Ford Now Tweaks Cars Continuously Like Tesla, Slashes Mach-E Costs by $1,000



According to Automotive News, Ford CEO Jim Farley recently established a task force consisting of purchasing, manufacturing, and engineering teams that were involved in the development and launch of the Mustang Mach-E, with the sole directive of reducing costs and improving profit margins for the company.

The endeavor has already borne fruit, reducing the bill of materials for the all-electric crossover by $1,000 USD.

Darren Palmer, Ford’s General Manager of battery-electric vehicles, said that was made possible during the Mach-E’s active production cycle by Farley instructing them to no longer wait for mid-cycle updates or model-year changeovers to implement improvements and changes.

The move seemingly takes a page from Tesla’s playbook of updating its vehicles constantly, releasing new features and tweaks along the way.

“He said, ‘Gone. Stop that. Take that away,'” Palmer told Automotive News. “We now do continuous improvement. You don’t wait for a model year; you just continually drop them in.”

Ford gave the task force a free hand, and the crew was able to do away with $1,000 in manufacturing and material costs by implementing design changes developed after studying a combination of competitive products, social media input, and connected-vehicle data.

The changes start with reducing the number of pieces in the vehicle’s frunk from nine to two — the fewer pieces there are, the more money Ford saves on both materials and manufacturing — while retaining functionality and key features, like a plastic drain, that are enjoyed by customers.

The Mustang Mach-E’s cooling system has also been cut down, from four motors to two and from 60-70 hoses to about a third of that, while maintaining efficacy.

“It’s not about stripping the car,” said Palmer. “It’s about giving them things they love, but simpler.”

The team also made heated seats standard across all Mustang Mach-E trims, eliminating the cost of the non-heated variants entirely and making heated seats cheaper to source thanks to the increased volume.

“Those are the opportunities we’re going after,” said Farley during Ford’s Q4 2021 and full-year earnings call last week.

“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.”

Palmer declined to say whether the cost savings would be passed on to customers through lower pricing. Back in December, Ford bumped the sticker price of the Mustang Mach-E by up to $2,000.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E was named ‘EV of the Year’ for 2021 by automotive publication Car and Driver.

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