Ford Launch of All-Electric SUV Could Pose ‘Compelling Alternative’ to Tesla’s Model 3, Says Credit Suisse

2:10 PM, Nov 14, 2019 — Ford Motor Co. (F) is revving up to launch its first all-electric SUV and the new vehicle will carry the Mustang name that’s been long associated with the company’s muscular sports cars.

The auto maker will begin taking reservations for the Mustang Mach-E from US and European buyers immediately after the vehicle is unveiled at a live-streamed ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday evening, the company said in a Thursday statement.

“Timing will be critical, especially for a limited First Edition,” said Ford, adding that reservations can be made with a $500 refundable deposit. The company will announce the date for reservations from China at a later time.

Ford’s new vehicle highlights the company’s increased emphasis in electrification, and, on a broader scale, underscores larger efforts by major US automakers be relevant in the electrification market, said Credit Suisse in a note published Thursday.

“Yet we believe the key test will lie in challenging Tesla for share in the US market, as Tesla has been the only game in town in the US EV market,” wrote Credit Suisse equity analysts Dan Levy and Robert Moon.

While Credit Suisse rates Tesla (TSLA) at underperform, the investment firm says Tesla’s Model 3 is in a “unique position” as it still hasn’t faced a true competitive threat, particularly in the US market.

The investment bank said there hasn’t yet been an electric vehicle option as compelling as the Model 3 at its price point. Other EV vehicles such as Audi’s e-Tron and Jaguar’s I-PACE sell at premium prices, limiting the pool of buyers, while lower-priced vehicles including Nissan’s Leaf and Chevrolet’s “have internal combustion engine comps that are ~$15k lower — indicating limited interest,” said Credit Suisse.

“Ford’s new [battery electric vehicle] should provide a more compelling alternative at the Model 3 price range than the other comps, especially given the performance focus. However, the ultimate proof point of its success will be if it can truly take BEV share from the Model 3 — far from guaranteed,” the analysts said.

Ford in its statement did not specify a price range for the Mustang Mach-E. Credit Suisse said expectations are for the vehicle to be priced in the mass luxury range, starting between $40,000 to $50,000. That range would be accessible to more buyers than premium-priced cars, it said.

Companies: Ford Motor Company
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