Ford wants some Tesla buzz as all-electric Mach-E Mustang hits showrooms

DETROIT – Tesla cars and SUVs are often compared with an iPhone on wheels. Tesla’s four models — the S, 3, X and Y SUV — literally spell out the word “sexy.”

High tech and sex appeal are not things most Fords are known for, but that’s something the 117-year-old automaker hopes to change with the all-electric Mustang Mach-E crossover. It’s the company’s first EV under an $11.5 billion investment plan in electric vehicles through 2022, and it’s Ford’s first shot at Tesla.

“This was intended to be a tech-forward car,” Darren Palmer, global director of battery electric vehicles at Ford, told CNBC at a press briefing. “It’s nothing like anything we’ve ever had before.”

The importance of this vehicle for Ford can’t be overstated. Its success won’t solely be defined by sales alone. Ford is trying to create some Tesla-type buzz and convince Wall Street that its EV plans are headed in the right direction.