DETROIT — The Mustang Mach-E could mark a change in the way Ford Motor Co. designs and builds new vehicles.
The upcoming electric crossover's over-the-air update capability allows Ford to continuously make improvements and move away from the traditional method of redesigning a vehicle every five or six years and sprinkling a more modest freshening in between. It's a strategy popularized by Tesla Inc., which hasn't significantly changed the sheet metal or powertrains of some of its older electric vehicles since they were introduced but has boosted performance and battery range through regular software upgrades.
"It gives us that optionality," Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's product development and purchasing boss, said in an interview last month. "I think we now have the ability to make the vehicle physically better for the customer with these OTA updates, and that's something that's game-changing in terms of the business model."