Jan 30, 2023 - Economy

Ford cuts Mustang Mach-E prices amid EV competition

Illustration of Benjamin Franklin in a car's rear view mirror, with a dollar-symbol air freshener.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Ford said Monday morning it's lowering prices for the Mustang Mach-E.

Why it matters: The price war has begun amid growing competition in the EV market.

  • “We are not going to cede ground to anyone," Marin Gjaja, a top Ford EV executive, in a statement.

Driving the news: Ford is cutting 2023 Mach-E prices from $600 to $5,900, depending on the configuration and battery.

  • Ford is the No. 2 U.S. EV seller, far behind Tesla but looking to gain ground.
  • Last year, Mach-E sales grew 45% to well over 39,000 units and Ford also said it's now "significantly" increasing production.

Catch up fast: Ford's move comes two weeks after Tesla cut prices by up to 20% on the Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover.

The Vietnamese startup VinFast has also cut prices as it seeks a beachhead in the U.S. market.

The intrigue: Look for companies to bring the price of more models under the eligibility cap for U.S. consumer purchase subsidies.

Ford's move boosts the number of Mach-E versions under the $55,000 ceiling. It's $80,000 for SUVs and designations of what's-what are controversial.

The big picture: Market leader Tesla and Ford bring strengths and weaknesses to the competition.

  • The 120-year-old Ford actually has a newer EV lineup. In addition to the Mach-E, Ford got into the pickup market faster with the electric F-150 that arrived last year.
  • But Tesla has more room to maneuver on prices. Its profit margin is vastly higher than the legacy automakers, and Tesla last week also vowed to improve its overall business cost structure.
  • "We believe our margins will remain healthy and industry-leading over the course of the year," CEO Elon Musk told analysts on an earnings call.

What we're watching: The intra-GOP politics of EVs. On Saturday, former President Trump used a South Carolina campaign event to bash EVs as he seeks the 2024 GOP nomination.

Yes, but: Red states like Georgia and Tennessee are increasingly home to EV and battery manufacturing with the support of GOP politicians — including South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster.

  • "In the last several months, McMaster and several businesses announced billions of dollars in investments from the electric vehicle industry," The State newspaper's coverage of Trump's rally noted.
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