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福特給野馬充電,將挑戰特斯拉

Doron Levin 2019年11月24日

當前的車市已經進入了電動汽車和SUV當道的時代,福特野馬這樣的大排量跑車已顯得格格不入。但福特絕不會坐視野馬變成無人問津的“老馬”。

成立一個多世紀以來,福特汽車公司已經生產了數百萬輛汽車,其中不乏一些家喻戶曉的車型,比如Model T、獵鷹(Falcon)、Fairlane、雷鳥(Thunderbird)、金牛座(Taurus)、蒙迪歐(Fusion)和F-150等等。但如果你要問福特旗下最獨樹一幟的車型,大部分人會毫不猶豫地回答:野馬(Mustang)。

自從野馬跑車在1964年的紐約世博會上亮相以來,它便以平價、強悍、既實用(居然還有后排座位)又不實用(功率高達760馬力)的形象,迅速成為了美國人民心中速度與激情的象征。在今年的大熱電影《驚奇隊長》(Captain Marvel)中,主角有一次閃回到她的年輕時代,當時在機庫旁邊,就停著她的那輛大紅色的第一代福特野馬。

但是光靠情懷是賣不動車的。在這個四門跨界車當道且電動汽車即將成為主流的年代,這樣一臺兩門的燒油機器注定了只能是賠本賺吆喝的命。2019年前9個月,福特在美國一共賣出55,365臺野馬——美國也是該車型的最大市場。這個數據較上年同期下降了10%,大概只相當于F系列皮卡三個星期的銷量。

午饭福利视频合集40For more than a century, Ford Motor Co. has manufactured many millions of vehicles with names like Model T, Falcon, Fairlane, Thunderbird, Taurus, Fusion, and F-150. But ask anyone which brand stands apart from the rest, and you’ll get the same answer: Mustang.

Since its introduction at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the sporty Mustang—affordable, powerful, as impractical (up to 760 horsepower!) as it is practical (it has a back seat!)—has developed into a pulse-quickening symbol of America’s particular obsession with the open road. Indeed, when the titular character in this year’s hit film Captain Marvel午饭福利视频合集40 experiences a flashback to her younger days as a military pilot, she’s pictured outside the hangar beside her candy-apple-red, first-?generation Ford Mustang.

But symbols don’t necessarily lead to sales, and the ’Stang—a two-door sports car in an age of four-door crossovers, a gasoline burner at the dawn of an electric age—has lately claimed more in the way of reputation than revenue. In the first nine months of 2019, Ford sold 55,365 Mustangs in the U.S., the model’s largest market. That’s down 10% from the same period last year, and about as many Mustangs sold in three quarters as Ford sells F Series trucks in three weeks.

福特全新野馬Mach-E的前臉保持了家族式設計特征,只是棄用了老款的蜂巢式格柵——畢竟它不需要對內燃機引擎進行冷卻。圖片來源:PHOTOGRAPH BY MARVIN SHAOUNI
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午饭福利视频合集40雖然如此,野馬仍然是全球最暢銷的運動轎跑,從第一代算起,野馬的銷量已經達到1000萬臺以上。那么,當這個世界已經不再癡迷于購買運動轎跑時,福特該怎么辦?

福特的答案是野馬Mach-E,這即便對于福特這家全球第六大汽車廠商也是一場豪賭。除了我們熟悉的“飛馬”標志,整臺車上幾乎很難找到與老款相似的地方。野馬Mach-E的線條較老款更加流暢,延長了前引擎蓋的長度,行李廂的長度則相應有所縮短,以適應四個車門的圓潤造型。新野馬依然采用后輪驅動。它標志性的大排量內燃機引擎也被一臺安靜的電機所取代。(不過為了提醒行人和符合美國監管機構的要求,福特將為它配備人工提醒音。)它的零售價預計在4萬美元的區間上,還可以享受7500美元的聯邦補貼。這個價格比27000美元的汽油款高出不少,不過面對時下大賣的特斯拉Model 3卻是有實力一戰的。它的續航里程約為300英里,也與Model 3不相上下。

對于全球的野馬粉們來說,Mach-E是一次不同尋常的嘗試,很多人甚至可能將其斥為“異端”。前福特工程師、Navigant公司的汽車業分析師山姆·阿布薩米德認為:“我并不百分之百確信將這款車型冠上‘野馬’的名字是個好主意。這樣有可能會玷污這個品牌,我也不確定消費者會不會接受它。”

