Ford’s 2021 Mustang Mach-E sells out well ahead of release

Buyer who paid extra for Ford Mustang Mach-E First Edition in Norway still waiting

Ford’s 2021 Mustang Mach-E sells out well ahead of release
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Petter Olsen is a loyal Ford customer who reserved a Grabber Blue 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E on Dec. 27, 2019 — a month after the all-electric SUV was unveiled in Oslo, Norway.

He converted his reservation to an official order on Sept. 17, the first day possible, and splurged on his dream all-electric car for about $69,580 in U.S. dollars. First edition vehicles always cost extra, and the Mach-E sold out.

An email dated Dec. 9 said his car was “ready for production.”

Olsen has waited and waited. He's still waiting.

He's frustrated by a lack of information, updates and communication from Ford. 

Petter Olsen, left, with his daughter, Karin Sofie Ersdal Olsen, when they went to see the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E for the first time on Jan. 28 at Ford dealer in Stavanger, Norway, Kverneland Bil Ford Bilhuset. (Photo: Britt Karin Ersdal Olsen)

Olsen isn't alone, according to the international MachEforum.com. 

“Quite a few of us,” said Olsen, 52, a media manager who lives in the southwest coast of Norway in the town of Bryne, “are … somewhat put off by the fact that the promise of the First Editions being the first to arrive, and those having preordered first being the first to take delivery, doesn't seem to be honored.”

Back in the States, Ford spokeswoman Emma Bergg said, “We know that customers are waiting. We're grateful for their patience. I wish we could get cars to them quicker. Boats are on their way.”

Customer car delivery is imminent; but none had arrived yet, she said Monday. 

“It's not that Norway is getting them last, it's just geography,” Bergg said.

“We are excited about the tremendous interest and enthusiasm in Europe for the new Mustang Mach-E and we can’t wait to get the new electric SUV into the hands of more of our customers,” she said.

“More than half of the Mustang Mach-Es in transit to Europe are on their way to Norway. We began deliveries in the U.S. at the end of 2020, as planned, and are on track to begin deliveries starting in spring in Europe. Ford is committed to delivering a high-quality vehicle so delivery timing will vary by market. First Edition customers will be among the first to receive their orders.”

After the pandemic struck, Ford Norway emailed customers on April 23, saying that deliveries were planned for November. Then on May 25, Ford Norway alerted customers that factory closures led to additional delays and customers should expect deliveries beginning in 2021, Olsen said.

“Being one of the many who had preordered, I was assured that I would be among those first in line,” he said. “I suppose the biggest problem with the communication from Ford Motor Norway is the relatively long gaps between emails. And they honestly don't seem to know much about the progress of the production in Mexico and time of delivery.”

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European Vehicle Identification Numbers aren't compatible with the official tracking site from Ford, so customers outside the U.S. must rely on the unofficial Fordtracker.tech, Olsen said.

He just learned from the non-Ford-affiliated tracking service that his vehicle was built March 13. But there's no shipping date or delivery date in the Fordtracker yet and the Ford Norway system indicates the vehicle has an estimated arrival date of June 12, Olsen said.

“As far as I understand it, we will not have an official confirmation from Ford Motor Norway about the progress until the car is on a ship from Mexico or even when it reaches Antwerp, where we understand that the cars will undergo quality controls before being shipped to end destinations,” he said.

“The point is that we have to find such information by use of non-official sources. Buyers who don't use such sources and who don't ask around will know nothing more than the emails Ford Motor Norway choose to send out  — the most recent email to date is from Jan. 25,” Olsen said.

Ford has done post-production quality review on new Mustang Mach-E SUVs in the U.S., too, as well as quality review holds on 2021 Ford F-150s built at Dearborn Truck and Kansas City Assembly in Missouri, as first reported by the Free Press.

Petter Olsen, seen here at the old Tinfos industrial site in the eastern town of Notodden, Norway, on July 10 is waiting and wondering about when his 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E First Edition will be delivered. (Photo: Britt Karin Ersdal Olsen)

“We would very much to be told about delays and other problems instead of having to ask customer service of Ford Motor Norway or piecing together information ourselves from various forums and groups,” Olsen said. “Customers would be ly to forgive and understand much more when they feel informed about steps and hurdles.”

