the question, "Why only 50 k vehicles in 2021"? We all can remember the Tesla skeptics saying that "the big boys are coming" and they are going to slay Tesla. Yet Tesla delivered about 100k Model 3 sedans in its first full year (2018) of production. But, Ford is a major auto manufacturer with all the weight of a Goliath. I would have thought that it could most certainly put its weight behind this project and sell scads of Mustang Mach-E vehicles.

The Mach-e seems, by all appearances and reports, to be a fairly decent and well-priced EV. I would be surprised if Ford couldn't sell 120,000 of them a year in the first few years of production. I firmly believe that the addressable market is there to support at least that level of deliveries. Interest in EVs continues to rise. By all rights, with the Mach-e, Ford should be able to acquire plenty of EV customers.

So why the small production number? Perhaps it isn't all that easy to produce electric cars? Those self-proclaimed pundits who sang, and continue to sing, the off-pitch competition song just don't get it. It appears that no one will truly be able to challenge Tesla in this space (meaning Tesla's target market segment), at least not in the near future.

Tesla keeps racing ahead. It seems it can't be caught. I suspect that the coming Battery and Powertrain Investor Day will make that ever so clear.

Is it that, or there is another possible explanation? Perhaps it is in truth as Eric Noble stated on Autoline After Hours when the Mach-e launched (1). While sitting with Dave Pericak, Ford's Global Director of Icons, Mr. Noble asserted his belief that all EVs built by legacy automakers are, in fact, compliance cars.

He maintains that Ford, for example, will only build and sell as many Mustang Mach-E crossovers as is required by mandate. He said, "I don't think there's a manufacturer out there that would do an EV if they didn't have to." Mr. Pericak took that comment and didn’t really counter that the Mach-e wasn’t a compliance car.

So, while a great number of us EV fans would love to see Ford floor it and sell hundreds of thousands of Mach-e vehicles, alongside Tesla's growing deliveries, it doesn't look like that is going to happen, at least not yet. But maybe, just maybe, in a couple of years then Ford and other legacy automakers will begin to amp up the joules and let 'er rip. That is, if they're still around.
 

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Will Tesla survive ? : they sold 30.000 vehicles in the Netherlands in december 2019. In 2020 it sales get down to 320 over 2 months.

Ford builds the year volume of Tesla in a month. They will do that the next years. They made the right decision with the right model a the right time. loss of 2019 is mostly incidental costs.

They will survive.
 

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I won't say that article is a hit-piece intended to scare people away from the Mach-E (or any legacy car maker), but it is definitely a premature conclusion based on specious logic. As mentioned, Tesla burned cash at an exceptional rate before finally making a profit for the first time LAST YEAR - and they managed to survive that hardship. While traditional carmakers have had very little impact on the EV market so far, the EV market itself has been insignificant compared to the ICE market. Being the biggest seller in a niche market is not nearly the same thing as cornering a large established market; just ask Blackberry how directly being the only smartphone in 2005 translated into owning the mature smart phone market in 2019.

Tesla could very well be the largest auto maker one day; they could just as easily end up being a footnote in the history books of EV's
 

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They also fail to mention that the 50k limit is not because Ford can’t build more, but that Ford was only promised enough batteries from LG to accommodate 50k units.
They also fail to mention: Tesla has not yet turned a yearly profit in its 17 year existence (Tesla was founded July 1, 2003.) yet it survives. Ford just stepped into the game, and it will not need 17 years to get up to speed.
 

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Interesting take on the article, I am sure there are many people who share your view.
I think the thing people miss when comparing "traditional" car manufacturers to Tesla is that valuation and growth are not the same thing as market share.

Tesla sold ~370k cars in 2019, ford sold ~2m
That massive scale comes from an infrastructure which is in place from manufacturing to sales to delivery and maintenance.
Tesla is extremely impressive and their growth is outstanding but they can not achieve Ford scale yet.

I think the main difference also revolves around marketing. Tesla is a very powerful brand, in fact, it is more like an iPhone than a car in the way it is being marketed.
A company like Ford or Toyota can't possibly pull off the same strategy.

