In 2014 Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] CEO Elon Musk revealed that Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] was blocking his company from using the Model E name for its small sedan, which as a result ended up being called a Model 3.
It turns out Ford had registered the name just one year prior with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. According to Automotive News (subscription required), Ford is planning to use the name for an upcoming family of electrified cars.
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The strategy mirrors that of Hyundai’s Ioniq, which comes in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric guises. But while the Ioniq features a single bodystyle, Automotive News is claiming the Model E will feature multiple bodystyles, one of which will be a compact SUV.
The Model E in electric guise will be the 200-mile range model confirmed by Ford CEO Mark Fields in April. It will target the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3, though Ford is a bit behind as the car isn’t expected to enter production until 2019. The Bolt EV starts production in 2016 and the Model 3 in 2017.
Production of the Model E is expected to take place in Mexico, suggesting the car may be based on a platform shared with the next-generation C-Max and Focus which will also be built in Mexico for North American markets. The Model E is part of Ford's efforts to launch 13 new electrified cars by the end of the decade.