The launch of the lovely Ford Mach-E has been an interesting one, with a series of delays, cars getting bricked, and a (tiny) recall as models only just begin to roll out to customers. Also of interest is that Ford will start selling these things online, just not to Americans.
Ford announced that it will be launching an EV-specific “organization” as the Detroit News reports:
The organization dedicated to battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, will focus on research and development, manufacturing, sales and user experience for EVs in China, the company said in a news release. Mach-E will be the first vehicle introduced by the organization.
The Mach-E that will be available to customers in China later this year will be built in that country (the version that’s available in North America is built in Mexico). The automaker said prices will range from RMB 265,000 to 379,900, which in U.S. currency translates to about $40,500 to $58,000.
Meanwhile, Ford China said it plans to establish a direct sales network that will operate in 20 major cities across the country. The company said it will offer a “one-stop ‘Everything Online’ experience which includes service appointments, pickup and delivery of cars.”
Ford itself calls this “organization” its “BEV Division” in its press release, laying out that you can order your Mach-E online through a direct sales network:
In order to compete as a challenger and breakthrough in electrification, Ford China established its BEV Division dedicated to R&D, manufacture, sales and user experience of Ford electric vehicles in the country. Mustang Mach-E is also the first product launched by the new BEV Division.
Ford is focused on the future and will adopt a direct sales network to expand across 20 major cities nationwide in 2021 to serve users directly.
Leveraging its existing dealer resources, Ford will offer an enhanced one-stop “Everything Online” experience which includes service appointments, pickup and delivery of cars.
Why Ford doesn’t go ahead and “leverage its existing dealer resources” to allow Americans to do all of their car buying and servicing online is still a mystery. (It’s not a mystery. It’s dealer lobbies, just like it was in Texas with Tesla.) Hopefully this is all at least a step in the right direction.