The task force, comprising purchasing, manufacturing and engineering teams that launched the Mach-E, studied a combination of competitive products, social media input and connected-vehicle data to eliminate $1,000 in cost, Palmer said.
One accomplishment was reducing the number of pieces in the vehicle's frunk from nine to two. Palmer said the team benchmarked the frunk against other vehicles and found less complicated options but wanted to keep certain features that customers enjoy, such as a plastic drain.
"It's not about stripping the car," he said. "It's about giving them things they love, but simpler."
The team also realized it could save money by adding heated seats to a trim that did not originally include them: the California Route 1 edition. Ford monitored social media posts calling for the option, and it discovered through connected-vehicle data that those who did have heated seats used them often.
"It turns out people love heated seats, and they use them in an EV instead of the heated ventilation, so we standardized the heated seats and took out the other one," Palmer said. "We got a better price because we got more volume. It was complexity reduction and building scale, which means we got them much cheaper."
Palmer said the team simplified the vehicle's cooling system, which Farley specifically called out on the earnings call, eliminating two of four motors and about one-third of the hoses it used.
"Those are the opportunities we're going after," Farley said. "And 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."