2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Plugging into the New Reality

Consumer Demand Pushes Automakers into Unchartered Territory

By Kelly Louiseize

It is fascinating times for large and fledgling auto companies willing to take a shot at manufacturing the next electric vehicle. Its where smaller operations are hoping to make a claim and big car makers are directing their dollars.

Mustang is one of them. This year, Ford Mustang Mach-E was awarded the best utility vehicle in its class by North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year (NACTOY), a non-profit jury consisting of 52 members and considered one of the most prestigious of the auto journal in the world.

It is the first time Mustang manufactured a utility vehicle. They’ve been a convertible since 1964. Marking their name on an all-electric vehicle helped with exposure, Jack R. Nerad, vice president of NACTOY says.


“The styling and performance – it gave it an identity that it would not have had otherwise.”

Over the next decade, the world will witness auto companies large and small bring innovative ideas to the forefront. Small manufacturing companies like Canoo debuting their electric pickup truck will surface.

“It’s a fascinating vehicle, worth a look,” Nerad says. “I think we’ll see a lot of these companies enter the marketplace. Some will be taken, some won’t and we’ll go on.”

Operating car companies are extremely capital intensive and there is an incredible amount of competition, according to Nerad.

Tesla is a good example of how hard a car company must work to stay in consumers’ good graces. They have a stellar product, yet at the same time their vehicles are getting older, Nerad explains. They must have a plan on when their existing fleet of cars will be replaced. Usually, the marketplace will allow a five-to-six-year cadence.

“It’s hard to go beyond that. You must remain fresh, keep reinventing yourself. That is harder and harder to do but it’s good for consumers.”

This is where smaller auto makers come in. It is possible that in the following years fledgling companies would be bought up by the larger brands and their technology installed as part of the auto evolution, Nerad says. Companies like Stellantis has set aside (USD) $6.5 Billion a year for electrical and technology research.

Jack Nerad

Laurance Yap, creative director of Pfaff Automotive Partners says, “more than ever, cars are technological objects as much as they are mechanical objects.”

So that begs the question; has the discussion about which engine performs better from 0-60 mph reached its end? Are we done assessing the difference between the muscle-bound American sports car versus the European sports coupe with smaller displacement engines?

Not yet.

“It seems in some ways Europeans are crossing paths,” Nerad says. “We are seeing V-8 engines coming out of European sports cars and small cylinders in American cars like the turbo charged V-6 engines.”

“Europeans have become really aggressive about expensive and high-performance vehicles.”

BMW will launch their M5 CS edition with a 4.4-liter BMW M Twin Power Turbo V-8 that will crank out 627 horsepower in 2022, the most muscle produced in their M5 line yet.

Back in Southern, Ontario, Laurance Yap says the market for high-end, exclusive cars with high price tags has expanded over the last decade.

“Globally, the number of billionaires and those in the classes below have increased driving demand for hypercars.”

As demand rises, every car company is pushing harder every year to do better than they did before, Yap says.

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