CEO: Ford plans to “reengineer” Mustang Mach-E incrementally, won’t save improvements for mid-cycle refresh

The Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV will get continual incremental updates instead of the industry-standard mid-cycle refresh, CEO Jim Farley said Thursday during the automaker’s quarterly earnings call.

Automakers generally save improvements for mid-cycle refreshes, so named because they’re timed at the midway point between redesigns. But Ford is “finding lots of profit opportunities” from potential changes that it wants to exploit as soon as possible, Farley said.

“If I showed you our cooling system for Mach-E it has four motors, probably needs to be two,” Farley said. “It has 60 or 70 hoses, probably needs to be one third of that. And those are the opportunities we’re going after. And we are not going to wait for next year. We’re not going to wait for a minor change. We are going to reengineer that vehicle now and then use that expertise for Lightning, E-Transit and of course our all electric platforms.”

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E Ice White Appearance Package

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E Ice White Appearance Package

Farley also said that he hasn’t had the chance to take so much cost out of a product after Job One. We think this claimed ability to find cost savings after the start of production might potentially allow Ford to make more vehicles at a lower cost, and maybe lower the price.

This closely follows what Mustang Mach-E chief engineer Donna Dickson revealed in a 2021 interview. The two-motor coolant pump was one of several hardware changes she mentioned aimed at reducing weight and improving range.

Ford is planning for “year-over-year improvement” in range through the 2024 model year, Dickson said. So far, the 2022 Mach-E has achieved a maximum range of 314 miles, up from 305 miles for the 2021 model.

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E Ice White Appearance Package

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E Ice White Appearance Package

The incremental-improvement strategy described by Farley and Dickson also more closely follows Tesla, which has rolled out big improvements that would be major redesigns at other automakers as running changes.

Ford plans to triple Mach-E production by 2023. Maybe some of these improvements will already be included by then.

The automaker also recently boosted F-150 Lightning production plans to 150,000 annually. While the Lightning is based on current internal-combustion F-150 underpinnings, Ford is also working toward a next-generation full-size electric truck with “incredibly high volume” based on a new platform.

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