不過在福特看來,野馬Mach-E是一款專門瞄準了2020年汽車市場的產品,它保留了野馬的靈魂——平價(勉強算是)、強悍、既有點實用又不太實用。在全球汽車產業加速電動化和行業銷量下滑的大背景下,沒有一家汽車廠商是不受影響的。野馬Mach-E正是福特為了順應新趨勢而大膽重塑造其品牌形象的試水之作。

Still, the Mustang remains the world’s bestselling sports coupe, and 10 million have sold since the first one rolled off the production line. So what do you do when the world isn’t terribly interested in buying sports coupes?

Enter the Mustang Mach-E, a gamble so great for the world’s sixth-largest automaker that the galloping horse on the vehicle’s grille is one of the few things in common with its predecessor. The Mustang’s slinky silhouette—long hood, short rear deck—has been altered to accommodate the bulbous curves of a four-door, albeit still rear-wheel-drive, utility vehicle. Its signature snarl, courtesy of the internal combustion engine, has been replaced by the subtle whine of a battery-powered electric motor. (Ford will add an artificial sound for the benefit of unwary pedestrians and U.S. regulators.) It’s expected to retail in the $40,000 range with a $7,500 federal rebate, a substantial premium over the $27,000 gasoline-?powered base Mustang but competitive with electric-auto maker Tesla’s popular Model 3 sedan. Its range is approximately 300 miles, also on par with the Model 3.

To Mustang fans around the globe, the Mach-E is an extraordinary, arguably heretical revision of what it means to be a Mustang. “I’m not 100% convinced badging this car a Mustang is a good idea,” says Sam Abuelsamid, a Navigant mobility analyst and former Ford engineer. “Calling it a Mustang has the potential of polluting the brand, and I’m not certain the audience will go for it.”

But to its maker, the Mustang Mach-E—aimed squarely at the heart of the automotive market in 2020—retains the spirit of the original: (almost) affordable, powerful, and a little bit practical and impractical. It is an electrified embrace of where Ford believes the world is headed and a daring move to reimagine its best-known brand in the face of industrywide sales declines that have left no automaker untouched.

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《財富》采訪福特汽車公司執行董事長比爾·福特

《財富》:野馬這個品牌對你們意味著什么?

比爾·福特:它是有史以來我最喜歡的一款車型,我自己擁有很多臺野馬——在我10歲到15歲的時候。

Fortune: What does the Mustang brand mean to you?

Bill Ford:午饭福利视频合集40 My favorite of all time. And I own a lot of them—between 10 and 15.

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午饭福利视频合集40沒有人要求福特非得搞一輛電動版的野馬出來。福特本來可以搞一臺實用性更強的電動汽車,然而給它安一個不那么美國味兒的名字,然后把它定位成一款零排放的家用車,就像日產Leaf、寶馬i3、雪佛蘭Bolt等等。問題是,這三款車型的銷量也都不是很理想。

汽車網站Autoline的站長約翰·麥克爾羅伊指出:“特斯拉讓汽車行業認識到,如果你的電動車型是一部為了滿足嚴格的排放和燃油效率標準而設計的‘合規’車型,那一定是一場災難。如果你想造電動汽車,它首先外型要好看,其次續航里程要長,再次要讓人產生購買欲。然后你才有機會賺到錢。”

午饭福利视频合集40盡管特斯拉的知名度很高,但在美國,路面上行駛的電動汽車數量仍然相對較少,在約2.75億輛注冊的乘車輛中,電動汽車只有大約100萬輛。但由于國內外制造商都面臨著減排壓力,美國及世界各地的電動汽車銷量也都在逐年增長。據福特估計,到2025年,美國電動汽車年銷量將增長至150萬輛,車型種類將達100種以上。

No one asked Ford to mess with the Mustang. The automaker could have brought to market a far more utilitarian electric vehicle, given it a name that wasn’t already part of Americana, and positioned it to signal zero-?emission virtue in the tradition of EV models such as the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, or Chevy Bolt. The problem: All three of those models have struggled with uninspiring sales.

“Tesla taught the industry that doing a ‘compliance’ car”—built mainly to satisfy stringent pollution and fuel efficiency standards—“is a disaster,” says John McElroy, host of the news and analysis website Autoline. “If you’re going to make an electric, it better look great, have good range between charges, and be desirable. Then you have a chance to make a profit.”

