Ford's Special Vehicle Teams, or SVT, is responsible for all of the performance models that come from the blue oval. But apparently that name, which has been around for ages, could be changing according to an online survey. To '999.'
The survey, which was sent to us by a tipster, is asking a focus group to evaluate a new name for an automaker's performance division. The name that they're evaluating is '999,' and our tipster tells us that later in the survey it does specify that the name would be for Ford.
999 would be a name with significance to Ford, as their first race car was the Ford 999. Granted, that was a turn of the 20th century racer and not a high tech IndyCar or F1 racer.
SVT used to be Ford's M or AMG in that the name was applied to every performance car that came from Ford. Cars like the SVT Contour, SVT Focus, and SVT Mustang were great domestic alternatives to Euro and Japanese performance cars. But when the Mustang GT500 came out, SVT's branding became muddled. There were Shelby and GT500 badges everywhere, and SVT was relegated to the center caps on the wheels.
Then the ST branding on the Focus and Fiesta totally lost any SVT branding at all. Still, SVT (and before it, SVO), means something. It's an acronym that makes sense. 999 is just a bunch of numbers that a basic consumer won't get. It's a lot easier to say "SVT means Special Vehicle Teams" than tell the story of Henry Ford's first race car in 1901 to an impatient customer that just wants a hatchback.
We'll have to wait and see if this works out. But what do you think? Is SVT or 999 the better name? Let's do some market research for Ford right now.