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Ford drops the price of its Tesla competitor

<i>Peter Valdes-Dapena/CNN</i><br/>Ford is boosting production of its popular Mustang Mach-E electric SUV and dropping its price to compete with Tesla.
Peter Valdes-Dapena/CNN
Ford is boosting production of its popular Mustang Mach-E electric SUV and dropping its price to compete with Tesla.

By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN Business

Ford is boosting production of its popular Mustang Mach-E electric SUV and dropping its sticker price weeks after Tesla dropped prices of its vehicles. The move represents a substantial roll-back of price hikes Ford announced last summer on the 2023 models — but buyers may still be paying somewhat more than before the increases.

The Mustang Mach-E, a midsize electric family SUV, was the first serious electric effort for the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker. Priced and aimed squarely at the Tesla Model Y, which has its own starting price of $53,490, the Mach-E is Ford’s bet to get new car buyers to dip their toes into the battery-powered future. it has since been joined in the electric Ford lineup by the workhorse Ford F-150 Lightning. But the company still considers the Mach-E a crucial step for the company’s electric-powered growth.

Late last year, Darren Palmer, Ford’s vice president of electric vehicle programs, told CNN Business that the Mach-E was completely sold out and the automaker was holding off on launching it in more global markets in order to catch up with US demand.

“We could sell it out at least two or three times over,” he said a the time.

The price cuts Ford announced Monday were biggest on the most expensive versions of the SUV, just as the increases had been biggest on those models. The base sticker of the Mustang Mach-E GT Extended Range, a high-performance version of the SUV, dropped to about $64,000 from $69,900 before, a decrease of $5,900. But that model had been about $62,000 before price increases last August.

When it announced those price bumps, Ford also said it was putting more standard features into the vehicles, including advanced driver assistance features.

The price of the least expensive Mach-E, the rear-wheel-drive standard range model, was cut $900, going from about $46,900 down to $46,000. The price of the extended range battery pack option, by itself, dropped from $8,600 down $7,000.

Tesla announced price cuts of as much as 20% on its electric vehicles earlier this month, after raising prices in 2022.

When Ford announced the price increases last summer, citing supply chain issues, the automakers indicated it would continue monitoring market conditions throughout the upcoming model year.

Ford announced last summer that it was increasing production of the Mach-E as it added capacity for more battery production. The automaker also announced in late August that it was reopening order banks for the Mach-E which had been closed as the company worked to meet existing orders.

Customers who complete the transaction for their Mach-E after today’s announcement will pay the new lower price, Ford said. Ford will reach out directly to Mach-E customers with a sale date after January 1, 2023 who already have their vehicles, the automaker said.

At least some versions of both models are currently eligible for federal electric vehicle tax credits, according to the Internal Revenue Service, but both are treated as cars, not SUVs, under the tax rules, unless equipped with a third row of seats.

That means that tax credits are available for the two-row only Mach-E and two-row Model Y only if the sticker price is below $55,000. For versions of the Model Y with a third row of seats, a $4,000 option, buyers may get tax credits with a sticker price up to $80,000. For the Mustang Mach-E, a third row of seats isn’t offered.

The final amount of the tax credit may depend on when the vehicle is actually delivered to the customer and, also, whether the customers themselves meet annual income requirements.

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