Take a look at the Tesla 3 as an example:
It was announced on May 2016 with deliveries due mid-2017, Tesla took on more than 450k orders.
They encountered production issues and bottlenecks, had to work round the clock, had to raise $2b dollars in extra capitol and still managed to only deliver about 200 cars in Q3 2017.
People that ordered their car a day after the official launch, got their car on Q4 2018, so about a year after their presumed delivery date, oh and that is only for the high-end (~$55k) model and not the $35k model that was also announced in 2016, that one came out in Q2 2019...

Now try to imagine Ford doing the same thing:
1. Stand in line at a ford agency for 4 hours to be among the first to order the Mach-E
2. Put $1000 down now with delivery date scheduled for mid-2022
3. Have ford miss that deadline by a full year (mid-2023)
4. Have ford contact you in 2022 and tell you: "you can have the car in mid-2023 but you have to buy the Premium AWD + Extended range, otherwise wait another 6 months"

No car manufacturer on earth can pull that off, only Tesla. If Toyota or Ford or GM did that, all reservations would be cancelled.
My point being, I think Ford know they have the expertise to scale up production if they need to. But they have enough experience to not over commit on a new market without first testing the waters.
 

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Interesting take on the article, I am sure there are many people who share your view.
I think the thing people miss when comparing "traditional" car manufacturers to Tesla is that valuation and growth are not the same thing as market share.

Tesla sold ~370k cars in 2019, ford sold ~2m
That massive scale comes from an infrastructure which is in place from manufacturing to sales to delivery and maintenance.
Tesla is extremely impressive and their growth is outstanding but they can not achieve Ford scale yet.

I think the main difference also revolves around marketing. Tesla is a very powerful brand, in fact, it is more like an iPhone than a car in the way it is being marketed.
A company like Ford or Toyota can't possibly pull off the same strategy.

Take a look at the Tesla 3 as an example:
It was announced on May 2016 with deliveries due mid-2017, Tesla took on more than 450k orders.
They encountered production issues and bottlenecks, had to work round the clock, had to raise $2b dollars in extra capitol and still managed to only deliver about 200 cars in Q3 2017.
People that ordered their car a day after the official launch, got their car on Q4 2018, so about a year after their presumed delivery date, oh and that is only for the high-end (~$55k) model and not the $35k model that was also announced in 2016, that one came out in Q2 2019...

Now try to imagine Ford doing the same thing:
1. Stand in line at a ford agency for 4 hours to be among the first to order the Mach-E
2. Put $1000 down now with delivery date scheduled for mid-2022
3. Have ford miss that deadline by a full year (mid-2023)
4. Have ford contact you in 2022 and tell you: "you can have the car in mid-2023 but you have to buy the Premium AWD + Extended range, otherwise wait another 6 months"

No car manufacturer on earth can pull that off, only Tesla. If Toyota or Ford or GM did that, all reservations would be cancelled.
My point being, I think Ford know they have the expertise to scale up production if they need to. But they have enough experience to not over commit on a new market without first testing the waters.
Good take. I have similar views.

Just one correction: Ford sold 2.4m in the US alone, they sold ~4.3m worldwide. And it was an off-year for them.
 

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They also fail to mention that the 50k limit is not because Ford can’t build more, but that Ford was only promised enough batteries from LG to accommodate 50k units.
To Tesla’s credit, they identified that batteries were the weak point in the supply chain and took that head on with the gigafactory. If Ford really wants to be a big player in the EV market, they’re going to have to become their own battery supplier.
 

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To Tesla’s credit, they identified that batteries were the weak point in the supply chain and took that head on with the gigafactory. If Ford really wants to be a big player in the EV market, they’re going to have to become their own battery supplier.
In interviews, Ford execs have said just that.
In the short-term the are building battery assembly plants near their factories making EVs, and partnering with LG to make the cells. Its the fastest way to get in the game.
Remember the first gigafactory went into limited production in 2016 and is still not the cradle-to-grave facility envisioned by Elon. Maybe in a year or so it will be.
That means it took Tesla 10 years before they introduced the idea in 2013 as a viable project, and from concept to reality, it will have taken 7 to 8 years more.
Just like Tesla has taken advantage of the 100+ years of automobile mass-production innovation and hand-picked the equipment and methods available to make their cars in a relatively short time, legacy manufacturers will build upon what Tesla had done in the EV space to expedite theirs.
All this said, I really don’t care who did what, as long as everyone gets it done. Its long overdue.
 
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