午饭福利视频合集40Despite the mindshare that Tesla enjoys, the number of EVs on American roads remains relatively small, representing 1 million of the approximately 275 million passenger-registered vehicles. But with manufacturers under regulatory pressure at home and abroad to limit carbon emissions, the number of EVs sold each year is growing, both in the U.S. and overseas. Ford expects EV sales to grow to 1.5 million a year in the U.S. by 2025, comprising more than 100 different models.

野馬Mach-E車型左前葉子板上方的充電接口。圖片來源:PHOTOGRAPH BY MARVIN SHAOUNI
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不過很多消費者對電動汽車仍持謹慎樂觀態度。調查顯示,大多數老百姓認為電動汽車的車速太慢,在極端天氣下表現堪憂,而且充電時間太長——福特認為這些傳言是“以訛傳訛”。真到了要掏錢買車的時候,連行業觀察人士對電動汽車也不是很有信心。比如《底特律新聞》(Detroit News午饭福利视频合集40)的汽車評論員亨利·佩恩曾經表示,他對新能源車型“毫無興趣”——直到他自己買了一輛特斯拉Model 3才“真香”了一把。

午饭福利视频合集40“特斯拉將電池和電機放在比較低的位置,因此它的重心也比較低,這正是一臺跑車應有的素質。”佩恩還表示,特斯拉的軟件也很有吸引力:“一切操作都可以通過觸屏完成,而且車載軟件的無線升級功能也很酷炫——就像你的智能手機一樣。”

午饭福利视频合集40福特對汽車電動化并不陌生。雖然豐田的普銳斯(Prius)才是油電混合動力的先行者,但福特也沒有落后很多,它在2004年就推出了混動版的Escape SUV,以省油為主要賣點。當時人們普遍認為汽油價格太高了,美國國內的環保主義情緒也在抬頭,而且石油的重要性也在一定程度上讓阿拉伯產油國綁架了西方國家的外交政策。當時市面上的多數混動車型賣得都很不錯,而且混動車型的駕駛感受與傳統燃油車大同小異,因此比較容易被駕駛員接受。

Still, consumers remain cautious. Surveys show a majority of the public believes that EVs are too slow, perform poorly in extreme weather, and take too long to charge—persistent concerns that Ford classifies as “myths.” When their own income is involved, even industry observers are skeptical. Henry Payne, an automotive critic at the Detroit News午饭福利视频合集40, says he had “no interest” in environmentally friendly cars—until he bought a Tesla Model 3.

午饭福利视频合集40“Tesla positions the battery and motors low, meaning a low center of gravity—just what you’re looking for in a sports car,” Payne says, adding that the car’s software-oriented experience also appeals: “Everything works through the touch screen, and the over-the-air updates to the car are unbelievable—just like your smartphone.”

Ford isn’t exactly new to electrification and its associated tradeoffs. The company’s first entry into the gas-electric hybrid cate?gory, which was pioneered by Toyota’s Prius, was the 2004 Escape SUV. The goal in those days was to save energy at a time when gasoline was considered costly, environmental activism was on the rise, and fossil fuels seemed to place Western foreign policy at the mercy of Arab oil producers. Most gas-electric hybrid models sold well; drivers liked that the technology felt like that of a conventional car.

《財富》:你是福特公司創始人亨利·福特的曾孫,但也一直是一名環保支持者。

比爾·福特:1979年我剛到福特公司的時候,我對公司里一些人的無知感到震驚,他們對環保問題有明顯的敵意。

Fortune: You’re Henry Ford’s great-grandson but also a longtime environmental advocate.

Ford: When I started at Ford in 1979, I was shocked at the lack of awareness among some people at the company. There was outright hostility to the discussion of environmental issues.

