A survey of current car shoppers has found that Ford is right to explain the thought process behind naming its new electric crossover the Mustang Mach-E, as the moniker has an approval rating that'd send any decent politician into hiding.
Autolist questioned approximately 1,000 members of the general public shopping for new vehicles and found that 47 percent disapprove of using the Mustang nameplate on an electric crossover. Only 19 percent supported Ford's choice to call the Mach-E a Mustang, and 34 percent assigned themselves to neither camp.
Note that survey respondents weren't Change.org petition-signing Mustang hardliners. These were Averages Joes and Janes who, given a choice between the Mach-E and the Tesla Model Y, said they'd still pick the Ford 51 percent of the time. While opinions of Tesla among the surveyed group appeared to be mostly positive, Ford-allying respondents said they trusted the Blue Oval and its service network more than they did Tesla, which they weren't certain has much of a future.
"Mustang is practically its own sub-brand with huge name recognition that should help Ford's critical foray into EVs, but at the same time, the automaker has to endure howls of protest from the pony car faithful who hate seeing an icon's legacy get appropriated," commented Autolist analyst Chase Disher. "Tesla has long been seen as an innovator in the electric vehicle space, so for a legacy automaker like Ford to come in and match the Model Y's competitiveness is a good sign for Ford. It shows that Tesla may not have the stranglehold on the Model Y segment that it currently has with the Model 3."
Whether Tesla's notoriously shaky finances allow it a true EV title fight featuring Fremont versus Detroit remains to be seen. Even if it arrives and survives round one, there's no guarantee that the Tesla Cybrtrk—to be revealed Thursday night—can stand against the might of the electric Ford F-series pickup.