The online Mach-E Forum today posted emails sent by Ford to Europe-based customers explaining that the first deliveries of the all-electric SUV will be delayed until early 2021. However, a Ford spokesperson told us that the Mustang Mach-E will begin arriving in the US in late 2020, as planned.

Here’s an excerpt of the letter to the UK customer:

Unfortunately, the disruption from COVID-19 at our production facility in North America has resulted in a delay in the delivery of your Mustang Mach-E. We expect deliveries to begin in the UK in early 2021 but can confirm that as one of our pre-order customers, you are the front of the queue.

The Mach-E Forum published similar letters sent to customers in France and The Netherlands.

In late April, the Detroit Free Press and other media outlets reported that Mach-E orders in Norway would be delayed. The media indicated that the all-electric Mustang-inspired SUV would be introduced in Europe before arriving in the US. But that’s not the case.

Emma Bergg, a Ford spokesperson, told us today:

Europe was never getting vehicles before the US. That was an error in a communication and later corrected. It is a planned concurrent launch.

She confirmed that Ford in Europe is informing its customers about the delay until 2021 “due to additional travel time from the plant” in Mexico, where the Mach-E will be produced.

Bergg reiterated that the first deliveries in the US will happen before the end of 2020:

We expect to deliver the all-new Mustang Mach-E to US customers late this year.

Pandemic problems

Last week, Bloomberg reported that the pandemic had caused a delay of Ford’s new F-150 and Bronco sport utility vehicle. The Bloomberg article also suggested that the Mustang Mach-E was among the launches to be delayed.

In that reporting, Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s head of product development and purchasing, said:

Given our inability to work in the assembly plants during the shelter-in-place restrictions, it will have an impact to program timing in terms of the launches. But we expect the launch delays to be commensurate with the duration of the shutdown period.

Given a shutdown of about two months, that would indicate a likely delay of the first Mach-E deliveries from late 2020 to early 2021. However, Bergg said that the first deliveries would remain in this calendar year. In an email to Electrek, she wrote:

We’ve always said Mach-E is coming late this year. It’s still the case. We never said a specific month.

Electrek’s Take

The Mustang Mach-E is a critically important model for Ford. The new Ford EV has tremendous potential to bring electric cars to new waves of mainstream American car buyers. Any delay in its production and first deliveries, even in the face of a global pandemic, could undermine the impact of Ford’s efforts with electric vehicles.

It’s a well-established practice for automakers to release a small number of vehicles within a calendar year to claim victory for an on-time market introduction. Ford never said which month it would begin selling the Mach-E, only that it would be in late 2020. The difference between handing over the first keys in December 2020 versus January 2021 is a matter of optics. The long-term impact is minimal.

Ford deserves a lot of credit for keeping the Mach-E program on schedule despite the lockdown. Its engineers devised new processes that allowed work on the EV to continue from home. Unless the news changes, we’ll see the Mustang Mach-E hit American roads this year, despite the pandemic.

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