Valuable market

Norway has been in the spotlight in recent months. During the Super Bowl, General Motors ran a spot highlighting electric vehicles in Norway despite not selling there and Ford Norway released a spot on poking fun at GM.

More: Ford confirms delay of hundreds of 2021 Mustang Mach-E deliveries for quality review

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Norway is key to global sales strategies for electric vehicles. Ford CEO Jim Farley has said drivers in Norway are early adopters with innovative sustainability policies. Battery-electric vehicles accounted for 54.3% of new cars sold in 2020, up from 42.4% in 2019, according to the Norwegian Road Federation.

Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley stands in January with a 2021 Mustang Mach-E 4X model outside of the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit. (Photo: Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press)

In the U.S., Ford revealed it had sold 3,977 Mach-Es through February.

The company hasn't disclosed global sales yet.

61 Norwegians

The unofficial tracker used by Europeans has led to 61 Norwegians volunteering to share their Mach-E delivery information to build a spreadsheet and track Ford data themselves, Olsen said.

Of the 61 buyers who have confirmed orders, 45 confirmed the vehicles are in transit and no one has taken delivery, he said. The group of Ford Mustang Mach-E owners in Norway has 4,000 members, Olsen confirmed. 

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Carscoops.com reported Dec. 10 that Ford posted on Instagram images of Mach-E vehicles arriving in Norway.

“However, these are thought to be all demo vehicles, and not customer models,” according to the site. The same images were not posted on the page.

Bergg confirmed Monday that customer vehicles had not arrived in Norway yet.

She did provide an image used earlier this year to generate interest.

A 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E demo vehicle pictured in front of the Oslo Opera House in Norway in early 2021 to build anticipation for upcoming deliveries. (Photo: Ford Norway)

All of this is a bit confusing to buyers in Norway, Olsen said.

“As far as I know, 23 Mach-Es in total have so far been registered to their Norwegian owners, meaning that the cars have arrived in Norway. Those are ly demo and/or dealer cars,” Olsen said. 

“I've test driven a Mach-E in my hometown three times, but I haven't seen one being driven live by somebody else yet,” he said. “Being a Ford guy, I'm truly looking forward to taking delivery of the car, when the call from the dealer comes.”

Olsen praised his local dealer, saying the team is doing all it can with limited information. His family currently owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta stick shift and a 2017 motor home the Ford Transit. Olsen sold his 2009 Ford Mondeo automatic to help pay for the Mach-E.

Call, email, anything

Customer communication with early adopters of an all-new electric vehicle from a company without a lot of electric vehicle experience is essential, said Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iSeeCars.com, a car listing and data site.

“Short delays are quickly forgotten once the vehicles arrive, but repeated delays, especially if there are issues after the vehicles finally arrive, can damage a new model’s launch,” he said. “If Ford is ensuring the quality of the Mach-E and it arrives later than planned, but with minimal or no issues as a result, that won’t be a problem.”

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Communication can make, or break, a relationship between a company and its customers, Brauer said.

Karl Brauer, former executive editor of Kelley Blue Book and now an executive analyst with shopping site iSeeCars.com, says customer communication is essential during product launches. He is seen here in 2019 in Irvine, California. (Photo: Karl Brauer)

“While nobody wants a delay when purchasing a new car, responsive customer feedback goes a long way in soothing buyer frustration,” he said. “Providing updates, even if the update is essentially 'Sorry, you’ll have to wait a bit longer,' lets customers feel connected to the car’s launch status.”

More: Ford cuts price of 2021 Mustang Mach-E: Here's the breakdown

Ford has said it plans to build an estimated 50,000 Mach-E SUVs for global delivery. The vehicle won the 2021 North American Utility of the Year.

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Mach-E prices in the U.S. start at $42,895 for a rear-drive model. Adding a second motor powering the front axle for all-wheel drive raises the base price to $45,595. Prices for currently available models go to $49,800 for a California Route 1. A limited first edition of AWD models sold out at $58,300 apiece. All prices exclude destination charges.

Contact Phoebe Wall Howard at 313-222-6512or phoward@freepress.com. Follow her on @phoebesaid. Read more on Ford and sign up for our autos newsletter.

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