Author: Eric Walzo
Ford Motor Co announced on Sunday that it has started shipping the electric Mach-E to its first customer in China. Ford announced its plans to sell the Mach-E electric SUV in China in January.
Among the first customers to receive their Mach-E was advertising executive and Ford Mustang fan Jin Zhang, who said he would use his Mach-E as a family carrier.
The locally produced Mach-E is sold directly to customers and replaces the traditional dealer experience of buying and taking delivery of a new vehicle. Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales strategy was pioneered, but other electric car makers in China, including NIO and XPG, have adopted a similar sales model to make it easier for customers to take delivery of their new EVs.
To support this effort, Ford is developing a network of direct-to-customer stores located in the major metropolitan markets of China. The automaker said it currently has 25 stores dedicated to selling its electric vehicles in China.
Ford says its retail sales network in China is key to driving electrification in the country, which is the world’s largest auto market.
Ford China was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Shanghai. Ford also operates a 50/50 joint venture in China between Changan Automobile and Ford Motor Company called Changan Ford.
The locally produced Mach E is being produced at Ford’s Changan plant in Chongqing. This joint venture was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Chongqing city.
Ford opened reservations for the Mach-E earlier this year. The Chinese versions include the Mustang Mach-E RWD (remote), RWD Premium (remote), RWD (standard range) and GT First Edition.
Customers who have paid a deposit and signed a purchase contract before 31 December 2021 are entitled to additional benefits, such as a vehicle and battery system warranty, roadside assistance packages, new retail financing and replacement packages, and referral bonuses. Buyers of the Mach-E GT First Edition will also get an exclusive, custom-made, limited edition premium gift package from Ford.
The China-made Mach-E RWD (long-range) has a maximum range of 619 kilometers (384 miles) under China’s light duty vehicle (CLTC) test cycle. It costs 282,000 yuan ($43,450) to qualify for a state-led subsidy capped at 300,000 yuan.
The GT version of the Mach-E has a maximum output power of 359 kW and can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 3.65 seconds.
The China-made Mach-E will also be equipped with the latest driver assistance technology and a Ford infotainment system that supports over-the-air (OTA) updates, so the EV will always be running the latest software.
The Chinese version of the Mach-E will offer Ford’s Co-Pilot360 automated driving and safety suite that will help Chinese drivers anticipate potential driving hazards and improve traffic safety. The Co-Pilot 360 also offers level-2 automatic driving assistance functions, including hands-free driving on some of China’s divided highways.
Ford also claims to be the first automaker in China to offer cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology in mass-production vehicles and will offer the technology at Mach-E.
The China-made Mach-E will be a major competitor to Tesla’s China-made Model Y crossover, which the company recently started producing at its Shanghai factory.
Ford’s electric Mach-E will also compete with Volkswagen’s new ID.4 SUV. In November 2020, Volkswagen launched two new battery-powered ID models in China—the ID.4 CROZZ and ID.X.
Production of the Mach-E in China is part of the automaker’s “Best of Ford, Best of China” strategy announced in 2019 to offer Chinese customers smart electric vehicles and industry-leading state-of-the-art technology.