Ford Motor Co. passed a significant milestone in its conversion to electric vehicles, producing more battery-powered Mustangs so far this year than gasoline-fueled versions of its iconic pony car.
Ford has built 27,816 electric Mustang Mach-E models at a plant in Mexico this year compared to 26,089 copies of the traditional internal combustion engine Mustang at a factory in Michigan, according to production data the automaker released Thursday.
CEO Jim Farley said last week that he expects four-in-10 models Ford sells to be electric by 2030, as he revealed plans to boost spending on battery-powered models by 36 percent to $30 billion. The Mach-E went on sale late last year and was the top-selling vehicle in Norway last month. In the U.S., where EV adoption is slower, the gas Mustang still outsells the electric version by nearly three-to-one.
“Mach-E has been much stronger than we expected, so we’ve totally run out of stock,” Farley told reporters at the introduction of the electric F-150 Lightning pickup May 19. “Mach-E is going global as we speak, but in the U.S.” the wait for a Mach-E “is months.”
The global computer-chip shortage hobbling the auto industry played a role in the Mach-E surpassing the traditional Mustang. Farley said the company is prioritizing its newest models, such as the Mach-E and the Bronco SUV, as it distributes its scarce supply of semiconductor modules. Ford’s Flat Rock, Mich., factory built no gas Mustangs last month, according to the production data.
“We have purposely protected our launches -- Bronco, Bronco Sport, Mach-E, F-150,” Farley said. “If we can switch a module over to one of those launch vehicles, we have. We’re very protective of the launches because they are so important for our business.”
Ford said its supply of gasoline-fueled Mustangs is down to 24 days, about one-third of what is considered a healthy inventory.
“We are really excited about the success that we are having with our launch of the all-new Mustang Mach-E, not just here in America, but globally too,” Erich Merkle, Ford’s sales analyst, said in an emailed statement. “To be fair, please keep in mind that Mustang and Flat Rock have been impacted by outside factors, which has been the semiconductor chip shortage.”