但是電池動力汽車是一個完全不同的東西。野馬Mach-E將是福特的第一款專門基于大型鋰電池和電機架構打造的車型。(之前,福特曾經在少量福克斯轎車和Ranger皮卡上安裝了電池動力系統,以檢測這套技術。)它的重量雖然有1200多磅,但它的電池組的布局很長、很寬,而且放置的位置很低,從而形成了一個較低的重心,并且加強了車身結構。福特計劃將來在林肯(Lincoln)等豪華車型和其他電動車型上也使用類似架構。

午饭福利视频合集40如果野馬的粉絲們擔心電池動力不足以傳承野馬品牌的精髓,他們可能不知道電機的一個核心優勢——瞬間爆發的大扭矩。汽油發動機有一個“扭矩曲線”,扭矩需要跑一會兒才能夠達到峰值。而電動發動機的扭矩真正實現了“隨叫隨到”。這一點應該會吸引那些最關心Mach-E的沖刺能力的車迷。

午饭福利视频合集40But battery electric vehicles—BEVs—are a far different proposition. The Mustang Mach-E will be Ford’s first to be built on an architecture designed specifically for a large lithium-ion battery and electric motors. (Ford previously rigged a small number of Focus sedans and Ranger pickups with batteries to develop the technology.) Much like the Model 3, the Mach-E’s battery—which weighs more than 1,200 pounds—sits wide, low, and long in the vehicle, establishing a low center of gravity and strengthening the car’s frame. Ford plans to use the same architecture for a Lincoln luxury model and other future EVs.

午饭福利视频合集40If Mustang fans are doubtful that an electric powertrain could adequately carry on the brand’s traditions, consider a key property of electric motors: instant, all-encompassing torque. Unlike gasoline engines, which have a “torque curve” requiring some runway to peak, electric motors immediately offer all the accelerating force they have to give—a characteristic that might appeal to any Mustang fan concerned about the Mach-E’s sprinting abilities.

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內飾最顯眼的部分就是這塊巨大的中控屏,它能像特斯拉的中控屏一樣,對車內各系統進行集成操作,并且能夠向司機和乘客發出非常顯眼的信號。這也表明了這款野馬的與眾不同。圖片來源:PHOTOGRAPH BY MARVIN SHAOUNI

福特的電動化全球總監泰德·坎尼斯表示:“這款野馬一定會讓消費者感到興奮的,它甚至能夠打敗一輛保時捷Macan”。這是因為它從靜止加速到60英里/時只需要6秒。(下一步野馬還將推出一款GT版,它實現同樣的成績只需要4.5秒。)

另外,福特還對車輛的電子結構進行了重要升級。野馬?Mach-E將是福特第一款采用高速數據連接的量產車,從而使上圖中的集成大屏和軟件無線升級成為了可能——就像特斯拉一樣。

午饭福利视频合集40坎尼斯坦承,他的團隊里里外外借鑒了很多特斯拉的設計元素。不過,野馬Mach-E能否引發和特斯拉Model 3一樣的熱情?它能夠打破Model 3的50萬輛的預售紀錄嗎?這還是一個未知數。

午饭福利视频合集40“This Mustang will excite consumers,” says Ted Cannis, Ford’s global head of electrification. “It will beat a Porsche Macan”—the German automaker’s compact sport utility model—“off the line’’ thanks to a zero-to-60 mph time of about six seconds. (A future GT version with a second motor will manage the feat in 4.5 seconds.)

午饭福利视频合集40On top of that is a serious upgrade to the vehicle’s electronic architecture. The Mustang ?Mach-E will be Ford’s first production vehicle to employ high-speed data connectivity, making possible a large, data-driven dashboard display and over-the-air software updates—just like Tesla’s.

Cannis candidly acknowledges that his team drew heavily from Tesla’s playbook, inside and out. But an open question remains: Can Ford stoke the same level of enthusiasm for the Mustang Mach-E that Tesla elicited with its Model 3 and its 500,000 advance reservations?

《財富》:現在請談談野馬Mach-E。

比爾·福特午饭福利视频合集40:我一開始是反對它的。但是我們研究得越深,越發現它似乎并不是一個瘋狂的想法。我告訴他們,它的性能數據必須非常出色。事實上它們也的確很出色,我們并沒有在續航里程上做太多折衷,車子的造型也很吸引人,這一點吸引了我。

Fortune: And now the Mustang Mach-E.

Ford: I was against it initially. As we dug deeper, it didn’t seem like such a crazy idea. I told them: The performance numbers have to stand on their own. They were good, we weren’t giving up a lot of range, and the styling was compelling. That won me over.

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午饭福利视频合集40福特十分需要野馬Mach-E的成功。因為它至少能夠證明,在全球汽車廠商都面臨巨大壓力的情況下,它采取了一個行之有效的策略。那么大環境有多糟糕呢?去年全球汽車銷量出現了2009年以來的首次下滑。有預測指出,從現在開始到2021年年底,全球汽車銷量每年都會繼續大幅下跌。甚至有人提出了“汽車飽和”的說法。

一朵陰云已經籠罩在了福特公司上空。福特的股價去年下跌達30%,跌至9美元左右,而公司的盈利能力也差強人意。信用評級機構穆迪(Moody’s)已經將該公司的信用評級下調至垃圾級。與此同時,分析師對福特最近的重組和提高盈利的計劃也持保留態度。

福特的現任首席執行官韓愷特(Jim Hackett)曾任辦公家具制造商Steelcase的首席執行官,此前曾任福特無人駕駛技術和未來交通業務發展部負責人。在2017年5月接替了馬克·菲爾茲的位置后,韓愷特將分散在各個部門的電力化業務進行了整合。速度并不是韓愷特唯一擔心的問題。由于擔心公司最終會搞出一款平平無奇的電動車型,福特的常務副總裁吉姆·法利最終叫停了一個尚未命名的電動跨界車型計劃,它本來有望成為福特的首款全電車型。現在,福特第一次進軍全電領域,便帶來了一個野馬家族的成員,這越看越像是一個明智的選擇。

在這種思想的指導下,福特迅速調整了策略。2017年秋天,福特將1000多名電力化項目的員工調到了“愛迪生團隊”——這位傳奇發明家也是亨利·福利的生前好友。在福特效力了30年的坎尼斯被任命為該項目的負責人。幾個月后,福特公司的執行董事長比爾·福特宣布了一項五年110億美元的電動化項目,該項目預計將為20款新的電動車型提供資金,并在美國建設一個充電網絡,以緩解部分駕駛員的“里程焦慮”。

現在,福特離2022年的終點線只剩下一半的時間了。目前,野馬Mach-E的預售工作已經啟動,訂金為500美元。明年它就將在墨西哥的夸奧蒂特蘭工廠正式下線。全新的野馬是否能夠迎得消費者的歡心?福特能否憑借它一舉翻身?不管答案是什么,全電版野馬的風險顯然是再高不過了。(財富中文網)

本文另一版本登載于《財富》雜志2019年12月刊,標題為《電子騎士》。

午饭福利视频合集40作者:Doron Levin

譯者:樸成奎

Ford needs the Mustang Mach-E to succeed, if nothing more than to prove that its latest strategy works at a time when automakers worldwide are under duress. How bad, you ask? Global automotive sales declined last year for the first time since 2009, and forecasts predict substantial declines every year through 2021. The term “peak car” has been uttered.

A cloud of uncertainty already hangs over Dearborn. Ford shares have fallen 30% in the past year, to about $9, amid mediocre profitability. Moody’s, the credit ratings agency, downgraded the company’s creditworthiness to junk status. Meanwhile, analysts have expressed reservations about Ford’s latest restructuring as well as its plan to improve profitability, quarterbacked by CEO Jim Hackett.

Hackett, the former CEO of office-furniture maker Steelcase, earlier had served as Ford’s head of driverless vehicle technology and future mobility business development. Upon succeeding Mark Fields in May 2017, Hackett ordered a consolidation of electrification efforts, which had been distributed across various departments. Speed wasn’t his only concern. Ford brass fretted that the company’s EV development was progressing toward a mundane model, leading executive vice president Jim Farley to scrap an unnamed crossover slated to be Ford’s first electric vehicle. Approaching Ford’s entry into the all-electric category with a member of the Mustang family increasingly looked like an attractive option.

So the automaker quickly recalibrated. In fall 2017, Ford transferred more than a thousand employees working on electrification to “Team Edison,” a nod to the storied inventor and close friend of Henry Ford’s. Cannis, a 30-year company veteran, was named its leader. Months later, Bill Ford, the automaker’s executive chairman, unveiled a five-year, $11 billion electrification program that is expected to fund 20 new EV models and the build-out of a battery-charging network in the U.S.—reassurance, perhaps, for drivers concerned about charging an electric car.

Today Ford is halfway to its 2022 finish line. In the meantime, it’s happily accepting $500 deposits on the Mustang Mach-E with plans to begin rolling them off its assembly line in Cuautitlán, Mexico, next year. Will Ford’s wager on a reimagined Mustang pay off? And what of the company? Whatever the answer, it’s clear that the stakes couldn’t be higher.

A version of this article appears in the December 2019 issue of Fortune with the headline “Electric Horseman.”

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